Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company
Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company was founded on 5th December 1979 as a nucleus for cooperation among Gulf Cooperative Council member states for the manufacture of fertilizers and petrochemicals by utilizing Bahraini natural gas as feedstock. The Company was established as an equally owned joint venture by the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), Saudi Arabia and Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), Kuwait. The company's Board of Directors comprise of representatives from the three shareholding states.
Built on 60 acres of reclaimed land at Sitra Island, the project initially consisted of two Plants: Ammonia and Methanol together with their Utilities. The Plants were commissioned in May 1985, each with a capacity of 1,000 metric tones per day. In 1989, their capacities were further increased to 1200 tonnes each per day.
Due to its success in production and marketing of the products and to capitalize further on the Ammonia, GPIC decided to expand its operations and built a 1,700 metric tones per day Urea Plant that was commissioned in 1998. This plant included its own Utilities and Urea handling facilities to export finest quality Granular Urea worldwide. GPIC continues to produce and supply the world with more than 1.46 million tones per annum of high quality products.
GPIC prides itself with its excellent record in safety, continuous production runs and environmental achievements. The Company has won numerous awards, prizes and appreciation certificates locally, regionally and internationally. Through its distinguished environmental projects, the Company has proved that industry and the environment can harmoniously exist side by side.
GPIC looks to the future as a distinguished producer and exporter of quality petrochemical and fertilizer products to the whole world. To maintain this unique status, considerable effort and investment has been made to upgrade major plant equipment and modernize control and management systems at the complex. Plans for expansion are also well under way to either duplicate the existing facilities or construct new stand-alone plants in the coming years.
Management Approach: The "One Team" Concept
GPIC is proud of its employees and considers them as the most important assets of the company. Whilst the executive management sets the vision, goals, objectives and policies of the company, these elements are discussed and explained to all levels and posted at key locations. The management team also regularly publishes statistics that reflect the Company's progress to all staff, electronically and on notice boards. The one team spirit is propagated throughout the organization on a daily basis through coordination meetings, social activities inside and outside the complex and special functions.
The Management has also formed a number of committees such as the Safety Committee, Health Committee, Environment Committee, Training and Development committee, productivity enhancement committee, personal cases committee and many others. All these committees work consistently with each other to achieve the set objectives.
The GPIC leadership is fully committed in its endeavors to synthesize the best from world safety, health, and quality standards to build a truly robust management regime. The company's management systems are certified to ISO-9001:2000 quality standard, ISO-14001 environmental standard and the Occupational Health and Safety Management System's OHSAS-18001 standard. The company has also acquired the ISO-27001 certification also for its Information Technology Security Management System.
GPIC is also the first petrochemical company in the Arabian Gulf to successfully complete all the requirements and gain accreditation by the British Standard Institute (BSI) for the PAS-99 (Publicly Available Specification) model, the world's first Integrated Management System.
Training and Development
GPIC Management considers training and development of its employees as a top priority and has therefore invested a substantial amount of money in the Bahrainisation and employee development programs since inception.
The percentage of Bahrainis in the company is currently in excess of 82% and this percentage is rising annually. Since inception a considerable number of Bahraini personnel have been trained to take up permanent senior positions in the company's organization. In addition, the GPIC Training Centre arranges a large number of development courses every year to ensure a well-educated workforce, able to meet the high technology demands of the international petrochemical industry. In-house training is complimented by the use of local and international institutions, together with company sponsorship of staff in local and overseas universities. The company is strongly committed and believes in equal employment opportunities for both men and women. The steps taken by the company in this regards are highlighted by the rising numbers of women employees on the company payrolls every year.
The Training Centre at GPIC has state of the art facilities to train its employees and keep them abreast of the latest developments in the field of fertilizers and petrochemicals. There is a top class theatre hall, a central library, plant models, training simulators, audio visual centre, class rooms and the E-learning centre which is the first of its kind in the entire Arabian Gulf region. In 2008 GPIC was honored the First Place for "The outstanding Companies in Training and Human Resources Development ' 2008 Awards'' by the Ministry of Labor, Kingdom of Bahrain. In 2009, GPIC has been awarded the Middle East 'Best Learner Adoption Statistics' Award in the category of Biggest Usage Statistics by a Company for e-Learning Solution Users from CAFE-ME.
Safety and Health
Safety assumes special importance in the petrochemicals industry due to the nature of processes that employ flammable gases, high pressures, electrical risks and the presence of high-speed machines. For this purpose, GPIC employs a stringent risk management policy that has resulted in achieving more than 8 million hours without any lost-time accidents. GPIC's record of achievements in safety is outstanding by all standards.
The Company has won eight consecutive golden awards from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accident (RoSPA) U.K. In 2001, GPIC won the international sector award for the petrochemical industry from RoSPA. These achievements were further complemented when GPIC won the prestigious Sir George Earle Trophy from RoSPA in 2005, which is awarded to an organization for the most outstanding Performance in Occupational Safety and Health worldwide. It is notable that GPIC has become the first organization outside Europe and North America to be awarded with this prestigious Trophy. In the final round of this award, GPIC competed with international giants such as Shell, Toyota and General Electric. In 2008, GPIC was awarded the Robert Campbell Safety Award from the National Safety Council, USA in recognition for the company's strict adherence to and constant developments of its occupational health and safety systems. The company also won the highly acclaimed International Safety award from the British Safety Council in addition to the 2008 Excellence Award in Chemical Sector for Occupational Health and Safety from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) UK.
