PPGPL has done it again, securing the 2010 Risk Innovators Award in the Energy/Utility Category of the annual Risk and Insurance Journal. The Risk Innovator Award recognizes winners across different industries who have demonstrated excellence in risk management and companies who see risk differently and have resolved risk related problems in a unique or innovative way.
If Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited took a roll call of its permanent employees, the tally would come to 163. The number of safety officers would also be the same. One hundred and sixty three (163) is also the full complement of the company's risk management officers.
This novel approach to safety has already earned PPGPL huge rewards in the arena of safety management, garnering the company respect, recognition and awards both locally and internationally.
PPGPL's approach to risk is as unique as its approach to safety, which has ensured that the company has gone without a lost work day case for 19 years. This is almost unheard of in the energy industry. Just as maintaining this safety record involves every employee, so too does the company's Enterprise Risk Management strategy (ERM).
But it didn't start that way according to Eugene Tiah, PPGPL's President. Tiah describes the initial ERM project which began in 2004, as not having met the company's high standards despite some promising early progress. Tiah says "the language that the project management group used to identify and manage risk in its work differed, for example from the language and approach that other operational areas used to identify and manage risk."
Another PPGPL executive, Dominic Rampersad, who led the implementation of the ERM system, says the success of the second ERM system which was started in 2008, lay in the top to bottom involvement of all departments and staff in its creation.
Rampersad’s role in this new ERM process was critical. He is the vice president of PPGPL's Finance and IT department, which was able to create a computerized risk management system that workers across departments could use to determine and factor in the cost of risk in their day to day operations. He says Tiah’s role as project champion was crucial.
"By having him in that role, we were able to quickly and effectively mobilize different resources across different departments in the organization to move the project." Rampersad says. He adds that, “having cross functional teams also helped to eliminate resistance that may have otherwise materialized if the project had solely been managed by one department for example.” With this in mind the role of the ERM Committee was a critical success factor to what has been achieved thus far. This committee, which is chaired by the Risk Management Specialist, comprises employees from each department of the organization thereby ensuring full participation from all which is critical to the long-term sustainability of the system. With the help of AON Risk Solutions, PPGPL was able to tie together its winning ERM strategy.
PPGPL worked closely with the external consultant to differentiate itself by ensuring its approach was characterized by 'executive buy in' and cross functionality extremely early in the project. At Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited, we are living and breathing the need to be aware of and manage risk.
PPGPL also did not adopt foreign strategies for its ERM processes. Risk management at the company is very culture specific. Tiah says of the company's IT risk register, "We have never had to retrofit something to meet out unique needs. Instead, we developed an in-house application that is ideally suited for our particular purposes.
The benefits of this homegrown system are apparent. Tiah and Rampersad say if an employee on the shop floor wants to access information about the company's risk profile, he can log on to the system and find out. The result is that employees are better educated about the company, its various functions and the risks involved.”
Additionally, the incorporation of the principles of PPGPL’s corporate excellence framework into the ERM system ensured alignment with the company’s culture of excellence and has positioned PPGPL to achieving excellence in its risk management activities.
However, the benefits do not stop there. According to the president, PPGPL's robust ERM system has helped it get lower insurance premiums, a tough feat in today's economy, especially for an energy company and very consistent with the company’s strategy of establishing a cost competitive business.
The Risk and Insurance Journal, the magazine which runs the awards, says that given its size and production capacity, Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited stood out as a beacon in the energy industry when managing the risk involved with such enterprises.
Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited is jointly owned by NGC NGL Company Limited, Conoco Phillips Inc. and Pan West Engineers and Constructors Inc. It has an A-/Stable outlook credit rating from Standards and Poors and was one of the first companies in Trinidad and Tobago to secure such a rating. PPGPL has also earned first place in the Gas Processors Association (GPA) "Accident Prevention Award Division II -- International Classification" for the past 11 consecutive years.