Meet our expert

Going the extra mile for support

Making sure customers in the Canadian oil sands get the very best from our products and expertise is an essential part of Kemira’s business philosophy, so our work doesn’t end when our chemicals are delivered. Chief Hui, Technical Service Manager, Oilfield Services, Canada, and the rest of the field services team are on the frontline implementing solutions, optimizing performance, and ensuring everyone gets home safely at the end of each working day.

Going the extra mile for support

The best results always come from close customer collaboration.

Chief Hui is a familiar face to those working around Canada’s extensive oil sands operations. He and his team in Fort McMurray, Alberta look after the implementation of Kemira solutions in the field, providing support and expertise on everything from safe chemical deliveries to performance optimization. To do this successfully, Chief highlights the importance of getting to know personnel on site: “the best – and safest – results always come from close customer collaboration,” he points out.

A careful process that can’t be rushed

The work starts long before any chemicals are delivered. A typical implementation process starts with Chief and his team touring the area and really getting to grips with the customer’s operation and how their equipment and processes work, as well as getting up to speed with the site’s specific requirements. “Every site is different and has different requirements, and it’s essential to know them inside out,” Chief explains.

“We also need to carry out training and touch base with the right contacts.” It’s a time-consuming process, but by the end the team know their way around, the correct procedures, and where to find the right people to talk to. “Once we’ve put the groundwork in, we’re ready to start implementation. And because we work directly with customer contacts and make sure we’ve done all our homework, we can make sure that the implementation process goes safely and smoothly,” Chief points out.

The importance of safety cannot be overstated. It’s about a whole culture of keeping everyone safe.

Safety above all else

Much of the work before, during, and after delivery is concerned with safety, and for Chief and his team it’s never just a box-ticking exercise. “The importance of safety cannot be overstated,” Chief emphasizes. “For us, it’s not only about going through the safety training, it’s about a whole culture of keeping everyone safe. Kemira has worked hard to achieve this culture across the whole company.”

The bottom line is that we want to make sure everyone involved knows what to do in any given situation. We make sure the paperwork is right and that we understand the area and any potential hazards before we get started – with the size of the sites it’s an enormous job, but we never cut corners. ‘Big’ doesn’t do justice to how vast the sites are, so proactive communication and interaction are key. With the drive from gate to office to permit center sometimes taking as long as 30 minutes, it all adds up to maybe two hours of travel time in a typical day,” says Chief. “We know the route delivery drivers should take, we make sure everything is labeled properly, and we escort anyone new to where they need to go. This means the right product always arrives at the right area and drivers know the whole safety protocol.”

We are a critical link between the on-site application and the personnel in the lab.

Ensuring the best possible results

Once the chemicals have arrived, Chief and his team provide the added value that has become Kemira’s trademark in this sector. “You can only model so much in the lab, especially when moving beyond design capacity,” points out Chief. “For example, temperature and retention time can’t all be modeled, so it’s essential that those of us in the field provide feedback. We are a critical link between the on-site application and the personnel in the lab – before the field implementation, lab testing only lets you know you’re in the right ballpark. Maybe we’ll suggest pushing the chemicals further upstream in the process to gain more reaction time, or we’ll see a way to increase chemical effectiveness in less than optimal conditions, either with mechanical changes or by tweaking the current solution or finding a new one,” Chief explains.

“If the customer needs polymer hydration or chemical injection equipment, we can help design and provide that too! Whatever it is, we’ll work with the customer to figure out how to get even closer to where they need to be.”

Transparency at every turn

Chief has become a highly trusted contact for the customers he works with. “The dialogue with our customers is very honest and open,” explains Chief. “This transparency is something Kemira does very well. We are honest about what we can do, our abilities, and how we can help, with no false promises. We are always trying to actively improve and help the customer in any way we can. We don’t want to just be salesmen; we want to show that our expertise adds real value to our products and will ultimately give better results to our customers. I find it really rewarding when I know someone needs help and we’re the first call they make.”

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Name
Chief Hui
Title
Technical Service Manager, Oilfield Services, Canada
At Kemira since
2011
Location
Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
Words to live by
“Be safe out there.”
What motivates me
Quite simply, doing a good job.

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