GPIC Complex is supported by a modern health centre managed by an experienced doctor, assisted by qualified nurses and equipped with the stat of the art medical equipment. The centre provides its services 24 hours a day throughout the week. These services include primary care, first aid and periodical checkups for all employees.
A large number of the company staff has also been trained as qualified first aiders to assist the health centre when needed. Furthermore, the centre in coordination with the labour union regularly organizes blood donation campaigns to supplement reserves at the Blood Bank of the Ministry of Health.
The Management has also appointed a Health Committee which regularly inspects the canteen premises and other food outlets at the complex to ensure that highest level of hygiene is maintained. The Committee also organizes a number of lectures annually to cover various health issues.
Since its inception, Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company has felt the need for maintaining environmental balance. The Project's environmental impact was thoroughly examined and studied. All the necessary measures and steps were than taken to maintain such a balance. Although more than 26 years have passed since the plants went on stream, all the plants are still operating according to the strictest local and international environmental standards.
The Urea plant, which came into operation in 1998, was subjected to the same of environmental review at the design stage. GPIC insisted on installing a granulation process for the production of final solid product rather than the more conventional prilling process despite the higher cost of construction and licensing. The choice of this technology has paid off and has resulted in reduced emissions of urea dust.
In 2007, The International Dilmun Award was launched. This environmental award is sponsored by GPIC as part of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) awards programme. The name 'Dilmum' was given to reflect the history of Bahrain and in recognition of GPIC's commitment and contribution to safety, health and the environment
In 2008, GPIC became one of the first Petrochemical companies in the Middle East to embark on the 450 tonnes/day Carbon Dioxide Recovery (CDR) Project. The project was initiated to cut down Green House gas emissions and improve the overall efficiency of resources by having additional production of Methanol and Urea at its complex.
GPIC Environmental Projects:
1. Charity Garden: GPIC launched its environmental programme in March 1992 with a Charity Garden. Built on an area of 1,500 m2, this garden yielded more than 14 tonnes of vegetables and fruits that were donated to charities and families in need. Recently, Fruit trees and date palms have also been added to enhance the output of the Charity Garden.
2. Fish Farm: With the aim of demonstrating environmental accountability, setting a good example to other industries and replenishing dwindling fish reserves in regional waters, the company embarked on constructing a fish farm close to the sea water outlet in November 1996. Different kinds of tropical fish to found in Bahrain's waters, like Black Sea Bream (Shim), Mullet (Meid) and Rabbit fish (Saffee) are being reared and bred in the fish farm so that their growth can take place in a congenial atmosphere. Later these fish are released into the sea. GPIC management also ensures that some of the fish harvested go to charity.
3. Bird Sanctuary: The evident improvement in the environment around GPIC has encouraged GPIC's management to further enhance its special focus on the surroundings and especially Bahrain's bird life. The bird sanctuary was commissioned on 9th September 2001 where a small nesting area and fresh pond have been created for the birds to enjoy a natural habitant with a view to maintaining striving to improve the environment around the GPIC complex.
4. Herbal and Medicinal Plants Garden: To demonstrate the eco friendliness of its operations, GPIC has implemented a number of projects inside and outside its complex, the latest of which is the Herbal and Medical Plants Garden inaugurated on 9th May 2005 under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Governor of the Southern Governorate and Chairman of the Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife. Covering an area of 1200m2, this innovative project was launched with the prime objective of preserving indigenous herbs and plants that were once used by inhabitants to treat various illnesses. The garden currently encompasses 20 types of herbs and shrubs. This garden has also become a very useful platform for researchers, school students and dignitaries from which to benefit. These efforts have contributed greatly to GPIC winning several accolades including the GCC Environmental Award for the Best Establishment Adhering to Environmental Legislations.
5. H.H Shaikha Sabika bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa Aromatic Plants Garden: In March 2009 Her Highness Shaikha Sabika bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa wife of His Majesty the King opened the Aromatic Plants Garden at the GPIC Complex bearing her name. This is a unique garden mainly designed to feature all the perfumed aromatic plants and herbs in the Kingdom.
GPIC contribution to the National Economy
From the onset of production in 1985, GPIC has increased its profitability year after year and paid generous dividends to the shareholders. Furthermore, out of the 473 employees, more than 81% are Bahraini nationals who contribute directly to the national economy. Local contractors and suppliers are also given priority to supply and carry out services, thus further invigorating the local economy. Moreover, GPIC also donates more than One million US Dollars annually to scientific research institutions, charities, cultural and sport activities. To complement all the above, GPIC also shares its experience with other organizations and institutions to modernize education, training, safety and environmental systems at the national level, enhancing further its support to the economy. The company is also well represented in the national teams, committees reviewing and developing safety, training, education and environmental legislation in the country.
Towards the Future
GPIC looks towards the future with confidence and fervor. The management strongly believes that their approach of a safe, reliable and profitable industry while at the same time taking responsible care of the environment at all times, is a practical and successful model that will ensure a healthy future for generations to come. GPIC has proven beyond doubt that a petrochemical industry can successfully co-exist with high profile environmental care. New developments and changes will come to the complex in the future but the company shall keep following the proven path of sustainable development to ensure maximum benefit for the Kingdom of Bahrain, the people and the environment.