PetroKazakhstan commits to employ health and safety, environmental protection

NUR-SULTAN – PetroKazakhstan Oil Products (PKOP) reaffirmed its commitment to the safety and health of its employees as well as to protecting the environment, putting these outcomes among its top goals in a conversation with The Astana Times. The company shared its efforts and achievements in these fields.

Environmental issues are concerning the world more and more each day. Big companies across the globe are trying to minimise their footprints, and PKOP is not falling behind. The company spends more than $2.6 million on environment-related events every year.

The company has implemented many projects as a part of its Modernisation Programme. In December that year, they commissioned a new, 4,000-tonne-per-year sulphur production unit to recycle acid gases. The unit, while keeping sulphur purity at 99.9 percent mass, was able to decrease sulphur dioxide emissions by 21 percent.

A spot loading unit for light petroleum products, commissioned in 2017, reduced hydrocarbon emissions during loading and reduced their share of volatile hydrocarbons by 7 percent. In the same year they launched an Isomerisation unit to produce K4 and K5 standard fuel. This was an important step for Kazakhstan ecology overall, because K4 and K5 standard fuels significantly reduce sulphur anhydride emissions.

A treatment works upgrade improved industrial wastewater treatment efficiency from 76 to 97 percent, and ensuring its equipment was tightly sealed reduced emissions into the atmosphere to 32 percent. Several projects have helped not only decrease water consumption, but also return some used water into fire-fighting systems. This saves 30 percent of the fresh water resources previously used for fire extinguishing. The company has reduced water consumption by 9 to 12 percent depending on the locale.

Another resource the safety of which PetroKazakhstan cares about is its employees. PKOP ensures safety by systematically teaching every employee safety basics, including that occupational safety is the foundation of every job, and that safety should be everyone’s primary goal. Every employee of the company, from workers to department directors, is undergoing occupational safety monitoring.

Every six months, PKOP holds a Safety Day, during which the vice president and the rest plan how to implement health and safety measures. The company gives refinery employees bottled drinking water, dairy products (such as milk, kefir and fermented milk) and special meals to strengthen their health. For safe movement around the refinery, PKOP installed illuminated road signs, safety signs and information boards. It also introduced cycle lanes and provided bicycles for employee use. Electric cars transport employees between refinery divisions.

PetroKazakhstan demands high safety requirements from contractors working on the refinery site as well. Before starting, they need to provide safety and labour protection compliance documentation.

The refinery implemented a corporate rewards programme for employees who report potentially dangerous situations. The programme’s aim is to create a correct attitude to safety, improve awareness and instil safe behavioural skills to identify risks and prevent accidents at the work place. As a part of its Aman project, the company held an art competition among employees’ children, called “A safe parent – a happy child!”

The company has received prizes for its work on worker safety and environmental protection. In 2016, First President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, awarded PKOP the Paryz ecology prize for winning the country’s annual business social responsibility competition. In April, the company took first place in the Exemplary Safe Enterprise category among Shymkent enterprises. National Company KazMunayGaz CEO Forums have recognised the company’s high level of safety with a number of certificates, including “20 years without a death.”