16th June 2016
The American University Beirut (AUB) has dedicated its new Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering to BB Energy founders Baha and Walid Bassatne.
At a prestigious ceremony, which was attended by ambassadors and members of the diplomatic and consular corps, university professors, staff and friends of the family, the ‘Baha and Walid Bassatne Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering’ was unveiled.
BB Energy is one of the world's leading independent energy trading companies. Chairman Baha Bassatne and his brother and company director Walid Bassatne, believe that education will play a fundamental role in the development of the business and that its legacy will be to provide superior education for generations to come. As such, a generous donation was awarded to the AUB.
Senior AUB lecturer, Dr Samir Traboulsi spoke at the event and discussed the four elements which he considered to be intrinsic to the personalities of Baha and Walid Bassatne; “Philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, family ties and passion.”
Fadlo K. Khuri, president of AUB commented: “Chemical and petroleum engineering provides numerous opportunities for sustainable development, and as you have noticed there are many new approaches in Saudi Arabia and Iran for the development of the sector, which is reflected in our duty as a university to fund and support these studies and programs and to strengthen our teachers and our students.
“For all that, I would like to thank the Bassatne family for their wonderful gift that will enable a radical change, which is part and parcel of our perennial academic objectives.”
In 1937 Baha and Walid’s father, Mohamed Bassatne, established a commodities business, trading in items such as grain, sugar and wheat. It was in 1963 that the company started trading in oil and began to grow at pace with both Baha and Walid’s entrepreneurial leadership spotting real opportunity in global energy trading.
Baha Bassatne commented: “The Bassatne family is doing what it can to promote the growth of Lebanon’s offshore oil and gas industry, so that we are able to exploit the opportunities that exist with our own talent, rather than importing knowledge from overseas.
“We want to enable the development and ensure the strength of the department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the AUB for the benefit of our future generations.”
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