AMCHAM T&T H.S.S.E Conference
October 24, 2018
Sponsors’ Remarks by Dr. Philip Mshelbila, CEO, Atlantic
Ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
Atlantic considers it a great honour to be here once again as the title sponsor for AMCHAM’s annual Conference on Health, Safety, Security and the Environment.
The Conference is celebrating a 22-year milestone this year, and we commend the AMCHAM team for your deep resolve to be national and regional champions for H.S.S.E.
I know I speak on behalf of all of the sponsors when I say that we are all grateful to be working beside you. Over the years, one thing this Conference has taught us is that none of us have all the answers, but when we come together we can learn from each other.
This coming together is especially important when you consider the moment that we have come to in human history. Rapid changes in Technology are driving rapid changes in Culture. Whether we are professionals, companies or countries, we can learn from each other’s stories. We can learn how Technology and Culture are interacting in our individual circumstances, and how this interaction is enabling us to achieve Results.
What has occurred right here in Trinidad and Tobago over the last few days, is an immediate example of how technology can connect us together to help one another to bring about results. It was technology that enabled the good work of the Meteorological Office to predict and advise citizens of what to prepare for. The many agencies under the various Ministries, mobilized into action, using technology to keep us all informed and to be out there on the ground bringing relief to those affected. The citizens rescuing and comforting each other – all of us, connected together, driven by a culture of caring during the crisis. While the physical damage is indeed daunting, we must not let it overshadow the kind of generosity, goodwill and compassion displayed by everyday heroes as a result.
So too, there is a relationship between Technology and the Global Energy Business. I want to share a few specific applications of Technology in the LNG business, and how this is helping to reduce costs from a financial and environmental perspective. I will also reference Technology and Corporate H.S.S.E Culture.
Technology and Global Energy
Rapid advances in technology continue to revolutionize and transform every sphere of modern life. From smartphones to smart homes; from Uber to high speed trains; from global call centres to wireless money transfers – technology is pervasive and in many ways the air that we breathe. My teenage children certainly think so, as they seem to live off their phones and wifi.
It is no surprise then that it is a key driver of the global economy. Many of the largest companies in global business are at their core, technology companies. Amazon and Apple have become the world’s first trillion dollar companies, but in many ways, both companies have evolved far beyond their initial core business and have become technology purveyors. This sort of evolution beckons all of our companies and the challenge is finding the right entry points for the internal transformation of our businesses.
Here’s another consideration: technology requires energy. More and more people and companies are able to afford technology. This creates a virtuous circle: increased access leads to increased demand for technology; which leads to increased demand for energy. In other words, technology is a key driver for the global energy business. The challenge is how we manage that demand so that it’s not about more and more energy, but that it’s about more energy efficiency.
Technology is a driver of energy demand; but it is also an enabler of energy efficiency. Quite rightly, therefore, many agencies are calling for new global regulatory standards that will help to drive improved efficiency in all sorts of technologies. If technology uses energy more efficiently, then we will be able to reduce global energy consumption. At the same time, there is also a pressing requirement on energy companies themselves to become more efficient, whether they are producing oil or natural gas.
The challenge falls squarely in the area of Corporate Responsibility: how do we as energy sector companies leverage technology to become more efficient stewards of the resources we are entrusted with?
Companies that strategically invest in Technology and its potential to evolve their processes and systems, see benefits in their corporate performance. They see incremental gains and sometimes quantum leaps in their productivity, reliability and most important of all, in their H.S.S.E. We could therefore use Technology to help us answer at least three additional questions:
(i) How do we keep our employees and our workplaces safer?
(ii) How do we reduce our environmental impact?
(iii) Moreover, how do we become more energy-efficient?
For every company, the answers will be different and indeed some companies may even have more questions. I am sure that many of my fellow sponsors and other companies participating in this Conference will share their own experiences with Technology over the next two days.
Technology in Atlantic’s Business
In the case of Atlantic, technology is a significant enabler of our business and has always been a big part of what we do. Indeed, technology lies at the core of liquefaction, the fundamental process in our business.
At present new challenges are before us and we anticipate new challenges on the horizon. This requires us to embark on new approaches. Therefore, our primary focus in recent times is to evaluate and implement new technology that helps to future-proof our business.
