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English Español China: 30,000 new petrol stations to open by 2025

With foreign players now welcome to expand their networks and the rise in the vehicle park, filling stations will blossom across the country.

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By the end of 2018, ownership of motor vehicles in China reached 327 million units including 240 million cars, and accordingly there were up to 110,000 filling stations and at least 9,000 natural gas stations across the country, according to a new reports by Research and Markets.

The Chinese filling station market is dominated by state-owned enterprises represented by CNPC, Sinopec and CNOOC, which held a combined market share of approximately 52% in 2018, followed by private firms with 45% share and foreign companies less than 3% share.

In June 2018, regulations limiting the access of foreign retailers to the market were dropped. Before that, any chain with more than 30 sites would need to have shares controlled by a Chinese enterprise.

The move opened the door to major foreign fuel companies to one of the world’s biggest markets. Shell is keen to operate 2,200 more filling stations in China by 2025; BP wants to add 1,000 filling stations in China over the next five years; Exxon Mobil and Total will follow suit and make their forays into the Chinese retailing market rapidly.

In addition, private firms such as Shandong Dongming Petrochemical Group as well as state-owned enterprises like Sinochem Oil have expressed an interest in increasing the number of stations or developing franchised ones. By 2025 it is expected that there will be a total increase of nearly 30,000 sites.

China is also modernizing its service stations in order to meet modern demands. The prevalence of the model ‘filling station + convenience store + charging station’ has seen a blossom in collaborations between different sectors.

With 10 million natural gas-powered vehicles currently on Chinese roads, LNG and CNG fillings stations have been rapidly growing. A number of expansion policies for this sector will the current network of stations mushroom in China, reaching some 20,000 in 2025.

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