Total teamwork ensures investment in the future of Lindsey Oil Refinery

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 17 Jan 2017

LINDSEY Oil Refinery's good operating performance through the major restructure has seen the money generated in 2016 secured for reinvestment.

A huge project to halve capacity has been completed, and now the focus is on improving the quality of products as it embarks on a leaner, more efficient future.

The efforts over nearly two years since the downsizing announcement have been acknowledged at Total Group level.

Three awards have been received, recognising operational performance, innovation and team work, with general manager Jacques Beuckelaers underlining the trust in the North Killingholme refinery team from Paris.

Mr Beuckelaers, who has led the FIT – Future in Total project, said: "What is a real highlight is that after the hard work of the last three to four years at Lindsey Oil Refinery by everyone, Total staff and contractors, we have received positive recognition from headquarters. It is a worldwide honour within the group's refining and chemicals portfolio for improvements we have made on availability. It was the best progress seen in reliability and availability."

A group of employees from across the site represented LOR in Paris, and were sat with Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanné.

"We had a good year, we achieved all our objectives, and I am really very thankful for my teams. We can be proud of what we have achieved, we worked very hard on multiple targets and objectives and in the end, if the teams achieve all objectives, the refinery manager is a happy man."

TLOR has also ensured future investments are financed, while covering capital investments made to streamline the plant over the past year. It has resulted in a best-performing furnace across the whole group, as the teams look forward to an uninterrupted run in 2017.

"We made a positive contribution, had a good operating result, and even better to know that all this money we gained this year we invested in the future of the refinery; the turnaround and the renovation on the crude unit" Mr Beuckelaers said.

Planning is underway for two projects looming in 2019 and 2020, with the remaining £20 million outlined in the restructure to be used, with £13 million invested this past year on the furnace of crude unit two.

Two of the main units will be changed, with the hydrodesulpherisation unit (HDS3) and the fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) to be adapted to make cleaner, lighter fuels. Work within this sphere brought the innovation accolade.

"This will position the refinery even better," Mr Beuckelaers said. "The capacity is there, and we will improve certain processes to make better quality products.

"It is not the intention to make more products, but to make better products.

"It is very good we have got the money, the green light for the investment in the future of the refinery. We are here for the long term, we have the trust of headquarters. In 2017 we now have to continue as we did in 2016. There is no turnaround, the refinery is there to operate, safely, reliably and to make money to return to the Total Group.

"There is a commitment to this area and the region. Headquarters is confident in the future of the refinery, as I am, because we have delivered our commitment to improve. Another reason to be confident is the fact that long term customers and new customers stay with us, they recognise and appreciate good service, good products. We have a place here in the UK market."

Further work includes automation of the Killingholme Road Loading Facility and a new control room for the offsites area.

A year of tough targets, training and top safety

GROUP RECOGNITION:  The dedicated Lindsey Oil Refinery team receives the Total Group Availability Award.

MORE than 30,000 hours of training and 300 days without injuries were key highlights in a transformative year underpinned by clear objectives at Total Lindsey Oil Refinery.

As 2015 came to a close, general manager Jacques Beuckelaers announced that the huge headcount reduction – virtually one third of the workforce at the time – would be achieved without a single compulsory redundancy.

It was part of the decision to take the North Killingholme plant down to a single stream.

The innovation accolade returns to the refinery.

So far, the 580-strong team that were employed when the plan was formally adopted has been reduced to 480, with a huge training programme ensuring those taking new roles are ready. By the end of this year, as succession work is realised, that will be 420.

"We stopped the crude distillation unit 1 at the end of September, according to schedule as per our commitment, and we are now a refinery better fitted and suited to the inland sales we see in the UK," Mr Beuckelaers said. "We did the restructure without forced redundancies, the objective was to prepare remaining staff for new jobs and training was essential. To prepare for that we have had a huge training programme, involving a lot of operators, and we achieved all we wanted to do.

"Another major commitment this past year was to have a new dynamic organisation in place with business teams and support teams, where people have more ownership of their objectives and their work in their area."

And everything comes back to being safe.

"The first objective, as always, is safety, and we are now more than 300 days injury free. That is the main objective. Everyone should go home safe after a shift or a day's work. It is the cornerstone of operational excellence."

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