Arya Sasol Polymer Company

ASPC Hosts National PSM Symposium

ASPC Hosts National PSM Symposium

Experts, managers and administrators of Iran’s oil industry gathered for a one-day symposium, discussing and sharing their latest process safety management (PSM) achievements and experiences.

Iran’s “Danesh Naft” Magazine reported that the Arya Sasol Polymer Company held the symposium with the aim of implementing its social responsibilities program and knowledge-sharing in the field of PSM and operational risk reduction. The event took place on October 16, in the Oil Ministry’s center for specialized conferences.

Enforcing PSM in the oil industry and pursuing its continual improvement will ensure continuous production and profit. Conserving the company’s capital - specifically its human capital – along with integrated equipment management, digital innovations and operational incident prevention are among PSM-related issues discussed in the event.

The conference participants presented their latest achievements and capabilities in the PSM field and shared experiences and ideas about establishing and monitoring PSM systems.

Among the symposium’s other main highlights was the presence of professors and students of credible academic institutions and universities, which presented their findings, highlighting the importance of maximum cooperation of the oil, gas and petrochemical industry with the country's knowledge-based enterprise sector.

Achieving Sustainable Safe Production with PSM

Speaking at the event, CEO of the National Petrochemical Industries Company, Morteza Shahmirzaei, stated that sustainable production in the petrochemical industry guarantees the input of thousands of small and large industries across the country. “With the efforts of health, safety & environment (HSE) units laying ground for a safe work environment, the country's industry, production and economy will progress stably in all fields”, he said, adding that “the oil industry has long served as the ground for HSE knowledge expansion”.

Emphasizing the need to implement standard safety principles and the use of advanced standard equipment in the industry, the Deputy Oil Minister said: “Most accidents in the oil industry have occurred due to the neglect of PSM in various stages of repairs, construction and operation”.

The deputy minister added that such gatherings should be an annual happening due to PSM significance in petrochemical industries. He added that work groups should be initiated for this purpose. 

PSM Reduces Incidents by 80%

Stating that the first version of a PSM system was first introduced in 1990, Mazaher Ansari, the HSE Director of the Oil Ministry, added that “in an evaluation of 25 American companies implementing the PSM system, an 80 percent incident decrease was witnessed”. 

Stressing that PSM is useful in process industries, Ansari said: “Successful companies should transfer their experience to other companies,” adding that “The HSE structure of the oil industry is being revised. We do not have an isolated view of the industry, and if we want HSE to be successful, all units must cooperate”. 

ASPC Prides Itself on Incident-Free Record

A stable and accident-free environment in the petrochemical industry is the result of efficient PSM implementation. This can help ensure profitability while preserving the company's capital. Consequently, the ASPC was able to break its production and sale records without any recordable incidents.

Speaking at the event, ASCP Executive Manager Mohammad-Reza Heidarzadeh noted that the ASPC’s performance was a matter of pride for the country. 

He added that the PSM system “has been implemented in the company since 2009”. “We will vigorously follow up with this process, albeit with a distinct approach”, Heidarzadeh said.

PSM to be Fully Implemented in 10 Years

The full implementation of the PSM system is an issue which has been pursued seriously in the past few years. Stating that PSM systems have been integrated in 45 percent of the country’s petrochemical companies, Davood Emadi, the HSE Director of the National Petrochemical Industries, added that “based on the petrochemical roadmap, PSM will be implemented in 80 percent and 100 percent of petrochemical companies in five and ten years, respectively.”

“The ASPC is the first company in the industry to have started implementing a PSM system,” Emadi said.

“After an incident happened in one of the country’s petrochemical companies in 2016, the integration of PSM systems gained pace. Twelve percent of the industry started their PSM systems in 2011. This figure has now reached 45 percent,” he said.

Industry Accidents Result from PSM Neglect

Although industry accidents have laid ground for the advancement of PSM standards, such experiences entail heavy financial and human costs. Consequently, adapting to such incidents can help preserve industry capital.

“Incident analysis demonstrates that failing to comply with PSM has many negative consequences. Commitment to PSM ensures sustainable development. The most-favorable condition for the establishment of this system is for companies to willingly initiate it before an incident forces them to do so” said Ardavan Farzinpour, ASPC’s HSE Manager.

Farzin added that new trends such as digital transformation and the use of artificial intelligence have been used to identify, evaluate and proactively control process risk and prevent accidents in recent years. Stressing that moving towards such new technologies is inevitable, he added: “ASPC has taken steps to ensure safe and sustainable production.”

Role of PSM in Equipment Integration & Accident Prevention

In the afternoon of the PSM symposium, two practical expert panels were held. The first panel, named "PSM and its role in accident prevention", included a list of topics including a case study of the Shahid Hasheminejad Gas Refining Company, a presentation of ASPC’s process safety indicators, and a discussion regarding the benefits and challenges of implementing PSM and ultimately, the role of functional safety in preventing process incidents.

In the second panel, named "process safety and equipment integrity", various presenters discussed issues such as equipment integrity management and its implementation, oil and gas transmission pipeline management, artificial intelligence and process safety in the Bandar Imam Petrochemical Company.

Throughout the panels, HSE experts from the Oil Ministry, along with main and subordinate petrochemical companies, discussed and exchanged ideas on the presentations.

It is worth mentioning that the ASPC hosted more than 550 experts and personnel active in the oil industry’s PSM sector. More than another 470 individuals took part in the event online.