Whether you are a driver or a passenger in Hong Kong, it is safe to say that you will be familiar with the yellow shell-shaped logo with a red outline seen around the city. And you would probably identify it with the fuel station chain of Shell Hong Kong.
This is absolutely correct, but it may come as a surprise how much more there is to Shell than the familiar petrol stations.
An arm of the global energy and petrochemical group Royal Dutch Shell, Shell Hong Kong has more than a century of history locally – and it has been a member of HKGCC since 1908. Besides providing the drivers of Hong Kong and Macao with a wide range of oil products through its retail refilling and service stations, Shell also supplies fuel and lubricants for the fleet, aviation and marine sectors.
Shell is also a major supplier of bitumen for roads, runways and for use in industry – in fact, Royal Dutch Shell is the biggest bitumen supplier globally. Here in Hong Kong, Shell is a leader in bitumen solutions including for major infrastructure projects. Taking the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge as an example, the Hong Kong section of the bridge is 100% paved with Shell bitumen, from top to bottom of the bridge deck.
Shell Hong Kong Managing Director Daniel Ng explained: “Shell Bitumen has been involved with the bridge deck project since 2013, providing technical support, consultation on materials selection and designs in the main bridge section, tunnel section, and the Hong Kong section.”
While the local population is certainly familiar with Shell’s service outlets, not so many might be aware of the Shell Tsing Yi Installation, a major facility located on the west of the island.
A HK$2.5 billion investment at the time when construction commenced in 1988, this 19-hectare terminal launched operations in 1991 and has continued to play a major role in meeting the needs for petroleum products in Hong Kong and nearby markets. Operating 24/7, the installation’s primary duties include the receipt, storage and loading of petroleum products.
“Its main jetty can berth an oil tanker as large as 110,000 metric tonnes,” said Ng. It has more than 50 storage tanks handling an extensive range of products such as gasoline, diesel, kerosene, lubricants, bitumen and gas-to-liquid base oil – all of which can be dispatched by marine vessels and road tankers to Hong Kong, Macao and beyond.
Also located within the Tsing Yi Installation are a lubricant blending plant and a premium grade bitumen plant, which is the only one of its type in Hong Kong.
The past two decades have brought about a lot of changes to the global business landscape, particularly when it comes to technology. In this fast-changing environment, Shell’s retail business is evolving from “fuels retailer” to “mobility retailer” as it strives to innovate to meet “customers’ changing expectations around convenience, quality, digitalisation and service.”
“We must be agile enough to take advantage of major shifts in areas such as digital technology,” Ng said. Mobile is now a key element of Shell’s wide-ranging of service portfolio, as Shell now enables online bookings, digital payment. It even has a specific mobile app for staff training.
While Shell continues to offer the expected range of services from refuelling and regular car care services like car washing, polishing and waxing, it has raised its range of services, to catch up with the evolving needs of consumers.
A number of selected Shell lubricant change centres are now equipped with exclusive lounges. These allow clients to relax while they are waiting, and also gives them the opportunity to learn more about the services they are receiving from professional mechanics.
Awareness of the environment has also grown considerably in the past few decades. As the world places a much stronger emphasis on sustainability, it is certainly not excessive to expect bigger changes from businesses. Shell is taking action, and has set itself a range of targets.
“The world will need much more energy to power homes and fuel transport for a growing population with rising living standards,” said Ng. “But to counter climate change, energy must increasingly come from lower-carbon sources.”
That is why Shell is an industry pioneer in offering low-carbon products and carbon-offsetting solutions. Its intention to reduce the carbon intensity of its energy products, and to move in step with society towards the goal of the Paris Agreement, is demonstrated by Shell’s “CO2 Offset Programme” targeting commercial fleet customers.
This programme will contribute to the company’s three-year target, beginning in 2019, to reduce its net carbon footprint by 2–3%. Not to mention that Shell became the first and only biodiesel provider in Hong Kong through retail service stations in 2015.
“Our company purpose is in tune with this time of change: to power progress by providing more and cleaner energy solutions. This means more energy to meet growing demand and cleaner energy to help tackle climate change and pollution.”
A cleaner future
In the medium term, Shell will be growing business in areas important in the energy transition, as well as expanding in the power market as it expects the energy system to increasingly electrify.
“Moving people and goods is vital to economic prosperity. How that is done and how efficiently is a critical part of the global energy transition that is under way,” said Ng.
As he suggested, transport accounts for more than a quarter of the world’s energy use and one-fifth of global energy-related CO2 emissions. “This means that the sector has a fundamental role to play in helping global efforts to reduce emissions.”
In the longer term, Shell aims to make power a significant part of its business – one that could sit alongside its oil, gas and chemicals segments in the future. This will require being involved at almost every stage of the process, from generating electricity through wind and solar, to buying and selling it, to supplying it directly to consumers.
“Working in this challenging oil and gas industry, which changes so quickly to adapt to a changing world, resilience is key for myself and the rest of Shell Hong Kong colleagues when dealing with problems and challenges,” said Ng.
Summarizing the ethos of Shell and his experience with the company, Ng concluded: “We may not have an influence over the change, but we can influence how we react to it to maintain our focus in delivering safety and business performance.”
Company: Shell Hong Kong Limited
HKGCC Membership No.: HKS0069
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