Increasing fuel outlets fits in with chief executive officer Lynn L. Elsenhans' strategy to build the reach of Sunoco's retail brand and its logistics network while reducing its refining capacity. Falling fuel demand has reduced manufacturing profit.
Sunoco has shut one refinery and sold two others since Elsenhans took over in 2008. Earlier this month, it sold its Toledo, Ohio, refinery to PBF Energy Partners L.P. for $400 million.
The Ohio Turnpike deal solidifies Sunoco's position as King of the Toll Road.
Sunoco operates 17 fuel outlets on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, 12 on the New Jersey Turnpike, 16 on the New York Thruway, 2 on the Atlantic City Expressway, 1 on the Delaware Turnpike, and 2 on the Palisades Parkway in New Jersey. All except 14 of the Thruway outlets are company-operated.
Toll-road outlets are attractive because of their high volume of largely captive customers.
Sunoco said the Ohio service plazas sell about 35 million gallons of gasoline a year and 10 million of diesel, and generate nearly $2 million in store sales along the 241-mile turnpike across the northern part of the state.
The initial lease agreement with the Ohio Turnpike Commission runs from 2012 through 2016, with renewals available through 2026.
Under terms of the contract, the turnpike commission receives 3 cents per gallon of gasoline sold, 2.5 cents per diesel, 4 percent of nonfuel receipts at fueling kiosks, and 6 percent of convenience-store gross sales.
Contact staff writer Andrew Maykuth at 215-854-2947 or email@example.com.