(MENAFN - The Peninsula) By Mohammad Shoeb I The Peninsula
DOHA: The mobile petrol stations deployed by Qatar Fuel (Woqod) at several strategic places across the country will not be phased out anytime soon, said a top official of the company.
Woqod, the main distributor of retail petroleum products in the country, have put up temporary refueling facilities to meet the growing demand for petrol and diesel products at various underserved areas, including at those places where petrol stations of other private companies were shutdown to make way for other developmental projects, and in some newly developed areas where proper petrol stations are yet to be built in.
'The mobile petrol stations will continue to serve for some time at least until we achieve the target of 110 to115 petrol stations, or even more Saad Rashid Al Muhannadi, Chief Executive Officer of Woqod, told The Peninsula.
Al Muhannadi added: 'As of now we cannot think about removing them given the ground realities. But we will eventually phase out them because these are temporary facilities deployed to provide services to ensure customer satisfaction.
He noted that the return on investment on mobile petrol stations is very low as there are no convenient stores (Sidra outlets) and other Woqod services at these facilities. However, he also noted that 'at the end of the day our aim is to deliver customer satisfaction and not only making profit.
According to some market analysts, these mobile petrol stations have been proved as a very helpful and effective in easing serpentine queues of motorists at existing petrol stations and reduce the wastage of time.
However, the queues at many fuel stations in Doha continues to be relatively long, especially during peak hours due to the closure of many petrol stations owned by other private companies due to safety concerns and several other reasons, and also due to the growing number of motorists in Qatar.
Analysts say that with the operation of the upcoming Doha Metro in less than a couple of years' time is expected to reduce the number of private vehicles significantly putting downward pressure on the demand for petrol and diesel products.
Asked if Woqod is worried about the expected fall in demand for its products and services in the future, he said: 'The anticipated impact of Doha Metro on the demand of our services is part of our calculations. But at the end of the day we are more focused to serve our customers and their satisfaction.
However, Al Muhannadi remained tight lipped if the operation of the upcoming Doha Metro, which aims to provide affordable and convenient public transport to masses, will have any adverse impact on Woqod's revenues and profitability.