Kuwait Petroleum International – one of the 10 largest fuel businesses in the world – has just opened its first low-cost fuel station in Portugal, announcing a €50 million investment over the next five years.
Operating with the brand name Q8 – run by a company headed by two Portuguese – the plan is to open 50 fuel stations up and down the country by 2020.
And the promise is that prices – not simply low – will vary according to up-to-the-minute oil price data.
As Q8’s distributors in Portugal explained: “Today, the market price could fall by up to a dollar a barrel of crude, but consumers in Portugal will continue to pay the same for their fuel until next Monday. Our plan is to change prices every day … It is this elasticity that makes us competitive,” Pedro Lopes and Daniel Carvalho told journalists.
For now, Q8’s first station is in operation in Guimarães.
The pair said the next stations to come on board could well be existing operations that decide to switch to Q8.
“We guarantee that if stations are buying with a 20 cent discount from their habitual supplier, we will offer 21 cents,” said Carvalho.
“We do not want a market war, but there are stations in Portugal carrying company logos but who no longer have contracts with those companies. They don’t have money to invest. We could be the solution, because there is money. There is €50 million to invest.”
Q8 arrives on the day that diesel – the fuel most used in Portugal – has seen the steepest fall in price since 2008. Today, low-cost stations are selling diesel for less than €1 a litre, while petrol too is seeing up to 3 cent/litre reductions.