Nairobi — Global oil firm Shell has launched Vivo Energy in partnership with Dutch commodity trading company Vitol Group and the African based private investment firm Helios Investment Partners, to distribute and market Shell-branded fuel and lubricants across Africa.
Vivo Energy CEO Christian Chammas revealed that the partnership was first announced in February 2011 and finalised on November 2012 with Vitol and Helios acquiring the majority of Shell's shareholding in most of its downstream businesses in Africa.
In the deal, Vitos and Helios each own a 40 percent stake in Vivo energy, with Shell holding the remaining 20 percent.
"Vivo Energy is the corporate name of the company that markets petroleum products, like Shell did before," he said.
"The idea now is to market it still under the Shell brand, but with a different way of doing it. We will provide our customers with more energy at lower costs and design a product that is designed specifically for the Kenyan market and people," he explained.
Vivo Energy is now licensed to distribute Shell products in 13 African markets including Botswana, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mali and Namibia to name a few.
Newly appointed Managing Director Polycarp Igathe who recently moved from a long term position at Tiger Brands International, explained that he will be able to bring a local angle to Vivo and provide them with invaluable information regarding the business practices in Kenya.
"Vivo Energy is a local global operator. It serves in every market with care, dignity, quality and safety so we will make sure that we are aligned and compliant to everything," he said.
"Where necessary, we shall also be advocating and lobbying government for support because Vivo Energy is one of the biggest tax collecting agents in Kenya," he added.
Vivo Energy employs around 2,015 people and operates in 1,163 retail stations under the Shell brand - with access to around 785,000 cubic metres of storage.
Igathe revealed that Shell and Vivo Lubricants will have blending capacity if around 115,000 metric tonnes at plants in six countries (Kenya, Morocco, Mali, Namibia, Senegal and Tunisia) producing Shell branded lubricants.
The firm operates in retail, commercial fuels, liquefied petroleum gas, lubricants and bitumen.