Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 2nd 2017 Contents FEBRUARY 2 • 2017 guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | BG7
Energy sector looks to
boost asset integrity
Energy companies developed
their health and safety pro-
grammes more than they have
developed their programmes
which support asset integrity
management. This is one of the
findings of the National Facilities Integrity
The NIFA is an audit done to extend the eco-
nomic life of assets in companies in the energy
sector as well as to minimise accidents. The
report was initiated under the former Energy
Minister Kevin Ramnarine at a cost of $15.6
million. It was initiated due to the oil spills on
December 2013, in La Brea and in July 2014,
Another finding of the report is, that anal-
ysis and trends of health and safety data were
focused on, in more detail, than that of asset
integrity data and analysis.
The findings of the report were disclosed by
Selwyn Lashley, permanent secretary, Min-
istry of Energy and Energy Industries, at a
panel discussion titled, "National Facilities
Integrity Audit and Beyond workshop," on
day three of the Energy conference which
was held between January 23 and 25 at the
Hyatt Regency hotel.
The company that conducted the audit was
DNV-GL and it submitted the audit to the
Ministry of Energy on January 18. The findings
of the NIFA are expected to be reviewed and
submitted to Cabinet for consideration and
approval of a national plan for asset integrity
What is clear, is there is uneveness in the
energy sector when it comes to asset integrity
management systems, said Lashley, adding:
"The equipment audit showed a wide variation
in the apparent management and condition
of the assets across the industry."
The audit stated that there is not enough
information sharing in the industry when it
comes to asset integrity management.
DNV-GL, the company
President and country manager, Graeme Pi-
rie, in an interview with the Business Guardian
after the panel discussion, said he has been
working to develop T&T's energy sector since
2004 . His company has been in T&T since the
National Gas Company was being developed.
DNV-GL is an international technical risk
enterprise, which safeguards life, property and
the environment. It employs 14,500 globally.
The company is a certified verification
agent, the standards used by the Ministry
of Energy have been adopted from DNV and
includes: process, pipelines and structural in-
tegrity. The verification agents who operate
in T&T use the DNV GL standards.
"We actually performed structural verifi-
cation of their (NGC's) offshore assets. We
have maintained a maritime presence in T&T
since the early 80s.
"Many of the vessels operating in T&T are
in DNV's classification. It means we safeguard
the operation of the maritime vessels as they
move eg the fast ferries that go between here
and Tobago, we actual maintain the safety of
these vessels every day."
The water-taxis between Port-of-Spain and
San Fernando is also maintained by DNV-GL.
"A lot of the LNG transportation vessels that
are coming in and out of Atlantic, about 60
or 70 per cent are DNV classification. There-
fore, our surveyors are knowledgeable on the
operation of LNG tankers and the challenges
of maintaining these systems."
The other type of work that DNV does is to
service shipping containers when they dock
on T&T's port.
According to Pirie, the company has the
largest market share providing that type of
DNV-GL also maintains cruiseships when
they dock at local ports.
A senior official at Phoenix Park Gas Processors Ltd (PPGPL)
says when a process plant operates below its capacity that
impacts the plant's asset integrity and presents maintenance
challenges to the equipment.
Ramesh Harrylal, vice-president operations at PPGPL, said
the key issue right for the company's operations "is operating
efficiently at the current gas supply volumes, and pursuing the
company's asset integrity plans to address any maintenance
risks that occur from operating at less than full capacity; and
the resultant challenge of ensuring idle assets are maintained
and are available for use.
"One of the key challenges at the asset integrity level is
really getting our plants being capable of operating reliably
at full capacity and operating efficiently."
Harrylal---who has more than two decades of experience in
the energy sector---delivered the stakeholder address about
PPGPL's operational excellence journey, and the transition from
managing to optimising its asset integrity management (AIM)
programme. This was on day three of the Energy Conference
which was held at the Hyatt Regency hotel.
Harrylal said asset integrity and process safety are important
tools for all energy industries. Explaining why it is prudent
for companies to have a good AIM programme, he added an
asset integrity issue at one of the facilities, can impact other
companies along the supply chain, not just members of the
upstream sector companies but also midstream and down-
stream companies too. This can result in significant loss of
value if such impact is prolonged.
Harrylal has been at PPGPL since 1991 and his background
is in electrical engineering, maintenance and operations . He
also has more than four years working experience in the US.
He said PPGPL is one of the companies within the NGC
group of companies and, therefore, the intent is to collabo-
rate and share PPGPL's knowledge and experience with the
other NGC group companies in order to develop a common
approach to asset integrity. There is also the opportunity to
partner with other companies in the energy sector to share
learnings and best practices.
While Harrylal did not specifically make a suggestion on
the need for importation of gas, he did suggest there was need
for a different, transformative mindset; one that is in tandem
with the factors in the external environment.
"We have to think out of the box and that's where good
leadership comes in. The traditional approach to following
previous systems, true leadership is really thinking out of the
box. I think the NGC Group, via Mark Loquan has signalled
that, and I think that's an option, we have to consider. There
are other countries which are doing it right now."
On the issue of human resource, Harrylal said PPGPL has
always been a "lean" run company and it has not really shed
What is clear, he said, is the need to maintain the bottom-
line of the business so the company can continue to grow and
provide opportunities for its staff.
PPGPL executive: Gas shortage causes maintenance challenge
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