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‘Meeting the needs of today while preparing for the future’

Pilipinas Shell President and CEO Lorelie Quiambao-Osial speaks ahead of the unveiling of the Shell Recharge facility in the company’s Mamplasan station. — PHOTO BY KAP MACEDA AGUILA

Interview by Kap Maceda Aguila

VELOCITY: This is a momentous occasion, in terms of the electrification of mobility in the Philippines. This is big because Shell is a large company and now it is entering this space with this kind of commitment. What sort of mobility developments in the country did Shell see which made the company confident that Shell Recharge is a concept whose time has come here?

LORELIE QUIAMBAO-OSIAL: There are two things for me. One, we did say when the launch or “refresh” and “refocus” strategy that people want to be wanting a market leader in this space. The other thing is customers, and at Shell the customer is always a part of what we do, looking at how we elevate the customer experience for today — and also for the future. It’s also enabling and empowering our customers to make choices that prepare them for a more sustainable future. So with that, I think it’s always a chicken-and-egg situation. But if it’s just always chicken and egg, nothing will run. So, I think we place our money where our mouth is in terms of being a leader in the industry on this one, and this is where we are today.

Would you consider this equal parts leap of faith and a sign of the times? What are the plans for Recharge moving forward? What’s the rollout going to be like?

We believe in the country, and we believe in Filipinos. And we are here to partner with our customers, motorists, passengers, cyclists, and even pedestrians. So, what’s next for Shell? As I said earlier, it’s meeting the needs of today and preparing for the future. So, we’ve launched our Shell Recharge today, and we are looking at setting up more Recharge stations or sites in the next 12 months, but we’re also listening to the market. We are looking at the learnings from other countries and bringing them here. We’re just looking at the right positioning, strategy, and designs that will be applicable and will fit the Philippine market as well.

Mr. Istvan Kapitany (Executive Vice-President for Shell Mobility) said that the carbon offset and Recharge are just two of the sustainability solutions or efforts of Shell worldwide. Are we going to see some, if not all, of those in the near future? For instance, are biofuels something that Pilipinas Shell is also looking at making available to customers?

If you look at our “powering progress” strategy, that has four pillars: Improving stakeholder value, net-zero emissions, powering lives, and respecting nature. So, we are looking at all of that globally. We aim to be an energy company with net-zero emissions by 2050 (while being) at pace with society. Here in the Philippines, we will be at pace with Philippine society as well — and we’re looking at all of those pillars in terms of what will be applicable to the Philippines. So, we continue to look for opportunities in the country and continue to provide those opportunities when possible and when it is the right time… We will continue to make those decisions moving forward. It’s an evolving world, and we are an evolving company and innovative company, and I am excited to be working in Shell. I have a great team, a great group of people working in the company that makes these things possible.

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