Jeremy Weir

Turn­ing over a new leaf

The Africa Report - - BUSINESS -

Trafigura is a ma­jor global player in oil and nat­u­ral gas trad­ing. Weir took over as chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer at the Geneva-head­quar­ted com­modi­ties trader af­ter founder Claude Dauphin re­tired in 2014. An Aus­tralian ex­ec­u­tive with ex­pe­ri­ence in ge­ol­ogy and bank­ing, Weir’s lead­er­ship style con­trasts with that of his high-fly­ing pre­de­ces­sor. Weir says Trafigura is fight­ing against the opac­ity that has marked the com­mod­ity-trad­ing sec­tor. In May 2016, he told The Busi­ness Times: “To turn around and say we’re a pri­vate com­pany and you don’t want to know much about us – we think that’s in­cor­rect.” Trafigura joined the Ex­trac­tive In­dus­tries Trans­parency Ini­tia­tive in Novem­ber 2014 and now reg­u­larly re­ports on the pay­ments it makes to gov­ern­ments. Like its Swiss com­mod­ity-trad­ing peer Glen­core, Trafigura is pur­su­ing a strat­egy of ver­ti­cal in­te­gra­tion by buy­ing up min­ing as­sets. In Fe­bru­ary, it bought a stake in the Ter­rafame nickel and zinc mine in Fin­land. Africa is a key mar­ket for Trafigura, typ­i­cally ac­count­ing for about 25% of its rev­enue, ac­cord­ing to com­pany doc­u­ments. Trafigura co-owns Puma En­ergy, which trades and dis­trib­utes fuel, with An­gola’s state-owned oil com­pany So­nan­gol. Af­ter the 2006 Probo Koala scan­dal in Côte d’ivoire – where 500tn of toxic waste from a Trafigura ves­sel was dumped at the port of Abidjan – the com­pany has fo­cused on im­prov­ing its global im­age with en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity projects. But the com­pany still has room to im­prove, ac­cord­ing to Swiss non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion Pub­lic Eye, which pub­lished a re­port last year show­ing that Swiss petrol traders like Vi­tol and Trafigura are dump­ing poor qual­ity fuel in African mar­kets. H.B.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Botswana

© PressReader. All rights reserved.