Reporter: It is known that you are holding the position of the Head of the Ca Mau Gas - Power - Fertilizer Project Management Unit at the most difficult period of the project, would you like to share some memories and ways for the PMU to overcome that period?
Dr. Le Manh Hung: In 2009, I was assigned to hold the position of Head of Ca Mau Gas - Power - Fertilizer Project Management Unit, this is a project period with some rather unique features because the other gas - power projects have been completed, in the period of warranty, finalization and audit, while Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant Project is in the beginning stage. At this time, Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant Project is very difficult, progress is slow, many disputes between the Employer and Contractor have not been resolved, even the background treatment was delayed due to disagreements between the parties.
The matter that I remember most is that right from the commencement days of the project (just a few days after I officially took over the assignment), there were many officials and engineers in the PMU asked for resignation or transferring to another job (maybe due to judgment about the project future). I was actually quite confused right now. I didn't have time to find out, I just had to invite someone to discuss, convince them by my own plan to work in the project, make a commitment to implement, prepare the work plan within 6 months and assure that if the work result does not change, then they may decide to move. Besides, EPC Master Contractor also put much pressure on PMU when giving many reasons such as incurring costs, demand of change in equipment... change quality standards, and at the same time push up EPC contract prices.
With sincerity, we might convince everyone to stay together to share, burden the messy work of the project, especially, there were few officials who left and then asked to return to "work" with the fellows. And after a period of efforts, we have completed the work as committed, solved a series of difficulties including the problem of project payment (dividing payment milestones to support the contractor, resolutely not to let the contractor change quality standards, equipment…). Especially, consent and solve the problems of background treatment and change the construction phase, thereby promoting and gradually regaining the progress of Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant Project.
With the efforts of the PMU, the Master Contractor and the support of Petrovietnam and relevant agencies, the project was finally completed with good quality and on schedule, especially saving up to 200 million USD compared to the total approved investment.
It can be shown that the important lesson to complete a project at a very difficult period is to create trust in the organization, build a team and unify, aim at a common purpose to carry out the work methodically and reliably, and at the same time handle harmoniously and balance the internal (PMU) and external relationships (master contractor, contractors, consultants…) of the project.
Reporter: Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant has a very difficult starting point, can you tell readers an important difficult overcoming lesson that is the result of a whole investment and construction process. But for that achievement to promote long-term value, this is only the first step for the development of a big enterprise. For Ca Mau Petroleum Fertilizer Joint Stock Company (PVCFC) - The owner of Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant, at the starting point of operating, producing and participating in the market, will face many difficulties both subjectively and objectively. In which, there were four major difficulties: the first was about raw materials (gas with high CO2 content) at market prices (at that time it was 0.46 HFO while oil prices was high); the second is a much costs due to high depreciation costs, high financial costs...; the third is the new operating personnel, equipment and technology with potential risks of breakdowns; the Fourth is the opaque granular nitrogen fertilizer product, although its quality is higher than many similar products currently in the market, this is a new product, without a brand name, un-known to customers...
From proactively identifying difficulties, the members of the PMU, then the company's leadership, right from the design, construction, installation, test-run stages, have reviewed, identified risks, optimized to build handling plans when incidents occur, operation and maintenance plans, and at the same time training and building a team of technical, managerial, and technical personnel, operating the plant safely and efficiently.
For market, right from the approval of the project, Petrovietnam has had a policy to develop the market and has approved the implementation costs up to hundreds of billions dong, besides, the company also carried out branding, business strategy, distribution system, agent system and market access in a very methodical manner very early. etc.
With the set goal for profiting right from the first year of operation, we were determined to build the most streamlined management system, closely coordinate between departments, stages, the most effective costs, so in 2012, the company only officially took over for commercial operation after the handover date from April 2012 but exceeded the plan and made a profit of more than 740 billion dong. It can be seen that, with forecasting, identifying difficulties, challenges, risks, building effective and proactive management solutions from the early days, Ca Mau Fertilizer plant has produced, trade effectively right from the first year of operation.
Reporter: Currently, Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant is not only a big brand of Vietnam's fertilizer, but also an enterprise with a good management system. How do you feel this statement?
