BY MOHAMMAD SHOEB
DOHA: Spending on various community welfare and social activities by the Qatar’s vibrant energy and industry sector in 2013 stood at $143m (QR520m), which was a fraction of its total revenues for the year.
The combined allocation on social development activities by the sector remained very low despite the sector’s whopping revenues of $153bn (QR557.15bn) for the year, figures released in the ‘2013 Report on Sustainability’ show.
However, the sector’s community investment spending witnessed a significant 19 percent increase in 2013 compared to previous year, while the revenues of the sector increased by 6.4 percent in 2013 compared to 2012.
According to the report, these allocations were made in various key social sectors, including education; health, safety and environment (HSE); sports; science and technology; arts and culture and other.
On the environmental front, the sector has achieved a remarkable 13 percent reduction in flaring and nine percent drop in NOx emissions (a generic term for mono-nitrogen oxides) in 2013, compared to previous year.
Gas flaring, or flare stack, is a gas combustion device used in industrial plants such as petroleum refineries, chemical and petrochemical plants, natural gas processing plants as well as at oil and gas production sites. Aiming at protecting the environment, the sector recycled nearly 36 percent of waste and 24.4 million cubic meter of water used by the sector. The waste recycle is just two percent short of the 2016 national target of 38 percent. The energy and industry sector together achieved 2.2 percent reduction in fresh water consumption.
As part of efforts in achieving energy efficiency and climate change, the document reported a 2.4 percent reduction in natural gas usage and three percent reduction in natural gas consumed per tonne of production. While per capita electricity consumption reduced by 10 percent.
“Qatar National Vision 2030 requires our operations and various economic activities to align with sustainable development. It was not easy task, but we are overcoming the challenges… The programme that we started few years ago has matured today, but it is a journey rather than a destination,” H E Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry, said in his keynote address during the launch of ‘2013 Report on Sustainability’.
Highlighting the advancement made by some of these companies in sustainable reporting, Dr Al Sada, said: “We are happy about the progresses made by some companies, but not complacent. In 2013, about 18 companies published their reports internationally against 11 in 2012, which is a remarkable achievement.”
Given the sector’s increased levels of production, energy consumption continues to rise together with Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, albeit only slightly. The focus remains on energy efficiency, which for the majority of companies, has improved slightly, and there are clear targets for further reduction by many companies in 2014/15. The country’s energy and industry sector created about 1,174 new jobs taking the sector’s total full-time workforce to over 39,000. Over 300 more Qataris were employed by the sector in 2013.
Date submitted by all these companies show that the sector’s workforce grew by 3.1 percent, leading to a stable Qatarization rate of 25 percent and a female employee rate of 10 percent. The amount of training delivered to employees rose by over 169,000 hours (total 1 million hours) to reach an average of 30 hours of training per employee.