Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN)– Saudi Aramco and the French company Total Energies launched two fuel stations, the first in Riyadh and the second in the city of Saihat in the Eastern Province, as part of a plan to modernize the network of gas stations in the Kingdom.
The two companies signed a 50-50 joint venture agreement between Saudi Aramco and Total Energies in 2019 to modernize 270 fuel stations, which will also be equipped with solar panels, in response to the goals of the Green Saudi Initiative, according to a statement published by Aramco.
These stations will operate under the Saudi Aramco and Total Energies brands, providing motorists with fuel and auto services such as oil changes and washing.
Total Energy stations will include Bonjour Café, while Saudi Aramco stations will feature V-Cafe.
As part of the economic reforms plan, Saudi Arabia raised gasoline prices at the beginning of 2018 to end the decades-long fuel subsidy policy, which enhanced the feasibility of investing in gas stations.
During an inauguration ceremony in Riyadh, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said: “…For us at Saudi Aramco, we have several thousand gas stations in our international business in East Asia and North America, but this is the first time the company has sold brand-name fuels. In the Kingdom since it stopped doing so in the 1960s. Within the framework of this project, Saudi Aramco and Total Energy intend to create meaningful job opportunities for Saudi citizens.”
Speaking at the event, Total Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Boyani said: “We strive to provide our new customers with more clean and reliable energy. The opening of the first two plants is another step forward to underscore our long-term partnership with Saudi Aramco.”