[Women Leading Change at TotalEnergies Marine Fuels] Louise Tricoire: Decarbonization is not an option, it’s a must
Blog Article - May 17, 2023
From Panama to Paris, Bucharest to Brazil, Italy to India, Louise brings a wealth of experience from her past 20 years at TotalEnergies to her new challenging role as the head of TotalEnergies Marine Fuels. She has been tasked with driving the transformation of the business unit from a conventional bunker supplier to an innovative provider of a suite of alternative fuels in support of the shipping industry’s decarbonization needs.
It is a role Louise is uniquely placed to fill. She had spent the previous three years up until 2022 leading the team that crafted TotalEnergies’ first plans to cut its direct greenhouse gas emissions.
“That was really exciting because I had to create a practice and team from scratch and it was really the time when the company started elaborating concretely on its climate objectives and plans to decarbonize,” Louise recalls. “I felt strongly that the strategy of the company was also good for the planet.”
Louise recently spoke at the Singapore Maritime Week 2023, at a panel discussion on Accelerating Decarbonization, where she shared on TotalEnergies Marine Fuels’ take on the future shipping fuels mix.
When she took the reins of TotalEnergies Marine Fuels in September last year, the business unit had already begun to diversify from strictly conventional marine fuels. Its two chartered LNG bunkering vessels in Rotterdam and Marseille – the Gas Agility and Gas Vitality – had begun operations in 2020 and 2022 respectively, while in Singapore a number of marine biofuel trials were underway.
But the pace is only quickening under Louise’s leadership: Having transitioned the Singapore biofuels trials it conducted throughout 2022 into a term contract with Hapag-Lloyd and a commercial offering at the start of 2023, the business unit concurrently launched similar trials in France. Meanwhile, a third LNG bunkering vessel – Brassavola – is due to begin commercial operations in Singapore, the world’s busiest bunkering hub, later this year.
While the commercial team is busy creating the supply chains necessary to create new LNG bunker hubs in the United States and Middle-East, other departments in the entity are working on cross-industry ventures to get low-carbon ammonia, methanol and other hydrogen-based e-fuels off the drawing board too.
“It’s a matter of our future and at the heart of our growth,” Louise says of these activities. “We must develop low carbon fuels, it’s not an option, it’s a must. This is not just the strategy of the company. The good thing is, the whole industry is moving towards this. So, we are aligned with our company, we are aligned with the industry, and we are aligned with our own convictions.”
HONESTY, TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY
To manage her diverse teams through the changes TotalEnergies Marine Fuels is undergoing and to keep the staff at peak form to reach their ambitious goals, Louise takes a collegiate approach.
“We have to think collectively: we need transparency and solidarity between ourselves and I want people to say what they have to say. One can make mistakes, but we must learn from our mistakes. We are all adults after all, so we need responsibility and accountability. We’re a small entity with a high ambition, each person must play their part and be engaged in their area of responsibility.” she says.
It’s a ‘Work Hard, Play Together’ attitude for the 50 members-strong team at TotalEnergies Marine Fuels!
These are the values and ethos that Louise says characterises her leadership which she has picked up along her two decades at the French energy major. Starting in Paris as an project manager, she spent eight years between Romania (learning the language in the process) and Panama, where she developed new business opportunities across Latin American and the Caribbean, before returning to headquarters for five years.
She particularly enjoyed the high-octane world of business development, especially large deals she worked on for many months in Brazil and India. In that time also, however, she encountered and learnt how to deal with stress and challenges. One of her key mantras is to share the burden and talk about her difficulties and problems with peers, mentors, bosses.
“Very often, other people don’t have the same difficulties as you and you realize, where you may see a mountain (of challenges), other people see solutions.”
“Over the years, I have learnt how to ‘de-dramatise’ and take a deep breath,” she continued. “I think it comes with age and maturity. And I know I need to be well in my shoes, preserve my life with my kids and husband as well as my hobbies, and be in good health, to be able to cope with difficulties in the day-to-day life.”
Louise shared her experiences with the team during a Breakfast Talk session by TWICE, TotalEnergies Women’s Initiative for Communication and Exchange, for which she is the country sponsor in Singapore.
Along the years, she has seen other women in leadership roles which has helped her to find inspiration and a sense of community with her female peers. Nevertheless, she says, “I have always been myself and I have never really projected myself into a role model”. To young women looking to work in the energy industry, Louise says:
“This is an industry that is going through major changes and answers a primary need across the world. It is made up of a lot of people and very diverse expertise. There is definitely room for women; there is even a need for women. It’s very exciting. I really encourage women to come and join us on this very exciting journey.”