Upper Myanmar sees fuel station closures amid growth

Fierce competition and environmental concerns have led to at least 10 privately-owned fuel stations in Upper Myanmar closing down, a 7 August report in 7Day Daily quoted an official from the Ministry of Electricity and Energy as saying.
Five stations have permanently closed, with five more claiming to have shut temporarily, the report said.
Despite the closures, there are still more stations opening than closing, the report claimed.
Myanmar has seen a boom in the number of petrol stations since the private sector was allowed into the market nearly a decade ago.
There were 261 fuel stations that were privatized in 2011, though the number of privately-owned stations has now reached 2,259.
The local fuel station market remains highly fragmented, however. The biggest players like Denko and Regency have only 50 or 60 stations each, representing about a small percentage of the total market.
Stations are also unevenly distributed. It has been difficult for station owners to find suitable pieces of land in Yangon on which to build stations, with problems ranging from high property prices to NIMBY protests.
Other areas have had comparatively fewer problems. This has resulted in some regions and states such as Mandalay having far more stations than are likely warranted by the current market size. Mandalay has about 700 stations, the most of any state or region, compared to 400 in Shan State, and only 200 in Yangon Region.
Added into the mix is the looming introduction of foreign fuel stations. Puma Energy Asia Sun, Shell and Total have all been publicly linked to potential investments or partnerships in the market, and a number of other foreign companies are also thought to be keen.