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Alex Grant - Bitumen General Manager

I joined the Company in 2003, after finishing university. I started in logistics, scheduling truck deliveries, and went on to manage that team. After that, I worked in our Retail business, in asset strategy. I was part of the team involved in the divestment of our service station network, I then joined the Management Committee overseeing Supply and was responsible for seeking out and managing various strategic projects across the businesses, along with involvement in our Aviation joint ventures and heading up central purchasing.

What do you do in your current role?

As General Manager of our Bitumen activity since 2019, I lead the business unit across its various disciplines: safety, commercial, operations, technical, supply, etc. This leads to a lot of variety and plenty to do!

What is the most exciting part of your job?

One of the most exciting and important elements of the job is looking forward and setting the direction. The last four years have been challenging. Our market and situation has evolved rapidly and my job is to adapt the business to that evolution. For example, completing the re-modelling of our supply chain following the divestment of our UK refinery. On the technical side, we have the decarbonisation challenge. Bitumen is an interesting product because it’s not burnt to release CO2, can be recycled over and over and can be decarbonised.

Why the energy industry?

At the outset I chose Total (as it was then) rather than the energy industry. I’ve worked in the downstream oil industry, whereas “energy” is obviously broader. I have always found what we do at TotalEnergies to be fascinating - our products and markets, the variety of our activities as a multi-energy Company and the importance of what we do, especially now with the energy transition and need to decarbonise.

Do you feel like you’re making a difference in your job?

As a major player in the UK, TotalEnergies Bitumen offers essential products in Europe and is a major supplier. Most bitumen goes into roads and following many years of under-investment in our roads, we find much of the network in a state of disrepair. We make a difference because our customers need us, and we have a role to play in helping stakeholders use bitumen in a way that is increasingly sustainable.

What is a particular career highlight when you look back at your time in the company?

There are so many memories and highlights – I’ll mention a few projects. In bitumen, the realisation of a fully independent supply chain has certainly been a major achievement. I also led a project a few years ago where we unlocked a huge capacity in the Colnbrook terminal and found a new way for us to supply jet fuel to Heathrow. Returning the TotalEnergies brand to petrol station forecourts started as my idea and project, and it was nice to get over the line, having been involved in the divestment of the activity previously. Being on the Management Committee for over 10 years and now a company Director are also highlights for me.

How has TotalEnergies supported you with your ongoing training and career development?

I have had every opportunity to develop with various training over the years, including in leadership. We rightly speak a lot about technical competence, but soft skills are absolutely key too, at all levels. Our job is to prepare people to take the next step and then support them to do so. There is learning in doing and I think people develop and grow fastest when navigating challenging circumstances. That’s been my personal experience.

What do you think differentiates TotalEnergies?

What we do. Our activities are essential, consequently we have some role to play in most areas of daily life, directly or indirectly. In the context of the energy transition, the Company is changing. There is a climate crisis to address and I think TotalEnergies’ strategy to address this is a source of differentiation. The Company is changing and I believe we are part of the solution. 

What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?

That you are your first and most important career manager, so don’t be passive in that process. You have to make networks, work out and make it known what you want to do and seek out opportunities. This is the key.