World looking up for new Downstream Development Academy
SVP: Opening of training facility a major milestone in becoming an employer of choice.
A new world-class training facility for Aramco’s downstream business has opened in Ras Tanura (RT).
The internationally accredited Downstream Development Academy (DDA) features a virtual reality laboratory, a computer lab, six purpose-built classrooms, and the multidiscipline training hub (MTH), which houses near plant-like learning and practice facilities.
The MTH, also known as Plant J99, was moved to the DDA building from the RT Refinery mostly by company trainee technicians. The hub was built in 2013 with equipment retrieved from retired plants and excess materials to mirror refinery operations for training in a controlled environment.
In opening the training facility on Dec. 24, Mohammed Y. Al-Qahtani, senior vice president of Downstream, said the DDA was a major milestone in the company’s journey in becoming an employer of choice.
I would like to thank all of you for this impressive academy. It will help Downstream and the company in solving future challenges.
— Mohammed Y. Al-Qahtani
An independent U.S. vocational education organization, the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training, has accredited the academy, highlighting in its on-site evaluation the DDA’s institutional management, professional relationships, and curriculum revision. The accreditation status will help the academy further attract external customers who will benefit from the internationally endorsed training facilities and programs.
Yahya Q. Daghriri, superintendent of the RT Clustered Shared Services Department’s HR Division, said the new academy will make learning more engaging, challenging, and realistic.
“The DDA serves as an internationally accredited and certified training hub for the growing customized industrial Downstream operations and maintenance training,” said Daghriri. “Our customer base goes beyond serving Aramco organizational training needs to include local joint ventures.”
Training at the academy, which can accommodate 250 trainees, is divided into three streams: professional, industrial, and safety. The majority of courses offered are of short duration, from one day to one week. New equipment has increased the number of on-the-job training opportunities to around 1,600 tasks from a previous 600 tasks, which integrate new training platforms, including virtual and augmented reality.
“Downstream is where one can find the highest complexity processes, which drives high-level technology integration, therefore, DDA becomes the pioneer in offering the most modern, current, and relevant training opportunities for our workforce and for others,” said Saleh R. Zahrani, champion of the MTH project.
Mohammed H. Jaamal, a registrar in the HR Development Division, welcomes Mohammed Y. Al-Qahtani (far left) and Suleman A. Al Bargan, vice president of Domestic Refining & NGL Fractionation (second from left), and Fawaz I. Nawwab, general manager of the RT Refinery (third from left) to the Downstream Development Academy. (Photo: Moayed Al-Qattan/MPD)