The Major Role Of The Gulf Downstream Association (GDA)

Mr. Al Ahmadi is an active member of many professional and charity associations and was Chairman of MEPEC Conference and Exhibition 2013 & 2015. He is a Senior Member of AIChE, a Board Member in the Saudi section of AIChE, a member of the Saudi Council of Engineers, a member of the Cancer Society in the Eastern Province, KSA and a Board Member of the National Retiree Association in Dammam among others.

Tell us about the Gulf Downstream Association.

The Gulf Downstream Association (GDA) is a non-profit organization established by a Cabinet decree in 2016 and was founded by Saudi Aramco, Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco), Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI), Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) with the aim of bringing leading Downstream Players together to further develop the industry and draw mutual benefits of sharing knowledge and best practices.

How do you plan to develop the industry?

GDA’s mission is to provide a platform for sharing knowledge, experience and best practices by connecting Downstream Companies, technology and service providers, consultants, professional entities and academic institutions.

We have already formed technical committees in 9 different streams: HSE, Technologies, Operational Excellence, Industry Trends, Plant Reliability & Integrity, Energy Management, Project Management, Commissioning & Start-up and Leadership & People Development. These committees are currently made up of 70 Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) taken from our Founding Companies and our other members. Together they represent about 1,400 man-years of technical experience. These SMEs meet several times a year to execute an agreed plan of action in creating best-in-class work practices, white papers, case studies, articles and much more. They have formed a strong network of expertise between member companies through which they share their issues and exchange valuable solutions and ideas.

Besides these Technical Committees, GDA Website provides many interactive portals to capitalise on member’s individual knowledge and expertise such as Lessons learned, Discussion board, Bite-size Videos, Ask the Experts and many more.

What else does GDA do?

We conduct regular courtesy In-House training courses for GDA Members by in-house experts and external courses or workshops with selected partners for GDA Members at reduced rates. We plan to hold more technical workshops, seminars, symposiums in the future.

What’s next for GDA?

Under the patronage of H.R.H. Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister, Kingdom of Bahrain and with the support of the National Oil & Gas Authority (NOGA), our upcoming flagship event, the ‘GDA International Downstream Conference & Exhibition’ (GDA Conference 2018), is scheduled to be held in the Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre on the 23rd – 25th October.

It is poised to become the leading Middle East strategic platform for downstream professionals to address business challenges, share best practices and unlock potential opportunities through collaboration and partnerships. Striving towards excellence, our Conference aims at engaging regional and international stakeholders across the business, academia and technology providers capitalize on investment, innovation and growth.

I would like to highlight that the GDA Conference 2018 will include many exclusive opportunities like Meet the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) where anyone attending can meet the SMEs and interact with them, they can gain first-hand experience of building a Robot to detect an oil leak in the pipeline or print a spare-part through a 3-D Printer in 1-hour session without any prior knowledge in our ‘TechXperience’ Zone, delegates can share their industry challenges in a drop-box and GDA will then consolidate and publish top industry challenges on our website with contributor’s credit. Delegates can also discuss with GDA officials how to collaborate and benefit from GDA membership.

We are also honoured to have the Leadership Excellence for Women Awards & Symposium (LEWAS 2018) under the patronage of H.E. Sh. Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Minister of Oil, Kingdom of Bahrain running on the sidelines of our conference. Since its inception in 2013, LEWAS with the objective to Empower, Engage and Elevate women has recognized and honoured both men and women who are not only making a mark in the Energy industry but are also being an advocate for women empowerment in the GCC.