Kevin de Kok – PID process operator
“I didn’t have to think long before choosing this work.”
Like a duck to water is how Kevin de Kok took to Petrochemical Industrial Distillation (PID) at Koole Tankstorage Botlek (KTB). Not surprising, considering he is following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. “I didn’t have to think long before choosing this work,” Kevin smiles proudly. In this very first Koole in the Spotlight, Kevin talks more about his work, what gives him satisfaction and what he likes best about his profession.
Operations may be in his blood, but it is mainly Kevin’s eagerness to learn that takes him further at Koole. The 25-year-old PID process operator was promoted to panel operator after his internships. He has now been working on PID for nearly four years. “One week I work inside, the other outside. I enjoy alternating between the two. Quiet days are followed by very busy days. That’s particularly challenging when there’s a breakdown. And then it’s hard work to ensure minimum production loss,” Kevin explains.
The energy transition & biofuels
KTB has four PID units, which can run batches independently for customers in the petrochemical industry. Various products such as low-sulfur fuel oil – heavy fuel oil, also known as HFO – are distilled in the units. This is a product made from distilling Doba crude oil, for example. “For the past two years, we’ve also been processing biofuels, such as renewable jet fuel and renewable diesel. It’s really cool to see that the products we process are changing more and more and that Koole is putting everything into facilitating the energy transition,” Kevin says proudly.
Teamwork is crucial
In PID, teams have to be in tune with each other. “You aim to keep the downtime between batches to a minimum. Good collaboration is therefore crucial. That works well in my team. None of us are the same age and we’re all from different backgrounds, but we click and get along well.” Kevin knows from previous experience what such collaboration can bring about. “Working with various departments, we managed to produce a new column with new piping. It didn’t take long at all to prepare the new unit for biofuels. It was great to have a hand in that.”
Close cooperation is important, not only in teams but also across the entire KTB (Koole Tankstorage Botlek) workforce. “PID and the tank farms have always had different personnel. We do our utmost to work seamlessly together. That flexibility is necessary, and it demands versatility.” Kevin does his best in that regard. Right now he’s taking a course in stock administration. “The great thing is that PID is continually evolving as a unit. The energy transition merely strengthens PID’s role. The same goes for me. I learn new things every day.”
Koole Tankstorage Botlek’s Petrochemical Industrial Distillation service has a large share of the independent product distillation market in Northwest Europe. In the coming years, hard work will be done to further strengthen PID’s role in the market by increasing the production capacity of renewable jet fuel, for example.