Meeting on Asset Condition Brings Together Power Operations

Every year at Power Operations, management and technical resources come together for a one-day meeting to discuss the status of equipment and facilities for each area, as well as investment plans for the coming years based on risk levels. This is a great time to share information and ensure that everyone has a common understanding of asset condition and priorities. This unifying, engaging Power Operations tradition has been going on for 15 years. The last meeting was held on March 17.

“This meeting helps us develop a common vision for the future of our assets, and to figure out where we’re headed. We want to continuously improve and reduce risk,” says Johann Friedrich, Operations Director, Power Operations. Knowing the condition of the assets allows us to target relevant risks, be they to health, safety, the environment, the community or the economy. As a result, investment and mitigation plans can be developed to reduce risk profiles.

The event is headed by Pierre-Luc Dufour, Reliability Engineer, who ensures that the processes for proper asset management and the annual presentation of all this knowledge are properly implemented in all sectors. “This is the result of the work that technical resources do on an ongoing basis with operations. Civil experts and engineers can then propose investment plans for up to 20 years to mitigate risks in the coming years,” he says.

“This annual meeting is a very useful practice that is not done everywhere at Rio Tinto. Three things stand out for me: teamwork, expertise and quality of results. There is no other place in the company where there is so much expertise, except in our region,” says Frédéric Dallaire, Senior Manager, Asset Management at Quebec Operations.

Power Operations’ Asset Management: A Strength

We must first understand the health of assets to properly manage them. This assessment is done with the help of numerous technical, maintenance, operational and expert resources. Based on inspections and various specialised technical reports, it is possible to measure the health of the equipment with maximum precision.

The Maintenance Energy Centre also plays an important role in asset management. It is a young department at Power Operations. It has been operating for about two years but is currently capable of processing thousands of additional pieces of data on equipment health. “Essentially, we’re gaining operational efficiency and planning by identifying the right intervention to make at the right time. With the Maintenance Energy Centre, we can better anticipate our potential breakdowns in the coming months or even years,” says Marc-André Lavoie, Analyst Engineer at the Maintenance Energy Centre.

“Once we know the condition of the assets, we need to identify the risks associated with them. If there is a health gap in an asset, we ask ourselves what the consequences will be, financial or otherwise. Risks are then measured and analysed by the reliability specialist and the whole asset management team, and finally approved by an asset management expert,” says Mr. Dufour. “By reducing our risks through targeted mitigation measures, we gain a great deal in terms of safety and reliability. We also reduce or even eliminate major threats to our operations and community.”

Power Operations is:

  • Over 1,800 assets valued
  • 72 risk scenarios identified and monitored
  • Over 150 risk mitigation measures and controls
  • Continuous risk review
  • Development and update of more than ten 0–20-year investment programmes