Horizon Terminals places customers at centre of operational best practices

Sep 04, 2017
5 min read
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Yusr Hussain Sultan Al Junaidy, managing director of Horizons Terminals, ENOC Group, speaks to Pipeline Magazine about operational excellence standards at ENOC’s Horizon Terminals

Is there a platform implemented to drive continuous improvements in performance at Horizon Terminals? What are some of the elements of this platform or strategy?

As His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, observed, ‘the race for excellence has no finish line.’ We believe that continuous improvement and enhancement of our performance standards is a pre-requisite in delivering cutting-edge service to our customers.

That is why we have ‘Operations Excellence’ as a central part of our organisational commitment. The ‘Operational Excellence’ team, under the guidance of our senior leadership, focuses on performance review and putting in place clear protocols for continued improvements.

Customer aspirations evolve and as the region’s leading terminal operator, we have to consistently be one step ahead, anticipating new requirements and ensuring that we deliver them.

In line with this, we provide value-added service to our customers in a safe and efficient manner. We build, operate and maintain our terminals to the highest standards and to meet the demands of our customers and all stakeholders.

We balance and prioritise our resources and efforts on the continuous improvement of our assets, processes and most importantly, people. Safe operations are an imperative and we emphasise on upholding the highest standards of safety.

How do you see this affecting operations, revenues and business growth?

Continuous performance improvement contributes to stronger bottom lines, as it enhances operational efficiency and productivity.

A well-designed, well-maintained, efficient and safe operation delivers the best value to our customers and stakeholders. By minimising business interruptions, and providing a faster turnaround in our services, we also add value to our customers’ business; when our customers thrive, so do we.

Which are the areas within operations that are being selected for improvement?

We have defined clear protocols for performance improvement and operational excellence through our technical documents (Guidebooks), and this covers all aspects of the operation – because we believe that every team and every aspect of our work collectively contributes to service excellence. We have established our baseline level of compliance and constantly evaluate it to address any gaps. Our focus is on process safety and process improvements to protect and improve our core services. Primary containment integrity continues to be one of our main areas of focus. This will ensure the prevention of incidents and operational interruptions through improvements to our assets, processes and people.

Alongside, we are implementing automation and process improvements to make our services faster and more robust. Making better use of technology and integrating our work flows with that of our customers reduce waste and maximises benefits while improving process safety performance.

What are the key issues standing in the way of achieving these goals?

A major challenge is balancing priorities and committing resources/people to the right things at the right time. Our terminals are different - of varying age, design, maturity, culture and level of automation. These differences require that our operational excellence program drives and guides us to what must come first for a safe operation and an efficient process, using a risk-based approach.

What is being done to ensure safe, reliable, sustainable and cost-effective operations?

Alongside the assets’ systems and processes we ensure that we have the right people in the right positions. Our professional team ensures that we continue to drive forward and identify and implement the next improvements we need.

We have extensive training, awareness and competency assurance programmes in place that ensure our people are fully in control and know what needs to be done now and for the future.

What impact is the current oil price environment having on your operational drive for improvements?

Oil prices are cyclical, and the key to stay competitive is to focus on how we can ensure long-term operational efficiency and productivity. We therefore remain strong and focused on our development of our operational excellence programmes.

In many of the locations where our terminals operate, the demand for road and aviation fuels continues to grow and our terminals are important parts of the supply chain. We continue to bring operational process improvements for a safe and cost-effective operation, and our operational excellence programme helps deliver this.

Where do you think the UAE’s oil and gas industry stands and is heading in terms of operational excellence?

The UAE is undoubtedly committed to raising standards in the oil and gas industry with a focus on adopting industry best practices. The oil and gas industry in the UAE has matured ahead of its years and has clear operational excellence protocols that are followed by the industry.

On our part, Horizon Terminals and ENOC relentlessly strive to ensure a safe, reliable and sustainable oil and gas sector