I have heard it said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. The initiatives that we are currently evaluating and working on are doing just that: they help us equip ourselves today to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
So for example, a future reality that we want to create is one where we have Zero Leaks. We therefore want to deploy the relevant technologies and systems that ensure that zero means zero. This means enhanced vigilance of our piping infrastructure through investment in Infrared Thermography Technology. Special infrared cameras that produce real-time thermographs allow our teams to monitor gas activity inside pipes and vessels. Gas activity is not visible to the naked eye and in some situations may even be below the threshold of gas detectors. Thermal imaging allows us to quickly detect and address fugitive emissions, blocked pipes and even minute flaws in electrical connections.
In fact, just a few months ago, right after the earthquake, infrared thermography came to our rescue. We wanted to be absolutely certain that the earthquake had not caused our plant damage that we could not see. Teams armed with infrared cameras went out across the facility and were able to verify that there was no structural damage or loss of containment. This gave us confidence that we could continue to operate the plant safely and sustain production.
Another future reality that we envision is the wide deployment of Predictive Analytics. This will rest on our existing platform of Business Intelligence tools, which provides us with real-time information on the status of the plant. Right here on our smart phones, we are able to receive information that enables decision making, trending and forecasting.
Wireless sensors attached to equipment in our plant send continuous status updates about our machinery to our Business Intelligence platform and also to our plant control systems. We are currently studying how to employ Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance our analysis of the incoming data. AI technology could be a big game changer for us, in light of the tremendous advances made in recent years in data mining, predictive technologies and machine learning. AI could help us spot early equipment failures, or opportunities to improve production, reliability and safety.
Another future reality we are working towards is Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions. One initiative we are exploring would minimize our plant’s use of one of the refrigerants used in our liquefaction process - ethylene. By capturing ethylene emissions and re-injecting them into the liquefaction process, we not only reduce facility costs and operating expenditure, but much more importantly, we help to lower the levels of our G.H.G emissions. Working in conjunction with our upgraded corporate G.H.G calculator, this particular project will contribute significantly to our wider goal to reduce our carbon footprint.
Technology is going to be a big enabler for the next phase of the Atlantic journey.
Technology and Corporate H.S.S.E Culture
Technology solutions firm Asana, was recently named one of the world’s Great Places to Work. This ranking is based on input from the nominated company’s employees, across a number of KPIs measuring their satisfaction with their company. In response to the news, Anne Binder, who is Asana’s Head of People Operations said: “Culture is what drives our business results.” I am sure that resonates with many of you. Ms. Binder is identifying the importance of culture. It is often overlooked in many a company’s corporate strategy. It is instructive for us to remember that culture has often been cited as one of the things that led to the downfall of Enron, a former giant of global energy.
In light of this, those of us who are leaders are responsible to ensure that both Technology and H.S.S.E hold their rightful place in the culture of our companies. Getting everybody on the same page is not automatic – it takes deliberate strategy and consistent execution. Demonstration of this consistency is an obligation of leadership, for when leaders truly lead, people truly follow.
In terms of technology, we have to build corporate cultures where technology is embraced, not feared. In some companies, this fear is very real, especially where millennials work alongside those from earlier generations. Technology should be seen as a necessary tool that helps us achieve results. But to build that understanding, our people must be reassured that we will build their capability, give them the right tools, offer them the right training and provide the right resources and opportunities whenever there is job displacement.
We should all aim to transform our employees and service providers into ambassadors for the values and practices that enable strong H.S.S.E performance. This will create a wider enabling environment inside and outside our respective fences, where strong H.S.S.E performance can be achieved by everyone.
Such an environment becomes the chief result of Technology and Culture working together. In this era where so much has been made possible, we believe that this particular future reality is well within our grasp. I encourage you all to embrace that journey of leveraging technology and creating the right culture to drive results in your business.
In closing, and on behalf of all the sponsors of this Conference, I want to thank AMCHAM for their visionary outlook and for showing true leadership by example. We all wish the Conference every success over the next two days and we join AMCHAM in inviting everyone to participate in as many of the related activities as possible.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your attention.
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