Mosa: focusing on process safety

Mosa: focusing on process safety

Time to transform

With the change in oil production landscape affected by shale oil and gas, the region has to change its strategy, says Fuad Mosa, technical committee chairman, MEPEC 2017

October 2017

The Middle East region has seen a clear transformation in dealing with the process safety aspect of its plants, which operate in a safe environment and is clearly reflected in the safety records and performance across the whole industry, says Fuad Mosa, Technical Committee Chairman of MEPEC 2017 (The Middle East Processing Engineering Conference and Exhibition).

“For some leading companies, their safety record has outperformed major international companies. Many conferences and meetings on process safety are ongoing since several years, which clearly indicate attention and focus to the subject by regional companies,” Mosa says in an interview.

Excerpts from the interview:


Could you elaborate in detail the challenges that the region’s plants face in their efforts to balance the need to cut costs while at the same time tightening environmental and product quality regulations?

For a long time, the region was enjoying a leadership status, which came from its clear cost advantages in the oil, and petrochemicals feed stock, in addition to lack of international regulations, which made the region pay low attention to plant operation excellence and productivity. With the new change in oil production and feed stock landscape affected by shale oil and shale gas, the region has to change a lot in their strategy towards their operation and plant operating excellence. New emerging regulation has played a pressing role and requires high attention. In order to react properly, the region has to start working closely with leading technology providers in plant optimisation and process control with an additional focus to strengthen their R&D capabilities. New technological solutions will be the only way to handle new transformation with low-cost impact on the region plants operation. Advanced conferences and exchange meeting in the region will play a big role to accelerate the understanding and adaptability of such advanced solutions to help the region.


What role does process control play in maintaining high equipment reliability?

Process control is a means to assure maintaining a sustainable environment for the whole process elements to perform as designed. In addition, it works as a guide to make the proper change based on the change that happens due to aging or any change that happen around the controlled environment. Equipment reliability is highly affected by the same and the role of process control assures continues healthy environment for equipment to operate in the most reliable way and for a longer period.


What are the latest technologies that you have employed to ensure olefin crackers optimisation along with the need to be environment-friendly?

There are many technologies which have a great impact on the olefin crackers operability and sustainability toward environment such as

a.    Anti-cocking tube technologies

b.    Furnace High Emissivity Coating technology

c.    Online Yield optimisation technologies

d.   Advanced process control technology


What is the role of catalysts in the overall production of olefin crackers?

The cracker optimisation and improvement are highly affected by some catalytic steps like Acetylene conversion, which assure the removal of Acetylene, which highly affects the quality of the final products by converting it catalytically to targeted olefin products. The advancement of this catalyst is a step forward to improving the overall performance of the olefin crackers process.   


Are there simple things that organisations can do to improve process safety management and reduce risk?

Sure. Proper implementation of new technological advancement with a proper analysis of plant performance helps always to maintain the plant and helps with taking immediate actions to prevent any possible risk and safety hazards. 


How is the region progressing in handling plant safety and how is it improving the safety aspect in the plant? How safe are the region’s plants?

The region has a clear transformation in dealing with safety aspect and improving its safe operation environment, which clearly reflected in the safety records and performance across the whole industry. For some leading companies, their safety records have outperformed major international companies. Many conferences and exchange meeting are ongoing on for the past years, which clearly indicate a clear attention and focus from regional companies.


What can participants expect to take away from the MEPEC conference?

Being part of the technical committee I have thoroughly enjoyed overseeing the team put the programme together with other experts in process engineering from the region. MEPEC’s theme this year is “Sustainable Growth through Process Innovation & Downstream Integration”. The programme features topics including, Process Design and Development, Process Excellence, Sustainability and Downstream Integration for Value Creation. The event aims to bring together industry leaders, students and professionals for a high- impact scientific exchange during the iPoster sessions. There will be 42 digital posters displayed, providing an interactive platform for authors and visitors to engage and transfer knowledge.

For more information visit: www.mepec.org

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