The man responsible for security of Byco Petroleum Pakistan
The visionary leader behind Byco’s success
Amir Abbassciy is the Global Chief Executive Officer of Byco and the director of Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited. He has been the driving force behind the tremendous growth of Byco in a short span of time. He is an MBA from Business School of Lausanne, Switzerland and BBA from American College of Switzerland, Switzerland. He has been associated with the energy sector for many years and has played a pivotal role in development of key ventures.
With his thorough knowledge and experience in Project Implementation, he has executed a number of significant transactions which have triggered investment in the country. He is also associated with various governmental and nongovernmental forums/committees responsible for assisting the Policy Makers of the Country. Mr. Abbassciy is also an active member of Oil Companies Advisory Committee, Young Presidents Organization and World Economic Forum (Global Growth Companies).
‘Security is of paramount importance to any company in today’s environment. However, when it comes to petroleum companies and Byco, the security requirements are sizable. With facilities that include petroleum storage capacity of thousands of barrels, we design safety and security strategy for facilities that are highly sensitive.’
For a country whose economy is heavily dependent on imported crude oil to meet its needs, the importance of oil refineries in Pakistan can hardly be accentuated. Safe and reliable energy is a vital link in any nation’s critical infrastructure. Around 80% of Pakistan’s total oil requirement is met through imports.
The imported crude oil needs to be refined and this is where companies like Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited (BPPL) play their part. Headquartered in Karachi, Byco has a capacity to refine 150,000 barrels a day of crude oil into various saleable components. The company also has around 300 retail outlets in more than 80 cities all over Pakistan. Byco also has the first of its kind and only deep sea Single Point Mooring (SPM) facility in the country, which has vital economic and strategic importance.
To discuss the security requirements of a company like Byco which has extensive operations, we sat down with Col Syed Fazle Abbas (retired) who is the Advisor Security and Administration at Byco.
Safety and Security Today: Tell us something about yourself and your service background?
Syed Fazle Abbas: I began my career with the Pakistan Army and was involved with the security of few sensitive installations. During my time with the Armed forces I did various professional courses from Pakistan as well as United States of America. After retiring from Armed Forces, I joined the petroleum sector in early 2000. I worked at British Petroleum and Pakistan State Oil for several years before joining Byco in 2014.
Safety and Security Today: What are your responsibilities as the Advisor Security and Administration at Byco?
I am primarily responsible for designing and implementing the security strategy for the company’s facilities and top management
Safety and Security Today: What are the major security challenges faced by petroleum companies?
Pakistan’s internal and external security dynamics pose some grave challenges to petroleum companies. The major threat to Byco and petroleum companies are from terrorists. Despite substantial improvement in country’s internal security, due to instability in Afghanistan and the 2,430 km porous border that Pakistan shares with it, the threat of a potential terror strike at petroleum installations remains serious. Other dangers range from local level threats, potential internal sabotage, organized crime, theft, civil protest to vandalism.
Safety and Security Today: How important is the security aspect at a petroleum company?
Security is of paramount importance to any company in today’s environment. However, when it comes to petroleum companies and Byco, the security requirements are sizable. With facilities that include petroleum storage capacity of thousands of barrels, we design safety and security strategy for facilities that are highly sensitive. The security of such a large organization requires substantial budgetary support, this is where Chief Executive Officer & Director, Mr. Amir Abbassciy has been particularly supportive. Be it finances or following security protocols, Mr. Amir Abbassciy leads from the front. He goes to the extent of himself passing through all security checks at the premises just like any other employee.
Safety and security Today: What is threat assessment and how is it beneficial for a company?
Threat assessment is used to evaluate the likelihood of an attack, it is an important part of security management. A threat assessment identifies and evaluates each threat on basis of various factors, including capability, intent, and impact. The determination of these threats posed by different adversaries leads to recognition of vulnerabilities and to the evaluation of required countermeasures to manage the threats.
Safety and Security Today: What are the major components of the security plan implemented at Byco?
Byco has offshore facilities, a refinery complex that is just a few kilometers from the coast and retail outlets throughout the country. Transportation vehicles (oil tankers) add another dimension that the security strategy must deal with.
The petroleum industry uses multifarious methods for mitigation of potential security threats. The industry is using inherently safer designs that minimize the quantities of hazardous chemicals stored in any one plant. This approach significantly reduces number of vulnerable targets, and the risks associated with those targets, when dealing with physical security. The idea of inherently safer design has been extended further to embrace the following concepts:
• Deception- Facility should minimize the attention it attracts
• Choking information- The less information available on a facility the more secure it is
• Design- Locate more sensitive equipment close to the center of the facility
• Separation- Include a buffer zone between the facility and the surrounding area
• Reinforcing- Build robustness into the design and avoid weak points
Moreover, the security is divided into two main branches, physical security and electronic security, the latter has significant importance in preempting threats.
Safety and Security Today: What is the difference between physical and electronic security?
Physical security includes barriers, check posts, speed breakers, barbed wires and security guards. Apart from its own security personnel the company also outsources security personnel after stringent checks.
Other examples of physical security elements may include, but are not limited to:
• Controlling access into, within and out of facility
• Perimeter protection including immediately beyond the perimeter
• Mail and package screening system.
Electronic security includes walk through gates, hand carried metal and explosive detectors and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. Effective monitoring of CCTV cameras helps in neutralizing threats.
Safety and Security Today: What are some of the security and safety protocols currently in place at Byco?
