PetroVietnam: vaccination made top priority hinh anh 1Vaccination for workers (Photo: PetroVietnam)

Hanoi (VNA) - As many employees of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, the group's production and trade as well as projects and plants have met with many difficulties and challenges, and above all, the employees' safety and health are at high risk.

At a working session with leaders of the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau on July 25, Deputy Prime Minister and head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control Vu Duc Dam said if the pandemic spreads to seaports and oil and gas facilities, Vietnam’s transport and logistics network as well as the oil and gas economy will be hard hit.

PetroVietnam: vaccination made top priority hinh anh 2Workers at Nhon Trach 2 power plant test for COVID-19 (Photo: PetroVietnam)

As a mainstay State-owned enterprise of the economy, PetroVietnam operates and manages key oil and gas works and plants, playing a key role in ensuring the country’s energy and food security, making great contributions to the State budget and macro-economic stability. Amid the recent resurgence of COVID-19 pandemic, PetroVietnam and its affiliates have strived to accomplish the twin goals of fighting the pandemic and maintaining production and trade. With efforts and determination to adopt comprehensive measures and with business administration experience, PetroVietnam had surpassed almost assigned targets for 2020 and the first half of this year, while participating in COVID-19 prevention and control activities at a total cost of over 500 billion VND. While a number of State-owned corporations and groups were seriously hit by the pandemic, PetroVietnam’s contributions in the current context are not only significant to the State budget but also social life in general.

PetroVietnam now has over 50,000 managers, experts and workers. In order to ensure their safety and health, PetroVietnam and its affiliates have actively sought COVID-19 vaccine supplies and registered vaccination for their staff, apart from implementing strict prevention and control measures such as “three on the spot”, “a road – two destinations” rules.

PetroVietnam: vaccination made top priority hinh anh 3Workers at PV Gas seriously follow COVID-19 prevention and control regulations (Photo: PetroVietnam) 

Amid the complicated developments of the pandemic at present, the fact that many employees have not been vaccinated poses big risks to the operation and production at oil rigs, plants, oil and gas works. Major projects such as Song Hau 1 thermal power plant, face delay due to social distancing measures that lead to the shortage of workers and experts. On Song Hau construction site, about 1,300 workers from contractors are working, so direct contacts with many people and units are likely to spread infections. If a COVID-19 case is found there, many workers will be put under concentrated quarantine and travelling is limited. The pilot operation and commercial production will be behind schedule, not meeting the plan assigned by the Government. Similarly, if similar cases occur in oil rigs and seaports, the damage will not stop within the group but will cause unpredictable consequences to the economy.

Therefore, the group has made vaccination the top priority in order to prevent the pandemic and ensure smooth production and trade. Regarding the Song Hau 1 thermal power plant project, PetroVietnam has actively worked with ministries, agencies and authorities of Hau Giang and Can Tho to seek vaccination for its workers at the construction site. However, only nine members of the project’s management board have been vaccinated. The remaining workers have yet to be inoculated, together with thousands of experts and workers from contractors and sub-contractors.

PetroVietnam: vaccination made top priority hinh anh 4Workers at PVFCCO test for COVID-19 (Photo: PetroVietnam)

From a broader angle, PetroVietnam’s strategic products such as gas, electricity, petrol are “flows of energy” which can be considered the “bloodline” of a region and a country while fertiliser plants have the ultimate task of ensuring food security amid the scarcity of fertilizer supplies and price hike at present. Therefore, protecting oil and gas facilities against COVID-19 means protecting key national works. Sharing the same view with Deputy PM Dam, at a recent teleconference between permanent Government members and 27 southern cities and provinces to discuss drastic measures against the pandemic, Secretary of the Ba Ria – Vung Tau provincial Party Committee Pham Viet Thanh said one of the current priorities is ensuring the safety of seaports, maritime transport system, oil and gas activities and several key projects. He suggested offering vaccine packages for workers in these areas.

PetroVietnam: vaccination made top priority hinh anh 5PVOIl's workers at general oil and gas warehouse (Photo: PetroVietnam)

PetroVietnam is fully aware of the seriousness of the current pandemic resurgence, and at the same time has set vaccination "campaign" as the key task in the coming time. The Group and its affiliates are exerting daily efforts to access vaccine sources as quickly as possible via different channels. Apart from classifying priority groups for vaccination and units with high number of workers, PetroVietnam has come up with a plan to provide suitable equipment and timely deal with contingencies, toward ensuring the goal of preventing production chain disruption and make positive contributions to the national economy./.