Amelia Rentzios

Head of Operations, Hiringa Energy

Young Executive of the Year finalist, 2019

Amelia’s career began in chemical engineering at L’Oréal in New York. In quite a contrast, she went on to join the energy sector at Shell in the Netherlands, working in production operations and overcoming the challenges of a male-dominated industry. This role aligned with her strengths and passion of communicating technical challenges, solving problems and leading in a fast paced, chaotic environment.

Amelia moved to OMV’s Maui asset in 2016, New Zealand’s second-largest supplier of gas with a strong regional business presence in Taranaki. As Plant Manager, she was responsible for the delivery of the plant, execution of maintenance and project work and the development of the team. It was in this role that Amelia was a finalist for Young Executive of the Year in the 2019 Deloitte Top 200 awards.

Since the awards, Amelia has followed her passion for the energy transition, joining hydrogen energy company Hiringa Energy as Head of Operations, a business that is redefining the future of green energy infrastructure and transport fuels.

What was it that inspired you to enter the Deloitte Top 200 awards?
I was nominated by our leadership team to apply. After I learned more about the awards, I was inspired by the opportunity the awards process gives to reflect on my career in a way that I hadn’t considered before. It’s an opportunity to put yourself out there, in a space that’s bigger than just your own industry and bigger than the bubble you’re used to operating in. Without having that prompted, I wouldn’t have necessarily got to that way of thinking. It really pushed me outside of my comfort zone!

How do you think your involvement in the awards has helped you along your career journey?
The awards really prompted me to reflect on my achievements to date and where I wanted to go. One of the questions was about where you see yourself in the next five years. Having to write that down – and put it out to the public – held me accountable to be really authentic about what it was that I wanted to do. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that I want to be part of the energy transition with a stronger influence than I already had. It was a lot of self-reflection, but also a prompt for action for me to push forward and really work on where I want my career to be, and then act on it.

It is an exciting time for hydrogen. What are you most looking forward to over the next year?
Part of launching a new industry includes rolling out New Zealand’s first hydrogen refuelling stations and network. We are also bringing in trucks that will be run by hydrogen fuel cells, decarbonising a really hard to decarbonise part of industry, and making a big impact in terms of overall emissions reduction. In my role I get to define what this looks like as we move from start-up phase into commissioning and then an operating company. That whole experience people will have in the coming years when they come to fill their cars, trucks, boats or planes with hydrogen is what I get to work on.

What would you say to another young executive considering applying for this award this year?
Don’t hesitate – just go for it. Put yourself out there, you will learn so much about yourself and so much about your own industry and about New Zealand business. Don’t hold back. Just do it!

Considering applying? Find out more about the Young Executive of the Year award today!