In a truly unique achievement for the United Power Company (UPC), the company recently announced that their Manah Power Plant located near Nizwa has successfully completed over 7,000 Loss Time Incident (LTI) free days.
About three years ago, Manah celebrated 6,000 incident free days; which at that time was considered the highest on record for a gas turbine power generation facility in the GCC states. The current milestone is a continuation of the excellent worker health and safety standards applied by UPC and the Manah Plant operator, STOMO (Suez-Tractebel Operation and Maintenance Oman LLC), standards which are applied to the entire gamut of activities encompassing operations and maintenance of the plant.
Murtadha Ahmed Sultan, Chairman of UPC says, “A total record of 7,000 days or over 19 years of continuous operation with an LTI incident, makes this a significant milestone for both the plant crew and our clients. Safety in every aspect of operations is the top priority of the Company. United Power Company is actively involved in the safety protocols of its operator STOMO, and participates regularly in both safety walks and safety committee meetings. I would like to congratulate everyone involved who has made this milestone possible.”
Mr. Zoher Karachiwala, CEO of UPC commented on the accomplishment, “UPC maintains and complies with the highest industry standards of health and safety and our operations at the Manah Power Plant are reflective of the strict guidelines which are adhered to. I would also like to take this opportunity to personally congratulate every employee, stakeholder and contractor who has made it possible for us to achieve over 7,000 LTI free days – with a special mention to SOGEX who were the plant operators from 1996 until 2009 and STOMO (a group company of ENGIE (previously GDF Suez) who have since taken over plant operations and ongoing maintenance. We are confident that with their continuous support, this number will surely rise in the future.”
The Manah Power Station, which commenced operations in September 1996, broke new ground as it was the first privately owned and operated gas turbine power plant in Sultanate of Oman and the first privately owned power generation facility to interconnect with the country’s national power grid. This model of private power generation companies partnering with the Government of Oman has set the benchmark for which all other power plants in the Sultanate have since been commissioned.
Ahmed Al Jahdhami, CEO of Oman Power And Water Procurement Co. (OPWP) noted, “We are very proud of this big achievement by UPC. It shows the leadership of the Board and Management in embedding the HSE culture at all levels. We celebrate this success for the whole sector and wish UPC all the best in achieving a further 1,000 safe days and more.”
He added, “We believe this is a unique safety record in the power sector and quite possibly across the entire GCC,”
Health and safety are of paramount priority in the power sector and statistics have shown that the Manah Power Station demonstrates a consistent record of excellence in this regard.
Qais Al Zakwani, Executive Director and Member of the Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER) commented, “From the Authority’s perspective, we have a broader view on what is good performance, as we can easily compare between companies. When we come across something like this, we know how hard it has been to achieve it. I hope we can use the lessons learnt in UPC to share with other companies in the sector.”
He further mentioned, “If someone tells us 7,000 LTI free days is an impossibility, we know it is not true. It has been achieved by UPC and should be possible elsewhere as well. I applaud the entire team who have contributed to this achievement.”
Mike Maudsley, General Manager of STOMO added, “All of us at STOMO are very proud of the hard work and commitment to health and safety provided by the staff over the last year and are particularly pleased with this milestone. STOMO constantly demonstrates a firm commitment to the health and safety of its employees and the provision of safe working environments. All managers have completed IOSH Managing safely training and all are attending the rigorous NEBOSH IGC training programme. Furthermore, all plant workers will be attending the IOSH ‘Working Safely’ course while INSTINCT Health and Performance coaching is also completed every year by every employee.”
“STOMO new assets Barka 3 and Sohar 2 are following closely in the footsteps of Manah as both plants have recently celebrated 1,500 LTI days since construction, while Sohar 1 recently received a RoSPA Bronze aware for Health & Safety.” He added.
STOMO, who undertake operations at the Manah Power Plant are certified for ISO 14001 Environmental Management System and OHSAS 18001 for Health and Safety Management across all six plants it operates in the Sultanate. The involvement of all personnel at the Plant in Safety has reaped significant dividends, as is evident from the record achievement.
STOMO has instituted an online H&S monitoring system, Intelex, which enables real time tracking of all safety related observations and ensures that these are attended to at the earliest possible. Regular audits by its main shareholder and “Fresh Eyes” observations by personnel from other Plants enhances the quality of safety at the Plant, as also re-focuses the importance of maintaining safety systems, to all Plant employees.
Mr. Karachiwala stated, “We have successfully completed 19 safe years of operations. Besides the operators and contractors directly responsible for the work at the Manah Plant, we are highly grateful to AER, who have been a source of guidance, particularly in the context of Health & Safety. We also thank OPWP who have supported us on various Health, Safety and Environment related initiatives.
He added, “Going forward we are committed to maintaining this record and to ensure highest standards of safety till handing over of the plant and related assets to the Government, on completion of the term of the PPA which is in 2020.”