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Advancing energy – news roundup

Release date: 18 November 2019

Season’s greetings! Here’s your monthly round-up of what BP is doing to help make energy cleaner and better

850 words – around four minutes’ reading time

1. BREAKING: Companies join with BP to tackle plastic waste

Leading firms across the plastic polyester industry have formed a consortium to accelerate commercializing BP’s Infinia recycling technology. 


They include:

  • Consumer goods producers Britvic, Danone and Unilever.
  • Manufacturers Alpla.
  • Recycling specialist REMONDIS.


Why it matters


As reported here last month, BP Infinia is capable of turning polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic packaging waste – widely used in rigid food packaging – into raw materials to make new recycled PET plastics.  Importantly, it can tackle PET plastic waste that is currently difficult to recycle.


The consortium will combine the capabilities and experience of its members to develop a new circular approach to dealing with PET plastic waste.


Reminder that BP will construct a $25 million pilot plant in the US to prove the Infinia technology, expected to be operational in late-2020.

2. ‘Giving consumers what they want’
Energy illustrated – electric cars

Downstream CEO Tufan Erginbilgic is on a mission to bring low carbon initiatives to the consumer-facing side of BP’s business.


In the past few months alone, he and his team have been busy:

  • Launching BP Infinia, a recycling technology that has the potential to divert billions of PET plastic waste items from landfill.
  • Rolling out ultra-fast electric vehicle charging in the UK.

Read his thoughts on how the shift to lower carbon energy is reshaping every corner of his business.


“I think of the energy transition as the evolution of a business over time rather than ‘old versus new’. The biggest prize is to transform the existing businesses to continue to lead in a low carbon future.”


Tufan Erginbilgic, Downstream CEO

3. EXCLUSIVE: Meet BP Chargemaster’s new CEO
BP's Gordon Birrell

Matteo De Renzi takes the wheel of BP Chargemaster, with plans to accelerate the roll-out of ultra-fast charging across the UK's biggest network.


Matteo brings a wealth of experience from his time at McKinsey, Pirelli Tyres, Goldman Sachs, and, most recently, as ride-hailing company GETT’s CEO for Western Europe.


We caught up with him at our London HQ to hear his plans.


On EV charging, he said:


“BP Chargemaster alone already has 7,500 public charging points, and there are around 8,000 forecourts in total in the UK. So, from one company alone, you have almost enough charging points to cover every fuel site in the country. What’s more, we are putting down hundreds more over the coming months, and many of them will be the newest 150kW, which allow users to charge from 0% to 80% in less than 30 minutes.”


On where BP Chargemaster is headed, he said:


“We want to have the best technical solution available in the market: fast, convenient and reliable. But this alone won’t be enough to win in this space; we also need to offer the best-in-class digital proposition for users, making EV charging fast and hassle-free.”


Next month we’ll have the full interview – Matteo’s first as BP Chargemaster chief.

4. Solar charging in the dark

When the sun goes down, Lightsource BP’s solar plants can still be working to support the national power grid, it announced this month.


Really? Yes! It successfully completed a trial showing how solar plant equipment can be used at night to help improve the efficiency of electricity transmission.


Why it matters


The trial is part of the UK National Grid’s Potential Power project, which could save energy consumers more than £400 million ($510 million) and provide as much as 4 gigawatts of additional generating capacity in the country's south-east region by 2050.


A further development


We’re boosting our share in Lightsource BP from 43% to create a simplified 50:50 joint venture structure with the management of the company, building on the successful partnership we created two years ago.


  • Lightsource BP is now active in 13 countries around the world, more than doubling its global footprint since we joined forces.
5. Ronit sees the light
Speakers at BP's powering the charge conference

Ronit Kanwar’s social enterprise start-up is bringing much-needed light to rural communities in India.     


VIDEO: Watch the 21-year-old’s visit to Bahubandh village in eastern India as he distributes solar lamps to a community with little or no access to a reliable source of light in the evening.


Back story


You may recall Ronit from September’s edition of the Advancing Energy newsletter and how he was inspired to set up Empower energy by his own childhood experience. When visiting his grandparents in Himachal Pradesh, regular power cuts forced locals to choose between hours in the dark or air-polluting kerosene lamps.


Where does BP fit in?


  • Ronit won the BP-sponsored prize in the One Young World Lead2030 Challenge, an initiative supported by a coalition of global businesses.
  • He now has $50,000 and 12 months’ support from a BP mentoring team to develop the initiative further.
  • The aim is to fund and accelerate youth-led innovation designed to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
6. Best of the rest

BP signs agreement with Amazon Web Services to supply renewable energy to its European data centres that power its cloud platform.


The formation of BP Bunge Bioenergia now completeRead all about the business and how biopower is lowering emissions.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the festive season

See you next month for a new year, new decade, and new developments on how BP is advancing energy.  


Words by Paul Saville

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