BUSINESSES ACROSS the Algarve could benefit from cheaper fuel next year after a cooperative announced that it was to open seven petrol stations in the region, offering discounts of up to 11 cents per litre on the price of fuel for members.
Started in March 2006 with only 40 members, the Agrupamento das Empresas Consumidoras de Combustíveis de Portugal (AECCP), cooperative of businesses that consume fuel in Portugal, now has around 4,000 members all over the country.
With a total estimated fuel consumption of 80 million litres annually, the cooperative signed a contract with BP to gain a discount of between six and seven cents per litre at petrol stations.
This has now led to the creation of projects to build designated petrol stations for AECCP members in Luz de Tavira, Faro, Loulé, along the EN125 in Boliqueime, near the Alcantarilha roundabout and in Lagoa. Another petrol station is due to be constructed by the end of the year in Fontainhas, Albufeira, and an eighth has been approved outside of the Algarve in Palmela, south of Lisbon.
In order to do this, AECCP has opened a company called NAICE, Negócios em Parceria S.A.
Eduardo Pegado, Executive director of AECCP, said that the group can offer such significant discounts because the new private petrol stations will eliminate the profit margins associated with normal fuel stations.
As well as receiving discounted fuel, members of the AECCP can also offer and receive discounts from other businesses which are members of the cooperative.
Any business can apply to join, with dentists, security and alarms companies, painters, decorators, plumbers and many others registered as members. Membership comprises of a one-off payment of 200 euros plus IVA.