HSE

Care about health and safety, as well as the commitment to environmental protection are priorities in NIS.

If we had to use one superior term to go in front of the term business operations, it would definitely be responsibility. The health of our employees and third parties always comes first, which we have been proving year after year by reducing any negative impacts on people’s lives and improving the HSE culture. “The policy of environmental protection, industrial safety and occupational health and safety at NIS” and “Statement on HSE Policy” represent a kind of internal “law” on the principles of sustainable development in our company, while their implementation in practice has been determined by a reduction of negative impact and the constant improvement of human health and environmental protection.

Environmental Responsibility

Sustainable environmental management within NIS comprises the delivery of equipment revamp projects and those aimed at reducing the pollution of air, soil, water and ground water, reclamation and re-cultivation of polluted areas (historical pollution), environmental monitoring, energy efficiency boosting and the increased use of renewable sources of energy, and many others.

 

Air

NIS, being committed to sustainable development and meeting legislative requirements, seeks, through the best management practices, to maximally contribute to environmental protection. The emissions of pollutants are measured by legal entities that are authorized and accredited for the measurement of emissions using the prescribed manual or automatic methods.

Since 2012, the company has been implementing a small-scale cogeneration programme. Mini power plants deployed at oil and gas fields in Serbia generate electricity and thermal power out of gas that has so far not been used due to its high content of carbon dioxide and nitrogen. This makes the process of transforming this gas into electricity environmentally important as it reduces the emission of noxious gases into the atmosphere, as before it was burnt on flares.

In 2015, NIS completed the construction of its amine plant for the extraction of CO2 from natural gas at gas wells, which will, via compressors, be injected into underground reservoirs of oil and gas fields, and thus prevent CO2 in natural gas from ending up in the atmosphere.

Projects initiated in the previous years were completed in 2015. The exploration and production block completed a project for the construction of a system for collecting and burning fluids (LPG). The objective of the project was to increase the safety of processes and protect the air. With the construction of this system, separated gas phase is burned in the flare, which prevents easily vaporous hydrocarbons from reaching the atmosphere.

The investments in refining are of tremendous environmental importance. With the completion of the modernization of the loading terminal, the most environmentally safe method for loading fuel tanks on trucks was installed. This is a bottom loading method. This investment has helped eliminate noxious fumes from tank truck loading at Pančevo loading terminal.

Another important environmental investment in NIS’s refining segment covers the closed drainage system near the process equipment. The process serves to collect the liquid (fluid) discharged during the production process into separate tanks and to return it to the production process.

In the Pančevo Refinery the closed circuit sampling system project has been successfully completed, thanks to which samples that are taken do not come into contact with the atmosphere, which is an important contribution to environmental protection. The project was delivered within a year and a half, and now the entire refinery is outfitted with this modern sampling method.

 

Water

A responsible attitude to water resources is one of the priorities of the company in terms of environmental protection and the use and utilisation of natural resources. The use of water resources is a prerequisite for production and technological processes (steam production, functioning of cooling systems), fire protection provision, bottling of drinking water, as well as for sanitary purposes.

A testament to the company’s responsible treatment of water resources is the fact that as much as 84% of the water used comes from the Danube and the Danube-Tisa-Danube channel, which does not threaten their potential, considering that this is considerably under 5% of their average annual flow.

 

Waste water

NIS attaches great importance to waste water treatment, as oily waste and precipitation water pose a risk to recipients.

Separators – devices for separation of the oil and water phase have been installed at petrol stations. Currently, 267 petrol stations are equipped with these devices, which separate mineral oils from water before they are released into the recipient. In the following period the plan is to install missing separators where technical and safety conditions are met for instalment. In some facilities, waste water is collected in collecting pits, which are periodically emptied in accordance with regulations.

At the end of 2015, a total of 310 facilities were registered which are dedicated to treating waste water in NIS.

