20 May 2013

Things running smoothly in Bahrain - greetings from an expatriate

Written by Esa Merikallio
Published in Oil products

The Bahrain Lube Base Oil Plant, a joint venture between Bapco and nogaholding from Bahrain, and Neste Oil was commissioned in October 2011 and the plant has now been running for more than 18 months. Production started smoothly without any major problems. In the beginning two base oil grades, NEXBASE 3043 and NEXBASE 3080, were produced and from the beginning of this year a third grade, NEXBASE 3060, was introduced. The plant has operated smoothly, shipments have been on time, and co-operation between different joint venture parties has been good. Furthermore all base oils from Bahrain plant have been of very good quality fulfilling the strict specifications of NEXBASE product family.

Another area where the plant has been able to reach excellent result is the safety of its operations. Bapco, as the operator, has very good safety procedures, which have secured the production of quality products with excellent safety records. Bapco just announced that they achieved a safety milestone of one million employee hours without lost time injury.

Bahrain is an easy place to settle in

I have been living in Bahrain and acting as the General Manager for Neste Oil Bahrain W.L.L now for almost nine months. Although this is now my third international assignment it is always interesting and also challenging to move to another country, culture, and climate. Although, if you have been travelling a lot in different parts of the world it is a completely different thing to build up your daily routines in a foreign country and culture. Finding a proper apartment from a nice area (when you are not very familiar with your new destination), to open a bank account or obtain a new driving licence and local ID card could be an adventure of several days or even weeks. Bahrain, however, has been an easy place to move in; there has always been lot of expatriates in Bahrain so the administration has all procedures ready for them.

Everything has been working fairly well for me here and I have found this small island nation interesting and attractive. People are friendly and although a lot of new, modern buildings are rising everywhere there is still quite a lot to be seen from the old Bahraini history and culture, even from the days of old Dilmun civilisation, pearl diving and early days of oil (the first oil discovery in the Arabian Gulf was made in Bahrain). The modern Bahrain is represented by futuristic buildings on reclaimed land and of course by the Bahrain International Circuit, which hosts the Formula 1 race.

I am looking forward to the rest of my assignment here. There are still places to discover here and lot to learn from this culture and hopefully we do not see too many days in the coming summer with temperatures exceeding 45 C.

Esa Merikallio
Managing Director, Base Oils