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-Sunday Mail

ZIMBABWEAN-owned multinational oil company Matrix Petroleum has embarked on an aggressive expansion to grow its operations into over 15 African countries next year.

Matrix was ranked by Forbes Magazine Africa 2021 as the best African petroleum company regardless of industry by profit.

Registered in the United Kingdom, the company, which currently supplies petroleum products to eight African countries including, Zambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, has set in motion plans to enter the Namibian market next year.

Matrix Petroleum chief executive officer, Mr Malvin Chiwanga told The Sunday Mail that the expansion drive was a precursor to the company’s plans to list on the London Stock Exchange by 2023.

“We are entering the Namibian market from 2022 and we aim to deliver 100 million litres to that country each month from January 2022,”

said Mr Chiwanga.

“We have invested over £14 million in infrastructure and we plan to open a new depot in Namibia, which will significantly increase our capacity to support growth. By March 2022, we will be running in excess of 15 countries in Africa. We are very much guided by expectations and feel that our awareness of the cultural differences in each country has given us a commercial advantage. Different markets have different needs and our approach reflects that.”

He said the company, which currently employs 30 000 people across the world will add an additional 1 500 workers in Namibia of which 700 will be contractors.

“Since 2019 our target has been to aggressively grow the business outside of Guernsey (in the United Kingdom) by eight to 10 times and we aim to accomplish this by 2023, which is where the name ‘EPIC 2019 comes from. We have tripled our income to date and we are on course to meet our target.”

Matrix has two major distribution channels, the wholesale arm, which focuses on service stations and the business to business arm which deals with airlines and mining companies.

Although the company has been experiencing steady growth, the ongoing Covid-19 and reduced demand for oil worldwide have been a source of challenges.

Born in Zimbabwe, Mr Chiwanga migrated to the United Kingdom in  2000 and later formed Matrix Petroleum, which is primarily a petroleum company with additional investments in renewable energy.

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