At the end of 2015, the reconstruction of existing waste water treatment plants was carried out in the plant for the production of Jazak drinking water.
In the total quantities of waste water in 2015, 55% was externally treated. In terms of the production plant for Jazak drinking water, the quantity of waste water discharged was reduced by 50% compared to the previous year, due to production optimization.

 

Waste

The company regulates the management of all types of waste (classification, monitoring of quantities and types of waste, prevention of waste generation, storage, final disposal, reporting) in accordance with the internal standards that are in compliance with legislation in the Republic of Serbia.

By performing its business operations, NIS generates both non-hazardous and hazardous waste, which is treated in accordance with legal regulations. During 2015, it generated and disposed of less waste than in 2014.

The generation and disposal of waste is monitored daily for each type of waste and recorded in the Daily Waste Log, with the total volume of waste that is generated and disposed of (hazardous and non-hazardous) registered with the Environmental Protection Agency.

As a part of the implementation of the “Dry Locations” project, all eight of the company’s drilling rigs were equipped with metal or concrete pools used for collecting waste mud during drilling. The implementation of this project prevents any kind of harmful effect on the environment caused by waste drilling fluids, i.e. the conditions have been created for swift and safe disposal of these substances immediately upon their generation.

 

Soil

By remediation of the soil where exploration and oil and gas well drilling were conducted, as well as oil and gas exploitation, the risk to the health of local residents and employees at these facilities from the pollution of soil, groundwater and air is being eliminated.

During 2015, activities concerning the remediation of historic pollution and restoring of the agricultural land to its original state were continued. A total of 25 primary mud pits, with a surface area of 14,963 m2 were remediated.

Thus the total number of rehabilitated primary mud pits increased to 150, and the total area of recultivated soil amounts to 106,026 m2, i.e. more than 10 ha. The majority of the primary mud pits are located in Vojvodina, in the municipalities of Srbobran and Kikinda, while the remaining ones are distributed in Banat and Bačka, as well as around Požarevac.

 

Fuel

In the wake of the completion of the first stage of revamping, the Pančevo Refinery, NIS has completely switched to the production of Euro-5 standard fuel. Currently, NIS’s revamped processing complex produces top quality fuel and is continuously expanding its product range. Today, NIS’s offer to the market includes motor gasoline with the best characteristics: with 95, 98 and 100 octanes, and diesel fuel of premium quality. The improved efficiency of the fuel production process is being accompanied by rigorous environmental safety controls.

Occupational Safety

The operations profile of the crude processing industry requires a high concern for occupational health and safety, these being among the priorities and preconditions for a successful company.

In terms of occupational health and safety, the company’s standards and existing practice go beyond the existing legal obligations to ensure efficient risk management. To ensure the security of contractors, they are required to strictly adhere to the company’s standards.

NIS strives to reduce the number of identified risks, with the introduction of new technological improvements.

The analysis of HSE data and key indicators, for a five-year period, between 2010 and 2015, determined that measures taken and activities contributed to increased safety in the company. Thus, the number of accidents (from the RAR category) was reduced by 48%, the number of environmental accidents by 18%, and the number of injuries at work with lost days by 50%, while the number of fire cases was reduced by 44% in spite of the constant increase in the transparency of reporting on negative phenomena.

Safe working conditions for all the employees and business partners are one of the strategic objectives of the Company and this area is one NIS’s priorities.

NIS strives to reduce the number of identified risks with the introduction of new technological improvements. The OHS issues are covered by a formal agreement with the trade union and defined in the Collective Agreement. The Company’s management and employees improve HSE performances by their personal example and actions, and demonstrate their commitment to HSE principles.

The commitment of the company is to do business by adhering to the principles of socially responsible behaviour, and only the suppliers (and their subcontractors) that meet the legislation of the Republic of Serbia have an opportunity to participate in tenders and procurements conducted by the company.

NIS conducts a process of HSE prequalification for suppliers in order to improve practice in the field of OSH, EP and FP. This practice has contributed to the fact that many suppliers have raised the level of safety in their companies.