World’s Largest Oil Trader Teams Up With Buffett-Backed EV Maker

  • Sep 22, 2021
  • Investing

The world’s largest independent oil trading house, Vitol Group, has formed a $250-million partnership with Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD to provide EV fleet mobility services in select markets worldwide, the trader said on Wednesday.

Vitol and BYD plan to offer municipal, corporate, and other customers a comprehensive solution including electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, and depot design.

The joint venture is targeting public and private organizations looking to decarbonize their car fleets through electrification, Vitol said in a statement.

Vitol is already in the process of deploying more than 300 electric buses in Bogota, Colombia, and is seeking additional opportunities in South America.

The commodity trader is the latest company in the oil industry, boosting investments in clean energy as governments and businesses worldwide set net-zero emission targets.

Vitol, which handles more than 7 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil and products, has recently invested in a number of green energy projects and initiatives, including in solar and wind energy, bio digester projects across the U.S. converting waste to energy, hydrogen projects, and a massive carbon capture project, Humber Zero, in northeast England.

Backed by Vitol’s VPI Immingham power plant and the Phillips 66 Humber Refinery, Humber Zero is a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project on the south bank of the Humber Estuary. Earlier this year, VPI and Phillips 66 pledged initial investments in the project to develop the technology to capture and safely store carbon created by the Immingham industrial cluster.

In April, Vitol said it had bought a 10-percent equity interest in Gen2 Energy, a Norwegian producer of green hydrogen, for an undisclosed sum. Gen2 Energy aims to use Norway’s surplus hydroelectric power to produce green hydrogen, which will be transported and sold to customers principally in Europe.

“Hydrogen will be a core component of the energy mix of the future and key part of the path to net-zero,” Chris Bake, Managing Director, Vitol, said at the time.