June 27, 2012
-- Puma Energy, the international petroleum company that purchased ExxonMobil’s assets in Central America, officially announced its arrival in Nicaragua with a US$1.2 million investment destined to convert 37 former Esso service stations to Puma stations, which are expected to be completed within the next few months.
“This is a country with enormous potential for growth, and we want to be a part of that growth,” said Daniel Mencía, General Manager of Puma Energy Nicaragua.
The company purchases its oil from Alba de Nicaragua, S.A. (ALBANISA), a privately owned Nicaraguan-Venezuelan oil company. In Nicaragua, Puma controls 40 percent of the market, according to Mencía.
At the moment, Puma is using the Nicaragua refinery to supply the local market, however, the General Manager doesn’t rule out the possibility that Puma will one day expand its refinery operations and start exporting oil from Nicaragua to the rest of the region.
The possibility of future oil exports is only part of Puma’s plans to continue expanding its operations in Nicaragua and Central America. “The best is yet to come—our plans for Nicaragua are big and clear and robust”, he stated.
José Adán Aguerri, President of the Superior Council of the Private Enterprise (COSEP, for its acronym in Spanish) welcomed Puma’s vote of confidence in Nicaragua and Central America.
Aguerri noted that Puma’s entry into Nicaragua is part of an important trend of growing foreign direct investment (FDI) under the Government of Nicaragua. In 2007, the year President Ortega returned to power, FDI in Nicaragua represented 6.7 percent of its GDP, ranking Nicaragua fourth in Central America in its investment-to-
production ratio. Four years later, Nicaragua’s FDI is equivalent to 13.3 percent of its GDP, ranking Nicaragua first in the region, according to Aguerri.
Puma Energy was founded in northern Central America in 1997, and now operates in 29 emerging markets in Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Balkans. Globally, the company has 1,200 gas stations and 3.8 million cubic meters of oil storage facilities, servicing both large industrial clients and individual consumers. The company’s international headquarters are in Switzerland.