Dr. Le Manh Hung: The fact that Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant has a very good governance system, has been highly appreciated by shareholders and the stock market, and Petrovietnam has also evaluated and honored many times. Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant is not only a big brand, leading the domestic market but also spreading to other countries such as Cambodia, Bangladesh, India, Switzerland...
The corporate governance of Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant is not only good but also has a very unique feature that is solidarity and unity with an efficient and economical system. First of all, due to the formation of the company from Ca Mau Gas - Power - Fertilizer Project Management Unit, inheriting the results of the project complex with a very big investment capital (USD 2.2 billion) with a force of personnel with high technical and technological qualifications, very high spirit of solidarity and unity. Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant was born late, in very difficult conditions, so the company has determined the goal at the starting point time and a fine management model. The business plan is built on the basis of taking advantage of the social system, optimizing costs, minimizing the number of ownership transfers...
In addition to the solid foundation management system transferred from the project management system, the company also plans, trains and builds a high-quality human resource team. Right from the formation (in 2011), the company has built the training plans and strategies to supplement knowledge, skills, and culture for employees, especially selected and trained 10 CEOs for the company, they have grown up with senior management positions in the company as well as many units in Petrovietnam.
Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant is also a pioneer in applying science and technology to management, production and business. As one of the units implementing ERP management system very early, digitizing business management, building and applying big data in business such as PMS system...; implementing research and development (R&D) since it was a project… has created a good, effective and transparent governance system. Moreover, the successive generations of leaders at Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant have inherited and promoted the management achievements from the early days and have increasingly upgraded the system in a methodical and more efficient manner.
Reporter: PVCFC is a unit with its own cultural identity, as one of the people who built this cultural foundation, can you tell us about the process and how to build that culture. Is this the secret for PVCFC's success in the past 10 years?
Dr. Le Manh Hung: Talking about the culture of Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant, the embryo feature transferred from the project management model, most of the company's personnel have a very strict project management "DNA", high consistency. In other words, "job upon time", "dare to do it, dare to take responsibility"... penetrated into the blood vessels of every person at Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant.
Since the formation, the company agreed to define the role of corporate culture as "helping the company to develop and last forever". On that basis, determine the goals, strategies, and core values of " Diligent - Friendly – Professional - Responsible - Harmonious" and then work with consultants to analyze, evaluate, then plan and organize the implementation of building the foundation culture and identity for Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant in a sustainable and long-term way, through many periods and stages.
I still remember once (about 2011-2012) Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant invited Venerable Thich Minh Tri to talk to all officials and employees about " filial piety and human manners ". That is one of the elements of the foundational culture that the consulting unit later coordinated to deploy, thereby helping the employees at Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant to recognize and absorb the best human ethics, spread the healthy, useful and harmonious lifestyle in families, company and society. Leaders of Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant in generations attach great importance to corporate culture and continuously have programs to recreate corporate culture, aiming at the goal of building and perfecting the cultural identity: "Promote Ca Mau Fertilizer Plant’s personnel’s potentiality ".
Reporter: As the General Director of Petrovietnam, can you tell us whether the Group is orienting to develop the refining and petrochemical industry in general and the fertilizer sector in particular?
Dr. Le Manh Hung: Currently, Petrovietnam is engaging in production and business with 5 main fields: Exploration and exploitation, petrochemical refining, gas industry, electricity industry, and technical services. Petrochemical refining is one of the main business fields that plays an increasingly important role, thereby it will extend the value chain of the Oil and Gas industry to the market.
For oil refining, Petrovietnam has determined its goal is to be the leader in Vietnam in terms of production and distribution of refined petroleum products such as common gasoline, oil, and jet fuel on the basis of Dung Quat and Nghi Son Refinery Plant. … For the development of petrochemicals, in the content of Resolution 41 of the Politburo on the development strategy of Vietnam's oil and gas industry, it was clearly stated, this is the field that is prioritized for development to increase benefits in the use of oil and gas resources. Petrovietnam's petrochemical industry currently focuses on the production of petrochemical products (plastics, fibers, components...), petroleum chemicals include fertilizers and chemicals which are products generated during the processing period from oil and gas, meeting domestic and export demand.
For fertilizer production, Petrovietnam will maintain production, dedicate resources to promote and apply technology in order to improve quality, output, and expand markets; diversify raw materials and products to serve the needs of the agricultural industry.
Reporter: Thank you!