x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Royal Dutch Shell plans fuels business at Jebel Ali

A lubricants, fuels and sales business at the port will help the company negotiate contracts.

Royal Dutch Shell plans to launch a fuels and lubricants sales business at Jebel Ali Port in Dubai. The new operation will start next year, when the energy giant will look to secure fuelling contracts with logistics companies that use the busy port.

"We're just entering the Jebel Ali Port as a new market entry. So our marine business is certainly growing here in the Middle East," said Richard Jory, the general manager of Shell Markets Middle East and regional general manager of Shell Aviation.

"We're starting probably next year. [It] will be a marine fuels … and lubricants business. So that will serve the vessels coming into Jebel Ali."

A Shell barge will be present in the port as part of the new sales operation.

"In terms of scale, we'll have a barge, which does the operation for both fuels and lubricants. But we'll have to see how many contracts we are able to secure," said Mr Jory.

"This type of business is business-to-business - it's not a retail proposition … It's about large vessels where there are contracts negotiated between supplier and customer."

Mr Jory said Shell was "seeing growth" in the Middle East. "We're starting to see new customers come into the marketplace, which is encouraging," he said.

Last month Shell's aviation division said it had signed an agreement to operate as a fuel supplier at the new Al Maktoum International Airport. The company has been supplying fuel to airlines at Dubai International Airport for nearly 40 years.

Dubai's new airport, which will have a capacity of 160 million passengers per year, is set to be the world's largest when fully operational. Cargo services at the airport started in June.

Mr Jory said Shell planned to bid for contracts as more services were launched from the new airport.

"We've just entered into the Al Maktoum International Airport," he said. "We're not alone - there are other suppliers as well. And we will be bidding for the customer contracts as they come up."