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Understanding Petrochemical Business-UPES-2-J13

Understanding Petrochemical Business-UPES-2-J13

Section A (20 Marks)

Write short notes on any four of the following

  1. Polymerization Techniques
  2. Applications of Engineering Plastics
  3. Indian Petrochemical Industry
  4. Corrugated Packaging
  5. Thermoplastics Vs. Thermoset


Section B (30 marks)

(Attempt any three)

  1. Make a classification of refineries by configuration and complexity.
  2. Discuss the main types of packaging used in packing of petrochemical products.
  3. “Alpha Olefins are extremely versatile petrochemical intermediates to a variety of industrial and consumer products.” Elaborate this statement.
  4. Give a brief description on Polymer Degradation.


Section C (50 marks)

(Attempt all questions. Every question carries 10 marks)

Read the case “Huntsman Petrochemicals” and answer the following questions.


Case Study: Huntsman Petrochemicals

Huntsman Petrochemicals improved safety for 300 employees and made cost savings by introducing a behavioral safety programme. Employees benefited from fewer accidents and the company reduced operating costs.

The challenge

Despite an excellent safety record, Huntsman Petrochemicals was concerned that some ‘near misses’ could have led to significant injury. The operations manager thought that improved safety behaviors at all levels of the company could lead to improved reliability and less likelihood of a major incident.

What did the company do?

Huntsman implemented BSAFE – a proprietary behavioral-based safety system

•           Target setting by the BSAFE work group for levels of safe behavior to be achieved

•           All staff empowered to identify and implement improvements where unsafe conditions or behaviors are observed

•           Feedback to all staff, including comparisons with targets set by the BSAFE work group and advice for improvements

•           Training Huntsman staff to act as observers and coordinators

•           Observers monitoring behavioral safety in the workplace

Business benefits

•           £250,000 per year saving in steam leaks through identifying and making repairs. This reduction in energy consumption directly reduces taxes incurred via the Climate Change Levy

•           BSAFE has contributed to a 32% reduction in Huntsman’s 2003 insurance premiums

•           Significant reductions in operating costs as workers identify and rectify plant problems themselves

Health and safety benefits

‘As I carry out everyday tasks, I am constantly (probably subconsciously) reminding myself of things I must and must not do! I find myself noticing things (and doing something about it!) that I may have ignored before.’

S Gell, Operating Technician

•           No OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) recordable injuries over the last 18 months

•           OSHA recordable injury rate falling from around 3 per 200,000 hours worked in 1997/8 to zero in 2002/3

•           Improved awareness of the influence of behaviour on individual’s safety

•           All employees make a more proactive contribution to safety management

Cost benefits

The average, annual running cost of BSAFE is around £238,000. This includes training costs, time and salary of BSAFE observers and coordinators and the IT software. A large proportion of the costs would have been incurred anyway via a different department. The operations manager’s conservative estimate of savings on utility losses is £250,000 a year. BSAFE helped control steam leaks, saving around 5te/hour of steam. The savings in utilities, combined with the £multi thousand saving in insurance premiums more than offset the annual cost of BSAFE.


The senior environmental, health and safety manager at the site raised the profile of behavioural safety. He supported the BSAFE process as part of the company’s business manufacturing technique.

Worker involvement

Key safety representatives from unions (TGWU and Amicus) were actively involved by recruiting the coordinator and observers. The representatives are very supportive of BSAFE.

‘The introduction of BSAFE has brought about a fundamental shift in attitude towards Safety, Health and Environment. It has for the first time allowed every individual in the business to personally take responsibility for their own safety and for the safety of others’.

  1. Explain the BSAFE-safety system implemented by Huntsman Petrochemicals.
  2. Discuss the involvement of workers in the business firm.
  3. What are the various types of benefits involved in the case study?
  4. Analyze the case study in brief and pen down a short summary on it.
  5. Prepare a SWOT Analysis on the case study. 
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