Repsol is a leading retail distributor of LPG on the Iberian Peninsula, ranking first in Spain and maintaining a top position in Portugal.
In 2016, our LPG sales grew to 1,747 thousand metric tons. Total sales in Spain fell 3.1% year-over-year, primarily due to the decrease in sales to the petrochemical industry and despite the slight increase in retail demand. In Spain, Repsol distributes bottled and bulk LPG piped via collective distribution networks, in addition to AutoGas. It has more than 4 million active customers. Bottled sales account for more than 61.2% of retail LPG sales in Spain and were made via a network of 210 agencies.
In Spain, prices continue to be regulated for piped LPG and bottles between 8 kg (17 lb) and 20 kg (44 lb), not including bottled mixtures for using LPG as fuel with a tare weight greater than 9 kg (19 lb).
On September 30th, 2015, Repsol's Board of Directors approved the sale of part of the piped gas business to Gas Natural Distribución and to Redexis Gas. In addition, in 2016 the piped gas business in northern Spain and Extremadura was sold to the EDP Group and Gas Extremadura, and an agreement was entered into with Madrileña Red de Gas for the sale of the piped gas business in the Autonomous Community of Madrid.
In Portugal, Repsol distributes bottled, piped and bulk LPG and AutoGas to end customers, while also supplying other operators. Sales reached 145 thousand metric tons in 2016, making the company the third-largest operator and bringing the market share to over 19%.
In Latin America, on April 20th, 2016, Repsol reached an agreement with the South American international operator, Abastible, for the sale of the LPG business in Peru and Ecuador. These sales transactions were closed on June 1st for the LPG business in Peru and on October 1st for the LPG business in Ecuador. With the transfer of these assets, we have completed the divestment of our LPG business in Latin America.
AutoGas is one of our firmest commitments to achieve sustainable mobility in the future, as it significantly reduces emissions. AutoGas is already available to users at over 500 supply points in Spain, most of them located in our service stations. In 2016, sales in Spain grew by 6%. AutoGas is the most widely-used alternative fuel in the world, being used in 25 million vehicles, including 15 million in Europe.