Branded Gasoline in Isfahan

Branded Gasoline in IsfahanBranded Gasoline in Isfahan

A pilot program has started from mid-January to distribute top-grade 'branded' gasoline in select filling stations in central Isfahan Province as part of measures to improve fuel quality and services.

"A limited number of gas stations in Isfahan are selling branded gasoline. The plan will be implemented in other major cities including Tehran in the near future," said Mansour Riahi, managing director of National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC), Mehr News Agency reported.

It is unclear whether the so-called branded grades of gasoline are imported or produced at domestic refineries. 

Riahi pointed out that unlike subsidized gasoline, private station owners are responsible for  storage, transportation and distribution of branded gasoline and the related costs.

He did not clarify whether the new gasoline grades are sold under specific brand names or simply as premium gasoline.

What distinguishes branded and unbranded gasoline is the additive inserted  into the gasoline before it heads to gas stations, claiming to aid in automobile performance.

So far, 36 companies have got the NIOPDC approval for selling branded gasoline.

The government sells regular gasoline at a single price of 10,000 rials (26 cents) per liter to all customers and premium gasoline at 31 cents per liter. The NIOPDC chief added that the distribution of branded gasoline will not affect current fuel prices.

The government held two rounds of tender for privatizing gas stations last year and a third tender is expected to be held in February for a total of 60 petrol stations in what is forecast to raise at least $100 million. 

In September, tenders for 100 gas stations in 25 provinces drew 333 bids with a total value of $112 million. The tendering process marked one of the largest privatization bids in the country. 

Last month, tenders for 40 gas stations in 15 provinces, namely Markazi, West Azarbaijan, Fars and Tehran, reportedly generated $70 million.

The privatization of gas stations will help NIOPDC to gradually scale down its operational role and instead improve its supervisory role over the distribution of gasoline and other fuel products, according to Riahi.

The tenders are part of efforts to hand over the fuel retail business to private businesses and reduce the government bureaucracy in the large and growing energy market. 


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