Operational Excellence (OE) is a business-improvement process that focuses on team-based problem solving and process improvement, leading to meaningful results, including a safer, more efficient workplace. To date, more than 200 employees from the corporate office, Moa, Fort Saskatchewan and Ambatovy have participated in OE events, including 50 project teams focusing on areas such as logistics, maintenance and production.
In 2017, a project was undertaken at the Fort Site to reduce steam venting through optimizing equipment operation. The Fort Site has a large and complex steam system that includes multiple steam generators with differing levels of steam pressure; a large number of process steam users; and a variety of steam turbine drives around the site. A project was identified to reduce energy consumption and net greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the amount of low-pressure steam vented to the atmosphere. During winter and summer operation, steam demands can be quite different and require different operating strategies. Through optimizing these operating strategies in three of the site production units, the steam vent has been significantly reduced. The projected savings for 2018 are over 15,000 tonnes of steam, with total cost savings of over $300,000 and an associated estimated greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 2,500 t CO2e.
In November, Sherritt undertook a five-day OE session targeting health and safety at the mine site at Moa. Over 25 employees from all areas of the site, including mining, maintenance, and production, as well as four Sherritt staff from Canada attended the event. The exercise focused on leadership interactions, sharing of experiences, and awareness-building around unsafe behaviours occurring on site. As a result of the event, front-line supervisors at Moa are now more actively engaged in curtailing unsafe work as it occurs.