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Abu Dhabi-based fuel retailer Adnoc Distribution could add up to 6,000 employees for its 125 new petrol stations, a new fuel depot at the Abu Dhabi Airport and a multi-purpose fuel depot in Sharjah’s Al Hamriya.

The company plans capital investment of Dh1.5 billion mainly in service stations in 2016 alone.

The fuel retailer is also investing Dh750 million in the fuel depot at the Mid-Field Terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport and will recruit 150 employees for the project.

“The depot at Midfield Terminal is a new expansion as part of the airport’s infrastructure. This 100 million-litre depot will serve the old and new airport as it is interconnected. It will be operational by second-half of 2016, ahead of the airport which will be ready in 2017. Around 150 additional employees will be hired at various positions because we will be running three shifts,” said Abdulla Salem Al Dhaheri, CEO of Adnoc Distribution.

The company is also about to inaugurate a multi-purpose fuel depot in Al Hamriya, Sharjah, which will take place around second quarter of 2016 with a capacity of 241,000 cubic metre.

In addition to these 150 new jobs for the Midfield Terminal, the company could possibly require an additional manpower of up to 6,000 employees based on its estimates of 30 to 50 employees per petrol station for its planned  125  stations across the UAE by 2017-end.

Based on an estimate of 30 to 50 employees for the new 125 planned stations, the retailer could add between 3,750 to 6,250 staff by 2017-end. It currently has a workforce of more than 13,000.

“Those 125 new stations are either in construction, design or under-study stages. Now we have 385 including phase I and Phase II of Emarat petrol stations, which will take our total stations to around 510. We are not stopping there, we’re looking for more areas, evaluating different options and looking at areas (in the UAE) where we don’t have strong presence,” he added.

“There are few stations that we are about to open by December-end. We are talking about 14 stations. In Dubai, we are planning 10 standalone stations – three of them are in design stage.”

In July 2015, Al Dhaheri told this website that the group was looking to add over 3,000 staff for 86 stations it plans to open in the next six months.

The UAE government’s decision to regulate oil prices from August 1, 2015 has resulted in improved balance sheets for the UAE fuel retailers.

“After deregulation, the government has secured the margin for the distributors. It is the international price plus the operating cost plus margin. I can’t reveal the figures, but yes we are generating the margin. We are no longer at loss, this is what we can confirm. It’s a decent margin we are generating,” Al Dhaheri said, adding that “we will invest (increased cash flow) in expansion; improving products and services.”

Al Dhaheri said: “We will end the year very well in balance financially. The (oil) prices were hovering at a very low level in the beginning of the year. January was good month because it was the lowest then prices rose a bit higher in February, March, April, June, July and then government intervention came in liberalisation. We have 50 per cent of the year with in the plus.”

Adnoc Distribution chief executive expects 2015 revenues reaching Dh24 billion this year.

Commenting on the compressed national gas stations, Al Dhaheri said the fuel retailer will add 14 stations in the year 2016 to its existing 22 outlets. While the next phase will include 35 more stations, taking the total CNG facilities to 70 by 2020.
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