Partners in safety

October 27, 2015 Salem Sousou

Shared values are the foundation for excellence in Operation & Maintenance (O&M) at ACC Ramliya

Salem Sousou is pleased with the impressive results achieved at ACC Ramliya

Once a month, Country manager in Egypt and Branch Manager of NLSupervision, and entity in the FLSmidth Group, Salem Sousou, meets with teams responsible for the operations at the Arabian Cement Company Ramliya (ACC Ramliya). They have serious matters to discuss. But the agenda isn’t perhaps quite what is expected. There’s no mention of financial performance, process optimisation and sales pipeline. The only item on the agenda is safety at the Ramliya plant.Why this management focus on safety? Salem Sousou is quick to explain that safety is the cornerstone of the operations and maintenance relationship between ACC Ramliya and FLSmidth Group. He says it’s come to represent a symbol of the values that the two companies so obviously share.

Shared values
In fact, Salem Sousou says that shared values is the mainstay of the successful, longstanding partnership between FLSmidth and ACC Ramliya, which goes back to 2007 when FLSmidth undertook the operations and maintenance of ACC Ramliya’s cement line 1. This was extended to cover both clinker lines in 2010 followed by the new coal mill in 2013 and the alternative fuels installations in 2015. Salem Sousou explains what shared values mean in practice:

“ACC Ramliya is a pioneer in Egypt with a great reputation in the cement industry. It is a well-run company and one that is committed to exceeding customer expectations and focused on core business supported by the latest technologies. From our perspective at FLSmidth, we are committed to customer satisfaction through customer intimacy, which is the heart of our strategy. We have been able to develop customer intimacy based on mutual trust. We may not always agree, but when we do, we both deliver on our commitment 100 percent.”  - Salem Sousou, Country/Branch Manager, NLSupervision

The joint focus on safety is a perfect example of these shared values, which is of course illustrated by his monthly safety meeting with the ACC executives. He says: “We are both equally committed to sustainability, where safety and people development are key aspects. ACC Ramliya has high expectations regarding safety and we appreciate that, because it’s one of our underlying values, too.” 

But has this focus on safety produced any results of significance? Of that, there is no doubt, assures Salem Sousou. Since 2011, when line 2 was also handed over to O&M, the number of safety incidents has decreased year on year. And in 2015, the operation has completed one whole year without a single lost-time incident.

Importantly, this measurement does not just apply to permanent employees, but also to contractors, making it all the more impressive. 

When asked how this has been achieved, Salem Sousou says there has been a particular focus on hazard observation and reporting, which includes some specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). One of those is the percentage of hazards closed, which was above 90 percent during 2014-2015. In addition, each employee gets a minimum of eight hours of safety training every year.

What’s in an agreement?
As to be expected, the O&M agreement between ACC Ramliya and FLSmidth is comprehensive. The most important KPI is related to overall equipment effectiveness, which is a measurement of the effectiveness of the equipment’s utilisation.

“The more effective we are in operating the equipment, the more we are helping Ramliya to deliver on its investment,” says Salem Sousou. “This measure combines the availability of the line with a performance factor based on rated output, which is updated annually to reflect latest kiln performance. Over the period 2013 and 2014, however, ACC Ramliya faced a fuel supply issue, which made it difficult to measure the true plant performance. But in the spirit of our partnership, measures were agreed together to ease the pain on both parties.”

The Availability KPI is the amount of time the line is available for operation and not stopped due to planned maintenance. The ACC Ramliya plant regularly achieves more than 92 percent availability. 

Salem Sousou explains: “In 2015, when fuel has become readily available, we have achieved up to 95 percent availability on Line 2. This is the equivalent of the line being available for 346 days in a year.”

The Reliability KPI is the percentage of time the plant operates without unplanned stoppages. A well-maintained plant should have a minimum 95 percent reliability. At ACC Ramliya, again during normal operating conditions, the plant has consistently achieved reliability in excess 96 percent.

The Performance Factor KPI relates to the daily production. “During some months in 2015, we have achieved around 6500 tpd on Line 2, a line that was rated 6000 tpd when sold,” says Salem Sousou.

External circumstances obviously affect the plant’s performance. Salem Sousou explains that problems with fuel availability, which have been a general challenge in Egypt, have affected the ability to deliver fully on the KPIs. He says: 

“From time to time there is not enough fuel for us to provide the agreed level of operations.Fuel shortages lead to more frequent starting and stopping of the line, which impacts the KPIs. Also, the introduction of new equipment such as the HOTDISC® combustion device, can impact a line’s KPIs. But regardless of that, our job really is to ensure that ACC Ramliya has the production it needs to fulfill its own customers’ demand for cement.”

Overall, Salem Sousou is satisfied with the way the partnership with ACC Ramliya has developed over the years. He concludes:

“From the very first contract with ACC Ramliya, FLSmidth O&M has grown into a major cement O&M player, with further contracts in Egypt, Tunisia, Angola and Libya. Nevertheless, ACC Ramliya remains FLSmidth’s first and largest cement O&M client and we are proud to have contributed to its success as a major player in the Egyptian cement market".

FLSmidth and ACC: strategic partners
ACC is FLSmidth’s largest cement O&M client. Today, ACC can produce 4.2 million tons of clinker annually, equivalent to 4.6 million tons of cement, utilising a mix of fuels including coal and petcoke as well as different alternative fuels such as municipal solid waste (MSW), dried sewage sludge (DSS) and biomass. 

Lost Time Injury Frequency

Particular focus on hazard observation & reporting and minimum eight hours of yearly safety training of all employees, have decreased the number of Lost Time Injury Frequency (LTIFR).



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