The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic make clear what Hassan Khilji has always known about the importance of quality in ensuring new substations and other grid infrastructure is completed on time, performs as expected, and runs without interruption.
In a sector as critical as power, high-quality project execution has always been a top priority for GE Grid Solutions customers. It’s even more important now, when social distancing, curfews and other factors complicating project execution cannot be allowed to impact quality or delivery.
That’s because continuing to make progress today, in the face of an unprecedented global pandemic, means Pakistan will have a more reliable supply of electricity tomorrow, when the focus will once again be on the nation’s economic development.
Khilji well understands how quality is a tool to overcome all types of obstacles, having worked in the power sector in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan region for 29 years, including the past year with GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business.
As a senior project manager, Khilji’s role is focused on the key aspects of quality, including ensuring that with every aspect of planning, manufacturing, construction, testing and commissioning, “principles and processes are followed in both letter and spirit.”
“That’s my role, to ensure that every step and every process is followed by the book.” This means all work is done in accordance with specifications determined in advance by the customer and developed in accordance with best-practice requirements for each project. This “documentation” is the first step in the quality process, by setting out all specifications and requirements to be practiced throughout the project.
Ensuring compliance with these documents during each step in the process is what delivers quality, and using customized project management tools and software to monitor timelines and budgets throughout the project is how costs and timelines are managed – even in exceptional times such as these.
That puts Khilji, as a project manager, in what he calls “the driver’s seat – and the hot seat.” It’s one reason he loves his job: “I enjoy the challenges that we face and the challenges we overcome, while leading the project from the front.” He also likes working with customers, with GE teams, and with third-party suppliers.
Currently, he’s in charge of a turnkey 500kV substation project near Faisalabad that will help deliver much needed electricity to homes, businesses, and industrial and manufacturing plants in the northern region of Punjab province.
In light of COVID-19, Khilji’s role includes working with federal and provincial authorities to ensure his team and other contractors on the project have the documents they need to travel to and from the worksite. As well, to protect the health of everyone onsite, he’s working to ensure there are sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment and that social distancing rules are followed.
Khilji is aware that actions such as these, which reflect his constant focus on quality, will result in more reliable electricity supply for the millions of people living and working in the region.
Delivering quality projects also is good for Grid Solutions, he says. “If a quality product or service is delivered, that generates goodwill for your company with the customer. The biggest benefit is to the reputation of the provider.”
As well, a quality job means no extra expenses from reworking or repairing, or from performance guarantee penalties.
Khilji’s commitment to quality is just one of many ways GE is supporting customers and communities during these unprecedented times.
Also in Pakistan, GE Power Services operations and maintenance teams have donated hundreds of pieces of personal protection equipment, such as N-95 and surgical masks, gloves and protective suits, to three Pakistani hospitals.
GE Healthcare in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey is urging hospitals in the region to send old or non-working ventilators to its repair centers in Turkey and Saudi Arabia. They will refurbish and return them to the hospitals for use in treating COVID-19 patients.
Globally, GE also is taking steps, such as GE Healthcare adding employees to keep its ventilator manufacturing facilities in the US operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This has enabled a doubling of capacity since the outbreak began. It plans to double it again by midyear.
The GE Foundation is contributing to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, an organization set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) and administered by the United Nations Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation. GE Digital is providing utilities and manufacturers with automation software to operate from home. A free 90-day license to remote monitoring and control systems is available to 20,000 utilities and factories.
Read more about GE’s contribution to the power sector across the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan region.