Vivo Energy, the company that distributes and markets Shell fuels and lubricants, has launched Uganda’s first mobile fuel testing laboratory at Shell Lugogo today 19th March 2014. This new initiative will augment the stringent quality control process that is already in place throughout the company’s supply chain. Now it will be possible to check fuel quality at any Shell fueling station forecourt in addition to the tests that are routinely done at the Vivo Energy laboratory. The mobile lab, fitted into a vehicle, will be collecting samples randomly from Shell stations and conducting basic quality tests on site, while also returning samples to the main laboratory at the depot for further analysis where issues are detected.
“We already have the superior quality Shell fuels, and we test our products at our laboratories located at all loading points along the supply chain, but we feel that’s not enough,” says Hans Paulsen, Vivo Energy Uganda's Managing Director. “We are constantly working at giving our customers the very best products therefore protecting quality is a priority for us. The mobile testing lab helps us to do that. Not only does it help guarantee the quality of the products that eventually goes into customers’ tanks, it also reaffirms the message that we care about our customers deeply.”
Dr. Ben Manyindo, the Executive Director of National Bureau of Standards, praised Vivo Energy for its proactive approach to quality assurance. “It greatly enhances the work that Vivo Energy is already doing and provides additional support to the work UNBS is also doing with our mobile vans. Vivo Energy works in partnership with us to offer support. They have also opened up their laboratory for us to conduct further tests whenever the need arises. Apart from the UNBS lab, Vivo Energy is the only oil company with a modern fuel testing lab in the country” he said.
The mobile testing lab is equipped to produce key test results within 30 minutes. It has a temperature-controlled box to store samples, and also has a sealed/lockable cabinet that is mounted to the floor of the vehicle. The mounting includes special suspension mechanisms so that the vibrations of the moving vehicle do not negatively affect the samples.
The mobile testing lab will be working in collaboration with the trained quality marshals already present at every Shell Service station. Quality marshals receive product, compare loading parameters against offloading parameters, regularly test the product to reconfirm quality, test and confirm the calibration of the pumps, and handle any quality related issues at the station.
“As a Shell licensee distributing Shell’s superior products, Vivo Energy must maintain the Shell brand standards,” Paulsen said. “And that means being totally dedicated to improving our product offering and serving our customers in the best way we can. I truly believe that this new initiative will take us one step close to our ambition of being Africa’s most respected energy business.”
About Vivo Energy Uganda
Vivo Energy Uganda, the company that distributes and markets Shell-branded fuels and lubricants, was established in February 2013. The Shell brand has been in Uganda for over 60 years. Vivo Energy Uganda has a storage capacity of 8,297 m³ and 115 service stations with a majority offering of Shell Cards and convenience retail stores. Vivo Energy Uganda employs 120 permanent employees but the business provides indirect employment to over 3,000 people. The company is recognised as the leader in the oil industry especially championing and setting standards for safety in sales and distribution.
Vivo Energy operates in Retail; Commercial Fuels (Marine, Mining and Aviation in partnership with Vitol Aviation); Liquefied Petroleum Gas and Lubricants in Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Mauritius, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Mali, Namibia, Senegal, Tunisia and Uganda.
The company employs around 2,000 people and operates 1,400 retail stations under the Shell brand and has access to approximately 900,000 cubic meters of fuel storage capacity. Shell and
Vivo Lubricants will have blending capacity of around 150,000 metric tons at plants in seven countries (Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal) producing Shell branded lubricants.