Kenya Shell confident despite competition

June 15, 2009

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 15 – Kenya Shell has no intentions of entering into mergers despite a growing threat to its market share, the company’s chairman declared on Monday.

Ahmet Erdem said Shell planned to stick by its customer-driven marketing strategy to wade off threats from, among others, Total Kenya which recently acquired assets that were previously owned by Chevron which operated as Caltex.

“We have a very good network, a strong brand in Kenya and a good team. We will continue operating and we appreciate that our competitors have their rights. Kenya is a very competitive market and we like competition as long as it’s on a level playing field,” he said.

With the acquisition which was completed earlier this month, Total Kenya now has about 190 retail stations countrywide effectively making it a market leader in outlets which will go a long way in enabling it control a bigger stake in sales volumes.

Last year, Shell controlled a bigger stake of about 23 percent compared to Total’s 16.32 percent and Chevron’s 11.52 percent. The takeover will however see it dethroned from being a market leader.

Mr Erdem also defended their move saying Shell had invested significantly since it acquired British Petroleum in 2007 and this had helped increased their retail network and share to about 24 percent.

He spoke during the launch of their new product branded ‘the Shell Diesel Extra’ which is designed to help motorists utilise their fuel efficiently.

The Chairman said with the launch which follows the introduction of products such as ‘Shell Unleaded Extra’ and ‘V-Power’, they hoped to meet their customers’ expectations and thus retain their competitive edge.

The development of such products, he said, was informed by recent research which indicated that the world would in the next 25 years need 50 percent more energy than it does now. Mr Erdem explained that although this means there’s need to develop alternative renewable energy sources, about 80 percent of energy demand would still be met by fossils fuels.

“However, how we use the current energy sources is absolutely important. As responsible individuals and organisations, we should work in improving the way we use energy sources and develop methods and technology to save on them,” he pointed out while referring to the impact that the fossil fuels was having on the environment.

With the launch of the ‘Shell Diesel Extra with fuel economy formula’, Mr Erdem added that they were proving their customers with ways of reducing their fuel costs.

It is designed to protect the engine against mileage-robbing deposits, helping to produce a more effective combustion in the engine, which improves its efficiency, he added.

“We are aware that it is equally important that we improve on the way we use the scarce energy resources. The product will give you extra kilometres at no extra costs,” explained the oil marketer’s Retail Manager Lena Munuve.

The fuel is now available in their outlets and retailing at the same price as diesel.

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