Shell touts alphabet-based strategy

Shell touts alphabet-based strategy

The company, after 128 years in Thailand, will get through the pandemic with five letters

Mr Panun says The Shell Thailand wants to follow global energy trends.
Mr Panun says The Shell Thailand wants to follow global energy trends.

When asked what The Shell Company of Thailand Limited plans to do to get through the pandemic, the institution with 128 years of operation in Siam is falling back on its overarching strategy: A, B, C, D and E.

They are not simply letters of the alphabet to The Shell. The five letters represent the company's new five-pronged strategy.

The Shell's chairman Panun Prachuabmoh said the strategy will be implemented from this year to 2022.

"This is just another crisis we are facing," he said.

Named "EnergyAmbition," the three-year strategy will keep The Shell's energy business plans in line with changes in trends as well as people's new lifestyles in the post-Covid-19 period.

EnergyAmbition came about as the 2020 oil market was severely disrupted by a price war and the outbreak of Covid-19. Oil consumption in Thailand during the first half this year declined by 10% because of worldwide travel restrictions to curve the spread of the virus.

The Shell wants to be part of the new chapter of Thai energy as it enters its 129th year in the country.

The consumption outlook is expected to fall by 5% for the whole year, according to the Department of Energy Business's estimate.

"But no matter what happens, we remain committed to our mission to provide energy that best matches people's demands every day," said Mr Panun.


The Shell said EnergyAmbition aims to energise both the auto industry and people in a sustainable way.

"A" refers to advanced energy as The Shell positions itself as an energy solution provider bringing innovation to society.

In January the company introduced B10 biodiesel, a mix of 10% palm oil-made methyl ester and 90% diesel. It introduced B20, with methyl ester content of 20%, in March last year.

These products not only help reduce use of unclean fossil fuels, but they are a solution to low palm oil prices, helping farmers improve their quality of life.

Mr Panun said his company will add 30 petrol stations each year in the near future in Thailand. In 2020, it plans to increase its Thai stations to 660 from 639.

"B" stands for brand trust, which the company believes can be achieved through close collaboration with the government and the civic sector to adjust the energy business in line with social contexts.

"B" is closely linked with "C," which stands for carbon footprint, meaning the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. The Shell wants to take part in efforts to cope with climate change.

The company supports the government plan to make Thailand a hub for liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Global demand for LNG grew by 12.5% to 359 million tonnes in 2019, according to The Shell's latest annual LNG outlook.

The significant increase bolsters LNG's growing role in the transition to a lower-carbon energy system.

The Shell started supplying LNG to local customers in 2017, with transactions worth 1 million tonnes per year.

The company is also interested in electric vehicle (EV) development.

The Shell plans to add 21 filling stations to the Thai market this year.

In Mr Panun's view, EVs are becoming a new trend and they will play an increasing role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Last year The Shell developed a quick charging outlet for EVs that takes only 30 minutes to charge.

"We're also conducting a feasibility study on an EV-related project in Thailand," he said.

The company uses "D" for digitalisation to ensure higher hygienic standards for its customers who are worried about infections in public places.

The contactless payment method at petrol stations allows motorists to pay money simply by using their smart phones to scan QR codes on a portable electronic device carried by staff.

The last letter, "E", stands for empowering people, an attempt to develop human resources, both The Shell employees and workers for the company's trading partners.

"The Shell gives weight to lifelong learning," said Mr Panun, encouraging his staff to maintain their "energy" and keep getting the hang of new knowledge, exchanging ideas with colleagues.

The Shell's headquarters have been redesigned with more open space and meeting rooms in order to create an atmosphere conducive to learning and making each employee stay connected.

"Once our staff become strong and knowledgeable, they will have more empathy for others, from customers to other members of society," he said.


Since importing kerosene to Thailand for the first time on Sept 23, 1892, The Shell has witnessed changes to the country and within the company.

Once a country naive about the oil business, Thailand runs a range of energy development projects and is moving towards renewable energy.

The Shell now sees interest in non-fuel businesses growing.

The company is not only an energy solutions provider, but also a car care operator, a coffee maker and an operator of convenience stores.

The Deli Cafe was created to refresh tired motorists at petrol stations, with espressos indirectly describing The Shell, linking the rich, strong taste with the high performance of the company's services, said Mr Panun.

Select, its company-run convenience stores, were launched to serve travellers. There are 7,500 stores in 47 countries, with 136 of them in Bangkok and provinces across Thailand, according to media reports.

The Shell wants to continue its journey with Thais as it enters its 129th year in the country.

"We are determined to be part of the new chapter of Thai energy," said Mr Panun.

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