Total is targeting liquefied natural gas and solar projects in South Africa as part of its expansion

Total S.A. seeks to increase oil exploration and expand its fuel network in South Africa with plans intend to open more fuel stations in Africa’s second biggest economy.

The energy producer is working towards expanding its network of more than 500 fuel stations in Africa’s most industrialized economy and intends to finish a deepwater offshore exploration well it has been working on since 2014. The company has secured rig to complete the deepwater offshore well.

“In retail, we clearly want to grow and to grow by 200 to 300 service stations in the coming few years,” Pierre-Yves Sachet, managing director and chief executive officer for Total South Africa, said Thursday in an interview at his office in Johannesburg. There is also consideration for partnerships in increasing the number, he noted. “The intensity of our footprint is not exactly the one we would like to have yet.”

In the first quarter of the year, Total recorded an increase in the amount of oil and gas pumped, which exceeds its 6 percent target for 2018, as a result of acquisitions and new projects from the Arctic to West Africa. The company is due to open 20 new retail outlets this year.

Asides opening new fuel stations, Total also plans to start supplying liquefied natural gas and adding solar projects as part of two government programs that faced delays under former South African President Jacob Zuma, Bloomberg reported.

Speaking on why South Africa is in a strategic position to accommodate the expansion plan, as he observes growth in the company’s sales of fuel and lubricants to mining companies, Sachet said, “There’s more confidence in the atmosphere, this is very clear.”