Global fuel giant BP unveiled a cutting-edge fuels laboratory in Johannesburg. The center is just one of only four throughout the world owned by BP, and is also anticipated to assist the organization provide an even more diversified selection of fuels to the domestic market.
Even though the company’s brand and image appeared to be negatively impacted throughout the world in 2010 because of the 87-day Deepwater Horizon oil spill throughout the Gulf of Mexico, when it comes to South Africa the brand name continues to be the most widely used amongst the many consumers, as indicated within a Sunday Times’s annual customer survey of leading brands.
British Petroleum seems to have topped its group on the opinion poll over the past several years, and it is the only fuel manufacturer endorsed by the Automobile Association of South Africa. The organization employs approximately 2 000 individuals throughout the country, the majority of them within the network of some 600 service stations.
The Fuels Technology Centre in Kyalami, north of Johannesburg, is without a doubt even further proof of BP’s dedication to long-term investment decision directly into South Africa.
The company recognizes South Africa as being a crucial growth market and to date has sunk many millions directly into infrastructure, refining and fuel delivery capacity.
Last year alone, BP’s expenditure of money totalled in excess of R500-million (US$72-million). The brand new facility was in fact constructed at a price close to R40-million ($5.8-million), and additionally contains a fuel-quality diagnostic testing research laboratory as well as customer engagement and staff education and learning resources.
BP’s most beneficial for customers
BP Africa’s CEO Sipho Maseko proclaimed at the opening the fact that the company promises to make its finest readily available fuel technology as well as highest possible fuel quality accessible to South African customers – an objective that is to be realised along with the introduction of the hi-tech centre.
“It will in addition make it possible to encourage skilled fuel scientists and technologists to work within this highly specialised field,” said Maseko, “and presents completely unique business opportunities when it comes to industry working closer with academic institutions as well as motoring bodies, much like the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa”.
In addition to a centre that employs “very intelligent people”, said Maseko, the research laboratory is furthermore accessible to schools and universities.
The organization anticipates that its standing as South Africa’s most widely used brand of fuel will probably be further entrenched mainly because of the facility’s establishment, simply because it has the ability to continue to keep its excellent quality benchmarks and in addition come up with cutting edge fuels tailored for the regional marketplace. It will likewise have the capacity to perform an effective part in assisting to push the government’s cleaner fuels program.
Ongoing belief in South Africa
South Africa’s Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters was also present for the unveiling and in addition conveyed her appreciation and gratitude of BP’s ongoing trust in South Africa, in addition to the company’s dedication to educating and training its employees as a result of the new state-of-the-art facility.
“I believe that BP will take advantage of this to provide a springboard when it comes to various other investments and technologies available in this region of the world,” she pointed out.
As outlined by Tufan Erginbilgic, BP’s UK-based COO for refining and marketing, this type of center would definitely be considered to be a significant investment decision in any country.
“The South African centre will most likely function under a very similar model as those in Germany as well as the US,” he explained, “focusing directly on quality assurance, technical service and marketing support when it comes to the local market”.
Erginbilgic added the fact that the level of quality of BP’s scientific and technological know-how, not to mention having access to expertise throughout the world, will most likely make it possible for the company to continue developing hi-tech fuels for the region.
“This is truly one of our best-performing market segments and we also forecast continued growth,” he explained. “Next yea we will spend about R624-million ($90-million), mostly in South Africa.”
Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com, timeslive.co.za, energy.gov.za, bp.com