Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) Chief Executive Officer has denied that Sohar Refinery had experienced problems during it’s shutdown in February. He has confirmed that the shutdown was due to a maintenance process known as ‘turnaround’ which involves three-yearly full maintenance programmes at its Sohar Refinery and the Polypropylene Plant. During the shutdown period, Orpic imported diesel and oil to the Sultanate.
“The refinery operations average in 2011 and 2012 reached around 90 per cent. Due to its developed industry, the refinery required a regular maintenance and if there was any problem, the management would have done the needful to improve the issues,” stated Musab al Mahrouqi, Chief Executive Officer, Orpic. On environment issues, Al Mahrouqi said the company which has an Environmental Improvement Project running since 2011, said: “We achieved successfully around 65 per cent of the project through emission reduction particularly the torch.” These include about 19 projects costing about $50 million.
With regard to Human Resources, Orpic and Oman Oil has signed an agreement for a co-operative programme. According to the agreement, Orpic will provide an opportunity over the next five years for 50 students — ten students each year — from the region to pursue their undergraduate studies.” The programme aims to select high performing students from schools in the region at the age of 16 years. They will be screened before commencing Baccalaureates in the best private schools in the Sultanate, and those qualifying with highest grades will compete their undergraduate studies in universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale.
Al Mahrouqi also added that the company will provide technical training and development for 500 Omanis over the next five years. This will about 100 trainees a year in the operations and maintenance fields in mechanical, chemical, electrical and electronic engineering and other disciplines related to the company’s operations. They will be given an employment opportunities with the company upon completion of the training phase and passing the required tests. This year the company will provide 20 local Omanis entrepreneurs and contractors with jobs in Orpic commensurate with their qualifications and skills, enabling them to take advantage of opportunities for training and development, he added.
Meanwhile, Orpic also celebrated graduation of the first batch of 103 trainees who completed 18 months and are going to joined the company. The event was held at Crown Plaza, Sohar, was presided over by Rasheed bin Al Safi al Huraibi, Chairman of Tender Board. “This will become an annual one and Orpic is scouting for 100 trainees for the next batch”, Musab al Mahrouqi added. He added that the trainees have been on what for some has been an 18 months course, undergoing training not only in their specific engineering and technical disciplines, but also in more general subjects in order to give them as broad a grounding as possible in oil refinery operations.
The success rate for the graduate and diploma trainees was a highly creditable 100 per cent. The trainees are now set to take up positions within Orpic. Ruwayia Al Maqbali echoed those sentiments, adding: “The training Centre provided us with a programme which really improved our performance and productivity as well as the technical skills that our industrial society needs. We are ready to serve Oman with pride.” He added that as part of the safety for employees, environment and community, there were four key areas which the company focuses on.
These are reducing emissions that are harmful to the environment and compliance with the requirements of the local and global environmental authorities. The second is contributing to the development adding value locally and boosting the local economy. The third pertains to training and technical development projects and lastly the sustainable development projects.