Byco has extensive policy guidelines for employees to ensure security of the installation and the safety of employees. Some of these guidelines are
- Employees, contractors and visitors must go through mandatory security protocols when entering the premises.
- All visitors are required to inform their hosts prior to their arrival on site and to clearly display visitors pass issued from main gate for identification purposes. Office buildings and plant area is no smoking zone, smoking is allowed only at a designated smoking area.
- Visitors are required to adhere to the vehicle speed limit of 20 kilometer per hour across the site. Seat belts must be worn at all times while driving.
- Mobile phones, camera, lighters, match boxes, weapons and drugs including alcohol are not permitted across the plant site.
- Employees and visitors must wear mandatory Personal protective equipment (PPE) including safety helmets, goggles, ear protection and coveralls as soon as they cross the plants’ entrance.
- Byco provides medical facilities for staff and visitors with injury and health issues.
- The facility has a three bed fully equipped medical center, that has one doctor in the general shift along with seven paramedic staff present 24/7 on site.
- The facility is also equipped with two ultra-advanced fully equipped ambulances which remain present round the clock.
- Byco also has two multipurpose modern firefighting vehicles available for rapid response in case of any fire emergency. There are eight highly trained firefighters deployed on a 24/7 shift basis.
- The facility has a reserve of two million gallons of water for firefighting and state of the art fire water network backed up by electric and diesel driven water pumps.
- SOP’s and guidelines are in place in case of any fire incident.
Safety and Security Today: Does Byco liaise with other law enforcement agencies for security purposes?
Byco liaises with local and federal law enforcement agencies and other government departments. The presence of a communication channel with the law enforcement agencies improves security by providing an early warning mechanism so action can be taken. Byco’s offshore installation i.e. the deep sea Single Point Mooring (SPM) is a maritime installation and large sea vessels anchor at this location frequently. This requires intimate coordination with other security agencies for maritime security.
Safety and Security Today: How different are security challenges faced by Byco/local petroleum companies compared to those in other countries?
Security threats faced by petroleum companies and refineries are comparatively similar, however when it comes to Pakistan the threat level is significantly higher due to terrorism in the wider region.
Safety and Security Today: Are petrochemical companies at risk of cyber-attacks?
Cyber threats are a now reality for even individuals. In the same way all large companies now face serious threat of cyber-attacks that can even cause physical harm to ground facilities. Globally, the energy sector was the second most prone industry to cyber-attacks, with almost 75% of companies hit by at least one significant cyber-incident in 2016. Information Security policies, standards and procedures that focus on protecting company’s information technology assets are part of the security plan.
Safety and Security Today: What is the significance of a disaster management plan?
A disaster management plan is vital for any company, Byco also has a comprehensive disaster management plan. The plan has protocols in place to ensure that in case of a disaster the company can shift to a backup plan to ensure that company’s functions are not hindered. The company is well prepared for any eventuality. Similarly, crisis management plans are also in place to ensure that employees can reach the site in case of any untoward incident that may include but not limited to unrest or curfew.
Safety and Security Today: What Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives has the company undertaken?
Byco’s corporate aim is to manage our business to promote sustainable social, environmental and economic benefits to all stakeholders. The company is also implementing long-term sustainable programs to improve quality of life in the communities in which it operates. The community focused interventions also help in facilitating the security of the premises. Some of the community focused interventions include:
- Drinking water supply to the locals living in villages near the Mouza Kund site.
- Medical relief camps.
- Supporting recreational and sports activities.
- Offering local communities better educational facilities.
- Byco’s SPM has a depth of 26 meters, catering for vessels with a draft up to 18 meters.
- This allows Byco to receive much larger vessels than is possible at other ports in Pakistan, with capacities of 100,000 metric tons, extendable to 250,000 metric tons.
- The SPM operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year, weather permitting.
- It has dedicated tugs and marine spread, Tier 1 oil spill equipment on location, and is the only port in Pakistan with a Tier 3 backup arrangement available within 24 hours.
Byco (Company Profile)
Byco is Pakistan’s emerging energy company engaged in the businesses of oil refining, petroleum marketing, chemicals manufacturing and petroleum logistics. The Group was founded by the Founder Chairman, Mr. Parvez Abbasi (Late) in mid-90’s with the vision to pioneer the change in the energy sector of Pakistan. With his vision, the company Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited was formed in 1995 as public limited company.
Byco installed its first oil refinery with a 30,000 barrels a day at Mouza Kund, Hub Balochistan and started its commercial production from July 1, 2004 with various saleable components including Liquefied Petroleum Gas, Light Naphtha, Heavy Naphtha, High Octane Blending Component, Motor Gasoline, Kerosene, Jet Fuels, High Speed Diesel and Furnace Oil.
In 2008, the company decided to enter into the Petroleum Marketing Business and set up the first retail outlet, and since then the retail network has grown immensely. After the first refinery implementation, the group decided to commence another project to implement a 120,000 barrels a day refinery under the new company Byco Oil Pakistan Limited in 2008. The group also brought an aromatic plant to be implemented in near future.
In February 2008, realizing the immense potential that Byco companies possesses, Abraaj Capital Limited (ACL), a leading private equity firm of Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) invested in private equity.
In December 2012, Byco successfully completed the project of largest refinery in the country. This new refinery is installed in the vicinity of the existing refinery and has a capacity of 120,000 barrels a day. In 2012, Byco achieved another milestone by successfully completing Single Point Mooring project. This floating port is the first of its kind in the country and has a capacity to handle very large petroleum cargo vessels.