Energy companies win honours at S&P Global Platts Global Energy Awards


Energy companies from 11 countries, across four continents received honours for leadership, innovation and exemplary performance at the 21st annual S&P Global Platts Global Energy Awards, often described as the ‘Oscars’ of energy.

And the winners are …

Winning “Energy Company of the Year,” full-stream provider Baker Hughes was lauded by the independent judging panel for “all-around excellence” in executing a total technology-driven energy strategy. One that not only helps its customers improve energy efficiency, but that commits Baker Hughes’ own operations to net-zero carbon-equivalent emissions by 2050.

The judges said the company combined the “enthusiastic spirit of a start-up” with “considerable resources.” Baker Hughes also captured the Award of Excellence for LNG, with judges noting its “global collaboration and sharing of technology in a difficult environment.” 

NuScale Power’s first-mover prowess caught the judges’ eyes, for this year’s “Emerging Technology of the Year.” The judges noted the company’s development of a small “self-protecting,” modular nuclear reactor with pressurized water reactor technology that combines reactor vessel, steam generator and high-pressure steel containment in a single, simplified unit. Judges believe the modular technology could “radically cut the cost of new nuclear builds.” 

CEO of the Year honours went to Vicki Hollub, president and chief executive officer of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, who oversaw, among many things, the acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum.

“She’s not afraid to challenge bigger companies, and she doesn’t shy away from a fight,” praised one judge.

The panel was impressed with Hollub’s demonstrated “conviction and decisive action,” which had the Houston, TX corporation completing its strategic cash-flow-breakeven plan six months ahead of schedule and committedly prioritising climate change and carbon emissions reduction. 

Paula Gold-Williams, President and CEO of Texas-based CPS Energy took Chief Trailblazer of the Year honors. Judges applauded her active and visible commitment to customer and community for more than 30 years and her achievement of becoming the nation’s first female African American CEO for a US utility company in 2016.

Describing her as a “true trailblazer, a motivator, and a dynamo,” judges noted that CPS customers’ combined energy bills rank among the lowest of the nation’s 20 largest cities. 

Smart Energy International spoke with Gold-Williams ahead of DISTRIBUTECH 2020, where she is the keynote speaker. Be sure to read the interview in our next edition.

The meteoric rise from start-up in 2011 to now India’s largest renewable power producer, impressed judges when selecting India’s ReNew Power for Rising Star Award: Company. From its inception through 2018, data shows ReNew’s growth has outpaced India’s renewable energy growth as a whole and it has experienced near-doubling of operational capacity in each of the past three fiscal years.

Rising Star Award: Individual was bestowed upon two equally qualified winners in this hotly-contested category:  Kuwait Petroleum International’s Mai Al-Eisa and Yoven Moorooven of ENGIE Africa. Al-Eisa, a chemical engineer with MBA, won particular judges’ plaudits for role-model-worthy “success in a region that’s historically challenging for women in leadership roles.” For more than 20 years in the Kuwaiti oil sector, Al-Eisa has successfully helmed multinational teams on strategic megaprojects, judges said, ‘earning a lot of trust.”

Regarding co-winner Moorooven, judges pointed to his first-year achievement of ENGIE’s “strong revenue growth,” saying Moorooven “established himself at a young age, developing experience and responsibility in multiple industries quickly,” and appears to be on path to laying the foundation for further development in the region.

India-based Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) took the 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility Award for “Diversified Programme” honours, for going “above and beyond,” according to judges.

The company-stated mission of developing “social wealth” in its communities has resulted in the company “stepping beyond the mandatory provisions.”

ONGC has aggressively targeted its corporate social responsibility budget at more than 4,000 projects aimed at positively affecting society. Judges said ONGC differentiated itself as a “clear winner” in the category, in process of producing positive and “deep impacts” in India in the areas of hospitals, sanitation and child- and elder-healthcare.  

The 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility Award for “Targeted Programme” went to PERU LNG, operator of South America’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant. Judges heralded its initiative to educate local governments to ‘better manage resources,” particularly in impoverished regions. Judges were also impressed that its cooperation with Universidad del Pacífico, helped municipalities strengthen management skills and access approximately $13 million in public funding that went to such things as water, sewage and basic sanitation units, as well as construction of and improvements to health facilities and schools.

Lifetime Achievement Honours

The 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award went to Caren Byrd, managing director of Morgan Stanley’s Global Power and Utility Group, one of Morgan Stanely’s first female investment bankers. Saying Byrd has “stood the test of time” for nearly five decades, judges heralded her career-long focus on bettering electric utilities and distinguishing herself in male-dominated industries. 

The programme bestowed 23 awards to companies and individuals before nearly 500 energy and finance executives, at a black-tie ceremony at Cipriani South Street in New York. 

Martin Fraenkel, president of S&P Global Platts said: “This year’s programme is a true reflection of the future of the energy industry. Finalists and winners are rethinking traditional businesses and demonstrating an infusion of new ideas, which importantly incorporate sustainability in their technology-driven transformations and strategies. All are to be congratulated.”   

Murray Fisher, head of commercial events, Americas, S&P Global Platts, and director of the Global Energy Awards programme continued: “2019 brought continued evolution and increased diversity within the energy industry, evidenced by the rise of senior women leaders, who have won in every individual category of the Global Energy Awards. We find this particularly encouraging.”

S&P Global supports increasing women’s participation in the global workforce through its #ChangePays campaign.