2020 Vision

17 December 2019

2019 has been an outstanding year for your Association, with many of our events requiring us to reach for superlatives.

The EEMUA Conference in March was our biggest ever, and we had fantastic feedback on both organisation and content. I am convinced that a major part of the reason for its success was the deep involvement of the Conference Committee, ensuring that it reflected what industry wanted.

Later that month I was honoured to receive on behalf of EEMUA the Best Terminal Supplier Award 2019 at the Tank Storage Awards in Rotterdam, for our work on EEMUA 159. As I said at the time “EEMUA 159 has had some famous names in the world of tank storage leading efforts to put it together over the past 25 years; John de Wit, Hans Kuipers, Jan de Jong, and current chair of the working group, Robin Essenius. More importantly there has been an army of volunteer experts drawn from EEMUA member companies who have contributed to the guidance, ensuring it represents good and best practice as carried out by the user community. It is they who have kept it relevant for the past 25 years, and who are working to keep it relevant in the future. I just get to pick up this award for them.” The Tank Storage Seminar in November helped kick off the silver anniversary for this world-renowned guidance, and the technical programme for this busy event included the first presentation by the UK Health and Safety Executive on the findings of the investigation into the Chevron refinery incident in 2011 where four people lost their lives. This was a sobering reminder of how important safe methods of working are, and how tragic the consequences can be when things go wrong.

EEMUA 159 was the topic for our biggest ever webinar, with over 450 attendees connecting to it. The next two topics have been arranged for 2020 as the webinar programme continues to establish itself as a key part of the EEMUA offering. 

Another facet of the Association becoming indispensable to members is the e-learning suite, with many organisations making it a part of their on-boarding process for new entrants at graduate level and above. More e-learning modules have now been taken than all our classroom courses, and it has become an important way of first engaging with EEMUA. Recent additions include modules on Mechanical Integrity and Control Rooms.

Mechanical Integrity was also the focus of our first ever blended learning course, the Mechanical Integrity Practitioners Certificate. A pilot was conducted during 2019, and the first full course begins in January 2020. The course was developed with the input of a broad cross section of EEMUA membership and is tailored to provide useful learning geared to each student’s workplace. Lasting for six months, it includes material based on EEMUA 231, guidance produced with the UK Health and Safety Executive, as well as other EEMUA publications, and is focused on the primary containment of hazardous materials and effective management of process and plant safety risks. The flexible online learning delivery and assessment, and robust certification means that students do not have to be away from site for long periods in order to obtain relevant, industry accepted competence in a safety critical area, with appropriate evidence for stakeholders.

The technical output of EEMUA in 2019 included the first industry guidance dealing with high temperature hydrogen attack, as well as a publication including research work establishing a new approach to post weld heat treatment. The update to our subsea materials guidance explicitly referenced use for renewable power for the first time.

2019 also marks the first ever EEMUA “Early Years Industry Award”, won by Matty Smith from P66 from a strong field of entries. This will be run in 2020 as well; keep an eye out for entry details.

We have continued to visit Member sites to make sure we listen to what Members want from us, with my team and I visiting sites in Guernsey and Finland, as well as many in the UK. We have always been well received, and I’m grateful to all those who’ve taken time out of a busy schedule to meet us.

So, what are our plans for 2020? 

We have a full event programme in place. The seminars are free of charge for employees of Member and Associate companies and cover a wide variety of topics, from cyber security through to inspection. 

We expect further e-learning modules to be produced, and work to begin on further courses using the blended learning platform.

We hope there will be more superlatives, but we will be happy to continue doing what we are here for; helping Members and stakeholders around the world improve the safety, efficiency and compliance of the industrial assets which are critical to our way of life.

EEMUA is acutely aware that many employees of Member organisations will be working over the holiday period. We hope you get some time to spend with your families, and on behalf of the Association I thank you all for your support and look forward to working with you in 2020.

Stefan Kukula
Chief Executive / EEMUA