“Shell wants to assist building a thriving energy industry in partnership with the Albanian Government”
FIAA: What is your role and background?
Mr. D’Souza: Earlier this year, I was delighted to be appointed as the Country Chairman and Commercial Manager for Shell’s activities in Albania. I have previously lived and worked in numerous countries around the world including in Africa, Asia and Australia across nearly all of Shell’s business’s: Upstream, Integrated Gas, and Downstream.
What are your impressions of Albania?
I was thrilled at what a beautiful and pleasant country Albania is to live in. The country has incredible natural beauty that will undoubtedly make Albania a tourist haven. But perhaps the most notable thing is the positive transformation we see in Tirana itself – improving infrastructure and a thriving atmosphere. From a Shell perspective, we are also committed to the development of this beautiful country.
What is Shell’s upstream project in Albania?
Shell is currently appraising an oil and gas prospect called Shpirag near the city of Berat. We operate under a contract with the Albanian government. As a part of that Shell puts significant amounts of dollars upfront to fund the exploration and development – with significant risk to Shell as it is exploration after all. In the chance that we are successful, the benefit is then significantly shared with the Albanian Government.
How is your working relationship with the Government?
We are delighted by the very close partnership we have with the government and the support the government gives to our development. Our partnership however is more than just sharing profits in a successful exploration effort. We as Shell want to assist build a thriving energy industry in partnership with the government.
What are your expectations from the Albanian Government in their mission to improve the business climate further?
Wherever we do business our guiding values are: honesty, integrity and respect to people. These are principles we also apply in our work with the government of Albania and I am looking forward to progressing further our working relationship in the future.
I would like to emphasize that we also speak to other foreign investors. As an Anglo-Dutch company we in particular talk to British and Dutch companies who are thinking about investing in Albania and who see our example of how contracts and business can be successfully progressed. We hope that this example encourages further investment in country.
How else does Shell support local communities?
Across our operations we invest in projects that benefit communities. We aim to make our social investment projects beneficial to the nearby society in measurable ways and to be sustainable beyond Shell’s involvement. Where possible, and when it makes economic sense, we buy goods and services from local suppliers and provide support to develop local businesses and skills. In Albania, we focus on four main things: Education and Vocational training, Road Safety, Health and Support for developing SME businesses. We are thankful of the warm welcome we get from our local communities and look forward to continuing to grow together.