Electricity

Fourteen-day shifts in power systems for stable supply in region

4-day-shifts-in-power-systems-for-stable-supply-in-region

Photo: Thermal power plant Kakanj

Published

March 27, 2020

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Published:

March 27, 2020

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Power utility Elektroprivreda Bosne i Hercegovine (EPBiH) has decided to split the employees into two groups due to the emergency caused by the coronavirus. One group will work and sleep in power plants for 14 days, while the other will spend the period in isolation at home, and then replace the first one.

A similar regime was applied by Slovenia’s transmission system operator (TSO) ELES, which isolated a team of six at the national control center, while public heating utility Novosadska Toplana decided to split its employees into two groups – one will come to work, and another will work from home, and the next day roles will be changed.

Other energy companies in the region have not officially announced what their working model would be amid the spread of the coronavirus, though there have been announcements that anyone who can work from home will do so.

According to EPBiH, 167 people work 14 days in two shifts without leaving production facilities

According to EPBiH, in order to ensure the stability of the power and heat production and supply, 167 employees will work 14 days in two shifts without leaving production facilities.

The work process in the company’s production units is organized as a so-called closed cycle – complete isolation of employees in the thermal power plants (TPPs) and hydropower plants (HPPs) for a period of 14 days.

Employees isolated in their homes for 14 days will replace their colleagues after a detailed medical check

In TPP Tuzla there are 117 employees in isolation, compared to 20 in TPP Kakanj 16 in the HPPs on the Neretva river. They all operate blocks and units in two 12 hour shifts, EPBiH said.

At the same time, in isolation at home, there are workers who will replace their colleagues in power plants after detailed medical checks.

Rule from the army for the Novi Sad heating plant

About 160 employees of heating utility Novosadska Toplana, in charge of production and distribution of heat, operate in the old regime, working in shifts. But without any contact between the groups when shifts change.

All the rest, about 135 employees, work in two separate teams from March 15. One group comes in while the other works from home, and the next day the roles are changed. Meetings are held every day via conference calls and Skype.

Dušan Macura, head of heat production and distribution at public heating utility Novosadska Toplana, told Balkan Green Energy News the rule to split into two groups reminds him of the army.

Remote management software solution TeamViewer has proven to be a great in the crisis

This is, he says, the simplest and most primitive rule for the situation because if a virus enters the company there would be no one to run the system.

If a large number of production and distribution workers get infected, then the company would divide the rest into two groups.

Then seven-day shifts will be introduced, so one group would be in facilities and the other at home, and vice versa, Macura explained.

For years now, the company has been using TeamViewer, a remote management software that allows employees to access the company network from their computers at home as if they were at their workplace.

In this new situation, the software has proven to be a great solution, Macura said.

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