Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO, ENOC Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: For Dubai’s ENOC, downstream is a good place to be in the energy landscape. Throw in fuel retailing into the revenue mix and there’s enough happening to keep the growth numbers chugging along nicely.

But can ENOC do more, given the wider narrative around renewables and clean energy? More so as the UAE and Dubai have set clear goals on where their sustainability push will lead to? Will ENOC then continue to reinforce its presence based on its existing strengths? Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO at ENOC, offers a glimpse of what that roadmap might be.

Would change for ENOC mean cutting down on some areas and focusing on higher margin energy services?

ENOC’s business comprises exploration and production, supply trading and processing, terminals, fuel retail, aviation and products. Emirates Gas, a subsidiary, has introduced several products in response to increasing demand. It operates three LPG bottling plants in the northern emirates, and its operations are seamlessly integrated with ENOC’s mid-stream refinery and gas processing plants in Jebel Ali.

(And) ENOC Lubricants has evolved from a local industry player into a brand recognised in more than 60 countries. The ENOC Lubricants and Greases Manufacturing Plant (ELOMP) is spread over 63,500 square meters and consists of 19 base oil tanks, 23 additive tanks and 40 finished products tanks with storage capacity of 34,400 MT, 2,910 MT and 2,726 MT, demonstrating our positioning as one of the largest lubricants plants in the Middle East and Africa.

From forecourt to airport and import to export, ENOC Group is contributing to Dubai and the UAE’s economic growth - and energy security.

When it comes to energy related ventures, will ENOC be looking at JVs rather than develop one on its own?

As a wholly owned company of the Dubai government, ENOC is focused on supporting the emirate and the wider country to realise its ambitions. One way to do so is by entering into joint ventures, which in addition to attracting significant foreign investment, also enables access to new markets.

EPPCO Lubricants, a joint venture between ENOC and Chevron Al Khaleej, markets ENOC and Caltex branded lubricants and greases in the UAE, providing products and services to various industries ranging from the automotive to industrial, manufacturing and marine businesses.

ENOC continues to explore different business opportunities that will meet its goal of servicing customers. Depending on (whether) the opportunity a right business model.

How big is ENOC on the lubricants side of the business?

ENOC operates specialist lubricant blending plants in the UAE with a combined capacity of 260,000 metric tonnes per annum of products. We operate a plant in Fujairah and another in Jebel Ali that manufactures lube oil and grease and undertakes blending for third-party clients.

Expansion projects will further enhance production efficiencies in the coming years. The group has worked to convert the Jebel Ali plant to run fully on solar panels making it one of the first plants in the world operating on solar panels.

Do you plan to take lubricants production into other territories? Do you see lubricants representing around 30 per cent of your revenues by the end of this decade?

ENOC started its global presence and expansion since 2002, with ENOC Lubricants reaching over 60 countries. The group has new plans to continue its international expansion and this started its entry into Latin America through Brazil.

The lubricants’ share of total group revenue is not expected to reach to such levels as 30 per cent. Such a ratio would not represent the right split compared to other refined products used by consumers. Lubricants usually will not represent more than 3 per cent of the total cost for consumers, and will remain so considering the large diversification of product offerings we have.

Is there a chance that ENOC will be directly involved in some of the recent oil and gas discoveries in the emirate?

We cannot comment as this is government matter.

ENOC, one can say, would be a natural fit for a major role in the Operation 300Bn programme. Have you confirmed any particular projects?

We are committed to supporting the UAE to achieve economic value, and as a result we actively participate in discussions around technology and innovation. We continue to augment our asset base depending upon the future energy requirements of the country. While working on our strategy, we strive to align our operations with the broader Dubai and UAE level strategies.

Digital and energy - Why not?

ENOC has an accelerator programme, NEXT, to ‘unlock growth opportunities and tackle challenges in the energy sector’ through digital ventures. It is under the programme that the app-based fuel delivery service, ENOC Link, was launched in 2019.

Then came Beema, an all-online vehicle insurance service, also under NEXT. “Both ENOC Link and Beema are designed to provide customer-centric services catering to the rising demands of convenience within the sector,” said the group CEO.

Go full - and compact - on fuel stations

ENOC has 173 service stations in the UAE and plans to add 18 more this year. “ENOC recently opened a new compact station to support fuelling needs in DAFZA,” said Saif Humaid Al Falasi. “In partnership with Nakheel, ENOC will be opening 14 compact stations across Nakheel projects this year alone, bringing the total number of compact stations to 15.”