bpSA celebrates 100 years in South Africa

bp Southern Africa (bpSA) notches up one hundred years of fueling South Africa this month, on 9 May 2024 to be precise, and will use the milestone to refresh and re-energise for the next century and beyond.

A programme of centenary events is planned over the coming months to thank employees, partners, dealers and stakeholders and inspire them with the global group’s purpose of “reimagining energy” on the path to Net Zero. Select communities will also get to share in the festivities when the energy company settles students’ outstanding university fees, details of which will be announced soon. Customers will also walk away with various goodies at bp filling stations as an appreciation for their patronage.

To signal its commitment to a long-term future in South Africa, bpSA has designed a special 100-year identifier, in which the double zero has been converted to the well-known “lazy eight” sign for infinity.

“From our forecourt to our partners in retailing, storage and distribution, we are dedicated to remaining a forward-looking, responsible and effective steward of South Africa’s energy supply networks for as long as the country needs us,” CEO Taelo Mojapelo says.

Over the past 100 years, bpSA has evolved from the Atlantic Refining Company of Africa, incorporated in 1924, to the well-known brand seen today on all South Africa’s major highways and urban areas. Its varied history has included refining fuel and coal mining (both of which it has now exited), as well as groundbreaking black economic empowerment deals. It has willingly taken on its responsibility to help with education, skills, enterprise development and transformation of the local energy sector.

Among some of the highlights of the past 100 years are that bpSA was the first local oil group to beat the government’s deadline for a lead abatement strategy for fuels; one of the first in its sector to implement a BEE deal by forming a JV company managed and controlled by historically disadvantaged South Africans (Masana Petroleum Solutions); and the first international oil company in South Africa to appoint a female CEO.

To guide the next stage of bpSA’s journey, its leadership has drawn up a strategic roadmap for the long term. Its goals are, firstly, to expand and high-grade the portfolio of over 500 service stations, while growing the number of forecourts owned by black entrepreneurs or run by black franchisees. Secondly, it intends to redefine convenience retailing by upgrading and expanding its forecourt offerings. Thirdly, it is working on optimising its supply model, by implementing a robust, integrated product and supply chain that will drive topline growth.

bpSA’s strategy fits into the global group’s broader focus on reimagining energy, as bp pivots from being an international oil company that produces resources to an integrated energy company that delivers solutions for customers. By focusing on resilient hydrocarbons; convenience and mobility; and low carbon energy, bp is ensuring that it remains relevant to future generations by adapting to an evolving market and the needs of people and the planet.