Bahrain oil sector 'committed to health, environment'
Manama, October 4, 2010
Bahrain has implemented projects worth over $1 billion to address the health, safety and environment issues related to its oil and gas projects, said the kingdom's oil and gas affairs minister.
Inaugurating the SPE 2010 Middle East Health, Safety, Security and Environment Conference & Exhibition, in Manama, Dr Abdul-Hussain Bin Ali Mirza said the conference is being held at a time when the world is just recovering from the shock and aftermath of the Gulf of Mexico incident.
The environmentally friendly projects undertaken in Bahrain in the last five years include the low sulphur diesel project completed in December 2007 at a cost of over $700 million; and the commissioning of the $150 million refinery gas desulphurisation project in 2009. A $120 million waste water treatment contract was signed recently with Korea-based GS Engineering & Construction Corporation, adding up to more than a billion dollars, all focusing on eco-friendly industrial production, said Dr Mirza, who is also the chairman of the National Oil and Gas Authority (Noga).
The conference theme today is topical: ‘Striving for HSE Excellence in a Changing world: Capacity, Energy Demand, Security, World Economy and Social Responsibility’, Dr Mirza said.
The world has changed over the years, and continues to change. There is increased public awareness towards health, safety, environmental and security related topics. This is fuelled by modern communication systems that enable situations, problems, and incidents that occur in one place to be seen alive around the world at the same time. This places more pressure on all the people to do more than ever before to avoid such incidents, he said.
The industry has moved with the times and has introduced new technologies, systems, procedures and legislation, all of which are aimed at enabling a stronger, safer, healthier, cleaner and more efficient environment to the benefit of workers and communities alike. In turn, these initiatives and responses assist companies to become more efficient and financially sound, thus contributing to stable national and world economies.
Protection of environment has always been a major focus of Bapco and its EHS policy integrates the functions of occupational health, industrial safety and environment, Dr Mirza said. A founder member of the Regional Clean Sea Organization (RECSO), the company is in the forefront of technical expertise in oil spill response.
Bapco also recently opened the Princess Sabeeka Park in Awali considered the most beautiful park in Bahrain, for the benefit of local residents and to further add to the greenery, which again shows the environment friendly activities of the company as well as its commitments towards the society.
Bahrain’s Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (GPIC) is also spearheading safety and environment projects. A noteworthy initiative by GPIC is the launch of its $55 million worth carbon-dioxide (CO2) plant, which has the capacity to produce 450 tonnes of CO2 a day.
GPIC is one of the first petrochemical companies in the Middle East to launch a 450 tonnes/day carbon dioxide recovery (CDR) project to cut down Green House Gas emissions, he said.
GPIC’s eco-friendly projects include the 1,500 sq m Charity Garden – to produce fruits and vegetables for needy organizations and families, Fish Farm – to replenish dwindling fish reserves in the territorial waters, Bird Sanctuary – to improve Bahrain’s bird life, Herbal and Medical Plant Garden – to preserve indigenous herbs and plants.
Likewise, the other Noga companies such as Bangas and Bafco, have all won many awards for their endeavours in the field of health, safety and environment, he added. – TradeArabia News Service