Shell Opens New Middle East Gas-To-Liquid Hub in Jebel Ali
Dutch oil and gas giant Shell has opened a Gas-To-Liquid (GTL) base oil hub in Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), having made Shell’s first delivery of GTL base oil in late December 2014.
Base oil is a key component in finished oils and GTL base oil specifically enables the development of premium oils for engines, as well as in speciality products, including process oils and transformer fluids.
This new facility in Jebel Ali is Shell’s fourth GTL base oil storage hub alongside its existing hubs located in Houston, Hamburg and Hong Kong, and will facilitate the quicker and simpler distribution of GTL base oil to be manufactured into finished products nearer to the end customer.
Product from the hub will be used in Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology, Shell Risella X, and Shell Diala X for customers in the Middle East and in certain markets beyond such as Egypt, India, Pakistan and South Africa.
Speaking on the new hub, Dennis Cheong, Shell Vice President Supply Chain, said: “Shell Lubricants has a strong and dependable global supply chain producing high quality products and providing consistent delivery to our customers: these GTL base oil hubs are an integral part of this. Shell is the only company with a reliable supply of GTL base oil.
“This new hub accomplishes the full global integration of our transportation and storage of GTL base oil. This is a clear demonstration of where Shell’s integration and innovation add value for Shell’s customers.”
The GTL base oil is made in the Middle East at the Pearl GTL plant in Qatar, a partnership between Qatar Petroleum and Shell - the world’s largest source of GTL products.
Sheikh Thani Al Thani Deputy General Manager for Qatar Shell, said: “GTL products represent a pioneering innovation to increase the supply of highly-demanded liquid hydrocarbons. They offer significant advantages in many applications as they are virtually sulphur free, colourless and odourless.
“These attributes of GTL-based products make them very attractive to help meet the growing requirements of consumers and we are extremely proud to be at the leading edge of innovation that produces these and future superior products.”
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.