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REBRANDING

Rubis to phase out KenolKobi, Gulf Energy brands by 2022

It is rebranding 190 KenolKobil outlets and Gulf Energy’s 46 petrol stations in the country.

In Summary

•The French firm acquired KenolKobil in March last year in a Sh36 billion deal.

•The Gulf Energy buyout however remains undisclosed.

Petroleum PS Andrew Kamau fuels a car during the launch of the Rubis Service Station, UN Avenue, Gigiri, on Wednesday/MOSES MWANGI
Petroleum PS Andrew Kamau fuels a car during the launch of the Rubis Service Station, UN Avenue, Gigiri, on Wednesday/MOSES MWANGI

French oil firm Rubis Energy plans to be a fully stand-alone brand in Kenya by end of 2022, it announced yesterday.

The company, which officially launched its Rubis brand in Kenya, is phasing out KenolKobil and Gulf Energy brands, which it acquired last year.

It is rebranding 190 KenolKobil outlets and Gulf Energy’s 46 petrol stations in the country.

 

The firm acquired KenolKobil in March last year in a Sh36 billion deal. The Gulf Energy buyout however remains undisclosed.

It currently has 230 service stations from its acquisition, with the two oil marketing companies giving Rubis a lead market share of 21.6 per cent in the country’s petroleum sales market.

KenolKobil was the third largest (in sales market share) with 15.4 per cent while Gulf Energy had a 6.2 per cent market share.

The combined share now puts Rubis ahead of  another French owned oil and gas brand Total, which has a 16.3 per cent share, and Vivo Energy, which enjoys a 16.1 markets share.

“We plan to do about 30 this year, 150 next year and by end of 2022 we expect to have fully transitioned,” Jean-Christian Bergeron, Group Managing Director Rubis Energy Kenya and CEO East Africa, said in Nairobi yesterday.

The firm is planning further investments in Nairobi outskirts as it seeks to strengthen its presence in the country and the East African region, where it has subsidiaries in Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda , Uganda and Zambia.

It is targeting to put up new stations on the exit of Mombasa Road (Sabaki area), the Eastern Bypass and Kitengela-Athi River region, an investment estimated to cost Sh26.1 million.

 

“We are targeting locations that we did not have presence,” Bergeron said during the launch of the Rubis Service Station, UN Avenue, Gigiri.

The company will however retain the K-gas brand for its Liquefied Petroleum Gas products. 

According to management, a market survey informed the decision to rebrand the two OMC’s it acquired, and the retaining of the K-gas brand. 

“99 per cent of the surveyed Kenyans wanted Rubis but for LPG, customers said we keep K-gas because it was already a strong brand,” Bergeron said.

Meanwhile, the global firm is counting on its strengths in the aviation industry, LPG combined with petroleum products to cement its position in Kenya.

Rubis enjoys the lion share of JetA1 (Jet fuel) sales in Kenya, fuelling 50 per cent of airlines landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and the Moi International Airport in Mombasa.

The country’s petroleum industry is among the most competitive in the region, with about 62 established oil marketing companies having presence in Kenya, mainly urban areas.

There are also hundreds of independent oil dealers across the country, mainly served by the major OMCs who import bulk fuel products through the Port of Mombasa.

The big players work closely with Kenya Pipeline Company for hullage to Nairobi and distribution to their respective storage facilities around the Industrial Area, before serving their respective service stations.