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    KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 — Shell Malaysia plans to open another 40 petrol stations next year despite the current challenging economic environment.

    Managing director of Shell Malaysia Trading Sdn Bhd and Shell Timur Sdn Bhd, Datuk Mohzani Abdul Wahab, said the new petrol stations will either be built by the company or its dealers.

    Speaking to reporters after the official opening of its 38th petrol station for this year here today, he said one station will cost an average of RM8 million to RM10 million, depending on location.

    The event was officiated by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad.

    Asked about Shell Malaysia’s outlook for next year, Mohzani said: “There will be growth for our petrol stations business but the question is to what degree. We expect a bit of slowdown but things will still be positive.”

    Saying that petrol demand is usually in line with the growth of gross domestic product (GDP), he added that the industry is expected to grow around three percent next year based on the country’s GDP forecast.

    The government has cut its GDP forecast to 3.5 percent for 2009 from 5.4 percent earlier.

    “Our fortune will depend on how the economy turns out. So if things slow down, we will also be affected,” Mohzani said.

    In conjunction with the opening, Shell Malaysia showcased its FuelEconomy (FE) Simulator as part of a fuel economy exhibition.

    Designed to educate motorists about the benefits of fuel economy in an entertaining environment, the FE Simulator offers lessons in driving techniques, sharing effective driving tips and how to apply them on the road.

    Source: Bernama

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