OPAL leads the way toward energy sustainability

Oman Tuesday 27/February/2024 21:41 PM
By: Saleh Al-Shaibany
OPAL leads the way toward energy sustainability

Muscat: Aligning seamlessly with its core business strategy, OPAL has translated its sustainability agenda into a robust operational framework for Oman’s Energy Sector, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said in an exclusive interview with Times of Oman.

Abdul Rahman Al-Yahyaei, the CEO of Oman Energy Association (OPAL), emphasized that he and his management team have a mission to deliver a reliable core business strategies to increase competencies to a world class level for their stakeholders.

“We are the voice of this industry to help our partners maintain the highest operational standards. Our services are built into a single platform of uniformity that adheres to the international benchmark to serve well our stakeholders,” the OPAL’s CEO, said.

OPAL started in 1998 to promote industry standards in a single umbrella for about 500 energy companies for their operations, contracting and supply, both large and small.

“Over the years, our aim has been to increase competence and professionalism in this important industry while at the same time address their common challenges for the benefit of the country,” the CEO explained.

He said OPAL is regulating the interests of over 70,000 employees working in different energy sectors. It is also targeting the employment of between 700 to 1,000 Omanis every year in the energy sector. But the focus still remains on training, work ethics, professional development, maintaining safety standards and sustainable employment for Omani nationals.

On training, he said the strategy is to close the gaps through human capital development by empowering young people with the right skills. OPAL is also actively pursuing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with initiatives to support community causes, including the creation of small businesses.
“We help create Small Business Enterprises and so far we are proud to say that we have supported over 130 of them as our contribution to the national economy to help young people making something for themselves,” Abdul Rahman, said.

But much more than that, OPAL helps its partners with crisis management for any emergency issues they may face. “For example, during the COVID-19 period, we helped by repatriating thousands of staff back home who were infected with the virus. We also help in the case of critical illness of the staff by arranging with emergency facilities in health care,” he further explained.

He added that OPAL’s Best Practice Awards, which started in 2015, have immensely benefitted the energy sector in Oman. The aim of the awards is to identify and honour companies and organisations that have demonstrated best practices in the deployment, development and finding sustainable solutions. Winners are chosen by an independent panel of judges who have expertise in the field.

The categories of competence to win the awards include Omanisation, Health and Safety, Energy Transition, Environment, Net Zero Emission, Research, Development and Operational Excellence.

“We consider ourselves as a center of excellence but it will not be complete without honouring companies or organisations excelling in best practices in different categories. The Best Practices Awards is our special way to encourage our partners to be on top of their game,” the CEO further elaborated.

It may be mentioned that OPAL is a non-profit organization dedicated to help companies win contracts to sustain their operations in a very competitive market. Their association with OPAL give them professional credibility.

Since most of the local contractors in the industry deal with supply chain, the movement of goods from one place to another can be critical.
“We smooth out the way for them by developing standards so the movements of goods across the country is carried in a very tangible way with safety and the well-being of their workers are the top priority,” he noted.

OPAL also carry out auditing by carefully monitoring the operations of the industry to ensure smooth operations.

“The auditing and monitoring of standards are procedures and processes that are used to evaluate checklists for our assessment to ensure quality and the smoothness of the operations on regular basis,” The CEO, said.

OPAL issues Health, Safety and Environmental’s Passports to the employees of industry helping them to manage risks in workplaces. It is a training progamme for employees and the passports are basically certificates that they have successfully completed the HSE courses.