SASREF wins Emerson's Reliability Programme of the Year award

Emerson's annual Reliability Programme of the Year award recognises organisations for improving operations through adoption of Top Quartile reliability strategies.

Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. (Image courtesy: SASREF)
Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. (Image courtesy: SASREF)

Emerson presented its annual Reliability Programme of the Year award to the Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery (SASREF) at the 2017 Emerson Global Users Exchange in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US.

The award was the culmination of a multi-year reliability effort across their 305,000 barrels per day refinery in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. In just three years, SASREF increased mechanical availability from 96% to nearly 98%, putting them in the Top Quartile for one of the industry’s most important benchmarks.

SASREF launched its Reliability Excellence Transformation programme in 2014, seeking to create more bottom-line business value for the facility that was originally built in 1985 by infusing a reliability and performance culture across the organisation.

“People are the most important asset. None of this transformation is possible without having or investing in people,” said Yahya Ail Hamdi, engineer, maintenance strategy, SASREF. “The folks at the Top Quartile are there and they stay there because they are improving and keep developing. We are committed to continuing learning and improving.”

Part of that programme leveraged automation and digital tools and extensive training programmes to help its digital workforce detect and resolve issues earlier.

“By putting the right capabilities in front of their digital workers and reliability teams, they were able to increase the productivity and expertise of their digital workforce and drive overall business value by improving the overall availability of their refinery,” said Thomas Waun, general manager of Emerson’s newly launched Operational Certainty Consulting group.

By establishing new reliability organisations, moving from reactive to predictive maintenance, and improving work processes, SASREF mitigated 98% of threats to availability and reduced maintenance costs by 13.5%.

Emerson’s Reliability Programme of the Year award recognises specific sites and reliability teams that are continually improving their reliability culture and programmes and reflect the principles and values of Emerson’s Top Quartile strategy.

The other nominees were Gwinnett County Water Resources that is responsible for providing water services to 900,000 customers in Lawrenceville, Georgia, US, and TNB Janamanjung Sdn. Bhd. (TNBJ), a power plant located on a man-made island that is responsible for 20% of the power in the Malaysian peninsula.

“Reliability is a core strategy in our Top Quartile initiative. All of these companies reflected a strong desire to stand above their peers in reliability and did so with effective strategies that blended changes to people, processes and technologies,” concluded Waun.

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