AT YOUR SERVICE

Jamaica 2018 | ENERGY & MINING | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to David Ducognon, General Manager of Total Jamaica, on Total's presence, influence, and plans in Jamaica.

David Ducognon
BIOGRAPHY
David Ducognon has been Managing Director and Total Group Representative in Jamaica since August 2016. He has more than 18 years of experience in the downstream petroleum industry including distribution network management, B2B activities, lubricants, aviation, and bitumen. Prior to his arrival in Jamaica, Ducognon was Deputy Vice President for Eastern, Northern, and Central Europe and Russia for Total, based in Paris. He has developed strategic planning skills and leadership development competencies during various assignments with Total in France, the US, and Zimbabwe.

What have been the highlights of Total Jamaica's presence in the country so far?

With a network of close to 60 service stations, Total has the largest number of service stations in Jamaica. We also have assets at the fuel depot Jamaica Petroleum Terminal in Montego Bay. We are in the aviation business at both airports and supply lubricants and special fluids. Total supplies fuels mainly from Petrojam, the local refinery; however, it also imports fuels directly from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Total also has a general trade business in Jamaica, which involves B2B activities, where we supply fuel products and lubricants to various businesses in Jamaica. This covers almost every sector, including mining, transport, agriculture, and tourism. Total is an international company; however, Total Jamaica is a Jamaican company working with Jamaicans. We have close to 60 direct employees, and our businesses facilitate the employment of over 1,000 more. One interesting dynamic to our business in Jamaica is diversity; some 68% of Total employees here are women, and women also dominate the local management team. We are committed to developing diversity and training. We offer our employees not just local, but regional careers. We identify talented people who we can move around the region and even send further afield to places such as Paris to develop their skills at our headquarters.

Does Total intend to invest in renewables in Jamaica?

Total as a group aims to become a major player in renewable energies worldwide, with 30% of its energy mix coming from renewable sources by 2030. In Jamaica, we are defining market opportunities. I am personally enthusiastic about developing solar energy for the local market. Jamaica is one of the best countries for this initiative, because the cost of energy is high here and the tropical climate is a great enabler for solar. Furthermore, there is a strong willingness from the government, whose goal is to source 30% of the country's energy from renewables by 2030. This is exactly the same as Total's global target as a group. Total is involved in biomass and, through SunPower, with solar. SunPower is a leading global company in solar panels and owned by Total. We are also developing in the storage field with batteries with Saft. The very first step is to equip all our service stations in Jamaica with solar panels by 2021.

How does Total differentiate itself from the other main players in the Jamaican market?

We are investing a great deal in state-of-the-art service stations. Since 2015, we have invested more than USD5 million every year because we believe in the potential of the market. Convenience stores are big business in Jamaica because service stations here are a meeting point for people and where they go for supplies. We are bringing as many services as possible to our customers. We have partnered with a French franchise to offer attractive and quality food service in our stations. Total Jamaica has also recently launched its new generation fuel Total Excellium. This represents a new step in innovation; thanks to our new generation fuels, our customers' vehicles have cleaner engines that consume and pollute less. Total Excellium combines all of Total's technological know-how in its unique formula and reflects a high commitment to quality. We use social media to engage with our customers, and we look to further develop mobile payments for the local market. All these efforts will make customers' lives easier. Another of our goals is to make Total the safest service station in any neighborhood, and we have many initiatives planned in this regard. Because of these commitments to our customers, Total Jamaica Ltd. was selected as the preferred partner to build the first highway service station in Jamaica, which should be ready for business in early 2018.