Yesterday was the photo session, today I’ll provide my views on the presentations and discussions. As I didn’t bring in any recording devices, the piece below focusses on what interested me.
I arrived late, so I missed the Welcoming Speech and Keynote Address. My apologies.
First talk I attended was an introduction to PETRONAS’s inhouse steady state process simulation software, iCON. The talk was given by Mr Shahrul Azman Zainal Abidin, Principal Engineer GTS. I have seen this presentation and derivations of it over the past 5 years (starting in 2004/5, when it was called PetroSIM), so nothing spectacular there. You can go visit the VMG site to pick up a brochure of the civilian version of this package. I was interested to note that they are working on a dynamic version of the package.
After the tea break, we were treated to an application of how iCON was used to investigate and optimise onshore gas receiving facilities, of which LCOT was one. What was interesting to me was that the result of doing the work inhouse resulted in a cost saving of RM382k (±10k), which give me a baseline as to how much to charge for a reasonably simple network, and 3 operating cases. Woohoo! This portion was presented by Mr Muzaimi B A Talib, Staff Engineer PCSB.
We went through an overview of the famed PETRONAS Technical Standards, led by Ir V.R.Harindran, Custodian Engineer GTS. Too bad they weren’t giving handouts, as it was an interesting trip down memory lane. Some items I took away from the presentation was:
- PETRONAS subscribes and sends representatives to a lot of governmental and international standards bodies.
- The PTS are designed to be ‘fit for use.’
- There is opportunity to challenge the PTS during project execution.
- PETRONAS is looking towards getting user feedback on the PTS. By feedback, I assume they mean something structured and ISO 9001 traceable, as opposed to shouting at the PTS on the engineering floor.
There was next a presentation by Mr Alex Zulkarnain B Zulkarim, Senior Manager GTS. His concern was the quality of engineering expertise in PETRONAS, especially among the junior rank and file. Items he touched on were:
- PETRONAS wants to be seen as a savvy buyer (there go my generous markup margins).
- PNAS needs to upgrade its technological expertise and has acknowledged that work needs to be done.
- There is a proposal to station PNAS engineers in the service providers office as part of enhancing their technological skills.
- His remit was pretty much focused on developing PNAS engineers, not Malaysian engineers.
After the crowd was tranquillised with lunch, came the contractors’ point of view. Ir. Rozali Ahmad, president of MOGEC, presented on MOGEC’s aims, intentions and events calendar. But all this was blown away by the list of challenges the engineering companies have when faced with PETRONAS as a client. You’ll have to get the list from MOGEC, if they ever own up to presenting it in the first place.