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NEWS - ASIA, MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA TESLA LAUNCHES IN THE UAE India oil demand drops most in 13 years after demonetisatioN Tesla launched a dedicated website for customers in the United Arab Emirates this month and announced plans for a new Dubai service centre and pop-up store. The announcement was made by CEO Elon Musk at a special launch event, as the U.S. firm continues to expand internationally. The electric car company said it will begin taking orders for the Model S and Model X, with deliveries of the vehicles expected in the summer. Tesla will also have a pop-up store in The Dubai Mall and is building a service center in the city. It plans to open another store and service center in the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi next year. Tesla also announced that it had opened two superchargers with five more to follow by the end of the year. This technology allows Tesla owners to charge their cars in minutes rather than hours. Tesla said it also has 26 destination chargers across the UAE, which are at places such as hotels and shopping centers. It plans to add 50 more by the end of the year. Previously, customers in the UAE wanting a Tesla would need to get one imported. Now Tesla will be able to serve its fans directly in the oil-rich country. India’s monthly oil demand fell the most since May 2003 as the government’s crackdown on high-value currency notes continues to reverberate through the country’s $2 trillion economy. Fuel consumption fell 4.5 percent to 15.5 million tons in January from 16.2 million tons a year ago, the Oil Ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell has said. Diesel use, which accounts for about 40 percent of total fuel demand in India, dropped 7.8 percent, the biggest decline since September. Gasoline consumption fell the most since June. Expansion in the world’s fastest-growing major economy is under pressure after Prime Minister Narendra Modi withdrew high-value currency notes in a country where almost all consumer payments are in cash. Growth in gross domestic product may slow to 6.5 percent in the year through March from 7.9 percent the previous year, according to an economic survey presented by the finance minister’s advisers. “This decline in demand is due to demonetisation,” according to Tushar Tarun Bansal, director at Ivy Global Energy. “I would expect this decline to be a one off and dissipate from February. This should result in a slower demand growth for diesel in the first quarter in 2017.” India imports more than 80 percent of its crude requirement and the International Energy Agency expects it to be the fastest-growing consumer through 2040. In most areas people are spending the same on fuel as they did before demonitisation, however some rural areas and small businesses are still affected. Nigeria Tanker explosion burns down 3 FUEL statioNS The explosion of a fuel tanker in Onitsha, Nigeria, caused a fire that burnt down three filling stations, fifteen residential buildings and over thirty cars. A fuel tanker driving through the commercial city failed to brake, crashing into a Mobil gas stations and setting off an explosion that affected nearby cars and buildings. Two surrounding filling stations were also damaged by the fire. Many have criticized the presence of gas stations in busy areas of the city asking for them to be relocated to safer spots. “They were built when nobody was living here but people started building around them, and now people are living near them we will provide land for their owners to relocate so that the lives of the people will not be in danger,” said the Governor Willie Obiano. Indonesia’s Pertamina to build 108 mini gas stations Indonesia’s state-owned oil and gas giant Pertamina plans to build 108 mini gas stations nationwide from this year until 2020 in a bid to lower distribution costs under the newly launched one-price fuel policy. With the new policy announced in late October, the government hopes to see fuel sold at the same price across the sprawling archipelago, closing the disparity previously seen between accessible regions and less accessible regions like Kalimantan and Papua. Out of the total figure, 22 mini gas stations with a total capacity of 5,000 liters of fuel will be built this year. The construction of these stations, along with premium, oil and diesel fuel agents (APMS), in the challenging terrains of Maluku and Papua, will require an investment of Rp 54 billion (US$4.04 million), the firm said. According to the plan, the firm will continue to build 45 stations in 2018, 29 stations in 2019 and another 12 stations in 2020, which will be located in the more remote areas without basic land and sea infrastructure. Pertamina had prepared a road map to develop hundreds of those mini gas stations, which would function as fuel distributor agents in remote areas and make distribution much more efficient. Apax Partners acquires Israeli fuel retailer for $35m Global private equity firm, Apax Partners, has acquired an 83% controlling interest in Israeli fuel retailer Ten Petroleum Company, which runs 56 gas stations and 20 convenience stores, from Bank Hapoalim for $35m. Aside from its fuel retailing business, Ten also markets fuel products directly to various commercial and business customers in the transportation, contracting, and industrial sectors, and sells to wholesalers. The company has been up for sale for some time, but none of the deals for its sale at a company value of NIS 250 million went through. The company was previously owned by Eliezer Fishman for many years, however in the difficult business climate he was forced to relinquish his controlling share. ASIA BOOSTS GLOBAL DEMAND FOR LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS Global demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) reached 265 million tonnes in 2016 – enough to supply power to around 500 million homes a year. An increase in demand for LNG kept pace with supply across the world, as expected demand in Asia and the Middle East absorbed the increase in supply from Australia, according to Shell’s first LNG Outlook. “Global LNG trade demonstrated its flexibility time and again in 2016, responding to shortfalls in national and regional gas supply and to new emerging demand,” said Maarten Wetselaar, Integrated Gas and New Energies Director at Shell. China and India – which are set to continue driving a rise in demand – were two of the fastest growing buyers, increasing their imports by a combined 11.9 million tonnes of LNG in 2016. Shell believes further investments will need to be made by the industry to meet growing demand, most of which is set to come from Asia, after 2020. 10 erpecnews is published by McLean Events, Conferences and Media Ltd.


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