This Executive Talk was honored by Mr. Chokchai Atsawarangsalit, Acting Senior Executive Vice President, Corporate Management and Sustainability Development to discuss how Bangchak Corporation Plc. (“the Company”) manages under the COVID-19 outbreak.
Q: Recently, we have been facing both the COVID-19 outbreak and the oil price war. Would you please talk about the direction of the oil price on how it is going to be?
A: After OPEC reported that the oil production will be reduced by approximately 10 MBBL/day during May and June, accounting for 10 percent of global oil demand in the past period, such reduction may not yet sufficiently solve the problem of oversupply during this COVID outbreak which the global demand would probably decline by approximately 20-30%, causing the crude oil prices to slightly drop.
Q: Back to the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the Gross Refining Margins (GRM) as well as road travelling decline, how has the Company reacted to such situations?
A: This outbreak has direct impacts on both domestic and international travelling as well as the Company's businesses of refinery and retails. The refinery is affected by the GRM and the stock loss. The first thing we managed was the safety in terms of employees’ health by reducing the chance of becoming infected. Most of the office workers have been starting to work from home since late March. Regarding the refinery in which the production cannot be stopped, it has to be run for 24 hours as oil is a fundamental factor and is related to national security. However, we have been closely looking after all the employees including the preparation for protective equipment as well as taking them back to their accommodation directly from the refinery in order to reduce the chance of getting infected, Moreover, the accommodation has been prepared within the area of refinery so that in case of a more severe outbreak, the employees can stay at the refinery. Another management was to arrange the employees into groups of A, B and C so that they can work for another if one of the groups gets infected.
Q: The internal management seems to be very systematic. How to handle the gas stations dealing with external customers?
A: Regarding the services of gas stations, since we have BBGI, a subsidiary company producing ethanol together with over 1,200 service stations nationwide, the Company would be able to help the society after the government allowed an ethanol production plant to either produce an alcohol-based sanitizer or use ethanol as a raw material for alcohol gel. The Company produced and donated alcohol gel to people who are in need such as medical personnel and hospitals as well as the Royal Thai Army to produce as antiseptic solutions for cleaning all the places to be safe for everyone.
With the hope that this would help reduce expenditures during this crisis, free alcohol-gel refilling was also provided at more than 200 gas stations. On April 6th, alcohol liquid has been being sold at gas stations in Bangkok at the price that is 2-3 times cheaper than the market price. Then on April 10th, it has been expanded into the metropolitan area and should cover all the provinces by the end of this month.
Q: Lastly, please give some words to encourage everyone to move on and get through this crisis.
A: During this crisis, it could be considered as an opportunity for many organizations to use both resources and knowledge to overcome the crisis. For us, it is easy. We need to take care of ourselves and "Stay home, Stop the Disease, for the Nation".
Mr. Chokchai Atsawarangsalit
Acting Senior Executive Vice President, Corporate Management and Sustainability Development
Bangchak Corporation Public Company Limited