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The safety challenge at Torresol Energy

Emergency training in a Torresol Energy facility.

Emergency training in a Torresol Energy facility.

Torresol Energy Operation and Maintenance (Torresol O&M) has operated its three solar thermal power plants for more than four years with a remarkable track record in safety and environmental consciousness, with no relevant accidents throughout this period. This successful achievement is grounded in the strong corporate believe that any accident is avoidable.

Operating and maintaining Torresol Energy group’s solar thermal plants—Gemasolar, Valle 1 & Valle 2—in a safe and environmentally friendly manner is a constant challenge for the team of professionals who are in charge of keeping the innovative facilities in excellent working order.

The preventive culture began to spread out with the founding of Torresol Energy, as the group set safety, respect for the environment, people and quality as its four corporate values. In doing so, the goal was set to achieve and maintain excellence in Health, Safety & Environment (HSE). Fostering this culture is a complex task which requires everyone to be involved with, so that the values are boosted not just within the group but also by sub-contractors.

Company’s HSE managers along with plants professionals work together to integrate this culture into everyone’s daily activities, especially those who form part of Torresol O&M. Besides the continuous effort of integrating HSE in everyone’s task, suggestions is a powerful tool to help improving HSE.

Management carries out the continuous task of identifying channels for contributing, sharing information and training, where innovation is vital for keeping people motivated. In this sense, people at Torresol Energy receive safety, emergency and environmental training on a daily basis. A matrix-based training process, structured by job profile, has been set up to reinforce HSE training when moving people within the organization.

All Torresol Energy facilities have progressively implemented industrial best practices and all certifications are renewed annually in accordance with the international standards OHSAS 18001:2007 (occupational health and safety) and ISO 14001:2004 (environmental management systems). These are optional, but they require a thorough control of safety and environmental issues—something that goes hand by hand with the spirit of Torresol Energy. These certifications are not necessarily a goal for Torresol Energy, but the result of a corporate policy deployed from start of business.

On the other hand, Torresol Energy plants have to meet several environmental requirements. Environmental Monitoring Plans alongside other controls have also been drawn up to eliminate or reduce risks and to promote sustainability and protect the environment. Periodic and systematic reports are prepared and audits are also carried out internally and externally by several agencies. As Torresol Energy does not settle for just the legally required reports, the group has its own specific indicator for safety and the environment, known as the Torresol Safety Indicator (TSI). The TSI stipulates that any incident which occurs in or on the group’s facilities must be investigated, however minor it may be. The lessons learned are a valuable source of relevant information for continuous improvement.

In summary, Torresol Energy is very proud of the high standard HSE performance throughout its history. Improving this level of excellence is, however, a permanent challenge which requires perseverance and imagination.

Gallery

Technicians applying the LOTO procedure 
Torresol Energy HSE team. From left to right: Carolina Vélez, Elena Mejuto, Marta Muñoz, Beatriz del Pino and Pedro Gil 
Safety messures at Torresol Energy’s facilities 
Safety messures at Torresol Energy’s facilities 
Safety messures at Torresol Energy’s facilities 
Safety messures at Torresol Energy’s facilities 
Safety messures at Torresol Energy’s facilities

Copyright SENER 2020