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Shell is investing $ 200 million in The Hague campus

Printed below is an English translation of an article published today by the Dutch Financial Times, Financieele Dagblad

Shell is investing $ 200 million in The Hague campus

The headquarters of Shell in The Hague. Photo: Peter Hilz / HH

Bert van Dijk: 10 Sept 2018

Oil and gas multinational Shell RDSA € 27.20-0.44% will invest more than $ 200 million in a new Shell campus in The Hague in the coming years. It concerns the renovation and expansion of the current monumental headquarters of the company on the Carel van Bylandtlaan. The company also expects to create hundreds of new jobs in the New Energies division in the coming years, the global headquarters of which will be on the new campus. Shell announced this today.

The New Energies branch focuses, among other things, on forms of energy that emit less CO2, such as solar and wind energy and biofuels. The division investigates new commercial models that the company can apply in the global energy transition.

Abolition dividend tax

The announcement of the investment by Shell comes at the moment that there is discussion in the Netherlands about the business climate. The controversial plan to abolish dividend taxation is partly motivated by the conviction of Prime Minister Rutte that this is good for the business climate in the Netherlands and attracting investments.
Shell is one of the companies that is in favor of abolishing the dividend tax. ‘Abolishing dividend tax is important for attracting and retaining multinationals that contribute to investments, jobs and the ecosystem of large, medium-sized and small companies’, Shell wrote in a so-called position paper at the end of last year.

Hundreds of jobs there

Worldwide Shell expects to invest an average of $ 1 billion to $ 2 billion per year in 2020 in this division. Shell’s total investment budget of about $ 25 billion a year is still modest, but Shell wants to expand the New Energy business into a large part of the company in the coming years.

‘Shell New Energies is growing fast’, according to Maarten Wetselaar. He is a member of the board of directors of Shell and responsible for Shell’s gas division and for New Energies. ‘We anticipate a […] growth in the number of high-quality jobs within this segment. In the Netherlands alone, over the past two years, 150 new jobs have been added through acquisitions and organic growth in the Netherlands. We expect that the number of jobs in New Energies in the Netherlands will grow to 500 to 700 jobs over the next five years. And we anticipate further growth in the period thereafter, depending on the opportunities in this market at home and abroad. ‘

Stringing beads

The Netherlands will become the hub from which the company will develop its new energy activities. According to Van Loon, Shell is focusing, among other things, on ‘increasing our wind activities in the North Sea […] and further investments in hydrogen solutions’. Shell is also working on a solar park in Moerdijk and the company is investing in the roll-out of a fast-charging network under the name Shell Recharge.
In 2016 Shell gave a first impulse for the development of its New Energies branch. In that year, the oil and gas company won contracts with partners Eneco, Van Oord and MHI Vestas for a large offshore wind farm off the coast of Borssele. After that, a series of companies was taken over by stringing beads.

Batavian Petroleum Company

For example, in June 2017, the company purchased the American MP2 Energy, which manages a number of gas-fired power plants and solar and wind farms from which it supplies electricity to private individuals and companies. Subsequent acquisitions of charging station operator New Motion and power company First Utiliy followed in Great Britain. Last month Shell invested millions in start-up Ample in Silicon Valley. Ample has, in his own words, developed a technology to charge electric cars quickly.

Shell is invariably mentioned in the corridors as one of the candidates to take over the Dutch energy company Eneco, but the company does not want to indicate whether it is actually interested.

Shell now wants to build a modern campus in The Hague where New Energies will also be housed. The company announced earlier that it would renovate its head office. The monumental building dates from 1917 and is one of the oldest Shell offices in the Netherlands. The building was built at the time by the Batavian Petroleum Company (a forerunner of Shell) built by the Bataafsche Aanneming Maatschappij, a forerunner of the current BAM Group. The current renovation will be carried out again by BAM.

Strengthening Shell Research

Shell also announces Monday that it wants to strengthen its Research & Development activities in Amsterdam. More than 1000 scientists and engineers work at the Shell Technology Center in Amsterdam-North. According to the company, the center has a research and development budget of an average of $ 1 million per day and continues to serve as one of Shell’s three global hubs for innovation. The other two are in Houston.


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