Covid-19 health crisis: the TAQA Morocco business continuity plan
I. TAQA Morocco preparatory BCP activities for Covid-19 launched on January 31, 2020
The President of the TAQA Morocco Management Board, being aware of the what was at stake in the Coronavirus epidemic (which the World Health Organization, “WHO,” later declared to be a pandemic), appointed a commission to weigh in on the potential consequences of a spread of Covid-19 on TAQA Morocco’s business activities. An initial plan for Coronavirus Covid-19 preparatory actions was implemented with the first version of the BCP as early as January 31, 2020, before the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in Morocco, which occurred only at the beginning of March 2020. The preparatory activities that were identified and implemented mainly concerned the following:
Prevention, protection of personnel, and hygiene measures:
• Specific HSE (Health, Safety, Environment) awareness initiatives relating to health-safety rules and equipment for collaborators who work at the Port;
• HSE training provided to all Plant visitors, reinforced with a particular focus on the prevention of Coronavirus 2019-nCoV / Covid-19;
• Systematic raising of awareness during visits to workshops and offices by the workplace doctor;
• Providing phone numbers to call in the event that a case of contamination was suspected;
• Ordering masks and hand sanitizer and making them available to all personnel;
• Suspension of all business travel outside Morocco and prohibition on hosting external visitors (domestic or foreign) at the Jorf Lasfar Thermal Power Plant and the Casablanca offices, with respect to travel or visits whose nature and purpose was not considered critical to business continuity;
• Cancellation or postponement of all planned travel abroad (personal or professional) by personnel to zones identified as epidemic hotspots and implementation of an approach under which collaborators voluntarily declared, to a dedicated address, any travel by themselves or their family (spouse or children) that preceded the imposition of travel restrictions.
• Identification of critical positions at the Jorf Lasfar Thermal Power Plant and definition of the minimum staffing able to ensure continuity of business, in the event of rollout of levels II and III of the BCP;
• Development of the first version of the Covid-19 Business Continuity Plan on February 12, 2020;
• Implementation of an accelerated coal-supply program to ensure sufficient quantity for business continuity;
• External communication to all subcontractors and suppliers, informing them and making them aware of the measures taken by TAQA Morocco to protect itself against Covid-19.
Activity at the Port
• Requirement that all ships have a “Free Activity” certificate delivered by the port’s health controller (the first party to access the ship, before the operator);
• Raising awareness about the health service’s alert systems in the event of infection symptoms, and isolation on site of any suspected case, until arrival of the competent health authorities;
• Provision of additional masks and gloves at the port and making personnel and subcontractors aware of the need to wear them at all times while working on ships;
• Sharing contact information for alerts with the competent health authorities.
II. Measures implemented as soon as the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic, and TAQA Morocco’s rollout of Level I of its BCP
Prevention, protection of personnel, and hygiene measures
• Launch of a major local awareness and communication campaign on the rules for hygiene and health protection for all Personnel, and strengthening of the alert system;Adding an emergency-medicine doctor and two additional nurses to the medical team;
• Equipping an identified isolation zone outside the Plant with the necessary means, and preparation of a dedicated ambulance;
• Adding an emergency-medicine doctor and two additional nurses to the medical team;
• Continuous supply and maintenance of a safety stock of disinfection products, masks, hydro-alcoholic gels, infrared cameras, and disposable suits …
• Closing down of all gathering places, including the cafeteria, and provision of individual meals to go (defining groups and reminding them of hygiene precautions);
• Implementation of additional precautionary measures for the transport of Personnel; increase in the number of buses, systematic disinfection, installation of hand sanitizer distributors at bus entrances and exits, and checking people’s temperatures before they boarded;
• As of March 1, 2020, restriction of professional travel abroad, regardless of destination, due to the worldwide spread of the virus.
• Preparation for working from home: issued order to bring portable computers home; defined the necessary staffing for remote work and procedures for remote work;
• Restricted requests for external support and visits to emergency-only. Limited access to the Jorf Lasfar Thermal Power Plant to only that which was strictly necessary;
• Postponement of all internal events scheduled for March 2020;
• Installation of infrared cameras at the main entrance for subcontractors and at the port, and defined an alert system, which was communicated on March 14, 2020;
• Developed a premises disinfection protocol and schedule;
• Regularly aired out rooms, offices, meeting rooms and other premises, and ceased using the air conditioning/heating system (a vector for spread of the virus).
• Launched an inquiry into the management of merchandise intake (specific modus operandi).
• Supplied operational consumables and monitored stock levels daily;
• Continuous liaison with main suppliers and subcontractors in order to ensure full understanding of their capacity to support TAQA Morocco;
• Regular communication with public authorities and ONEE;
• Made subcontractors aware of the need to mobilize their teams and respect their contractual commitments;
III. Measures implemented as a result of decree n° 2-20-293 declaring a state of health emergency and Decree-Law n° 2-20-292, which imposed, among other things, a stay-at-home order
• Adaption of work organization to ensure normal functioning of the Jorf Lasfar Thermal Power Plant with reduced staffing both internally and by subcontractors. This mode of working had been planned in advance (level I of the BCP);
• Implementation of remote work for Support activities (Preparation, Performance, Stock Management, IT, Procurement and Inventory Control, SG, HR, Finance, Development, Internal Audit, Risk Management, Insurance, etc.). Creation of a remote-work charter and direct communication and oversight by Managers with remotely working teams.
• Made subcontractors aware of the need to mobilize their teams and respect the measures taken by the authorities as part of the state of health emergency.
Other initiatives of the TAQA Morocco Business Continuity Plan were anticipated and implemented for the most part. Their daily oversight was performed as part of the Business Continuity Management Committee’s work, to ensure that the entire plan was ready in the event of a need to move to a higher level of the BCP.
TAQA Morocco took part in the wave of national efforts to fight the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic
TAQA Morocco rolled out a number of initiatives supporting healthcare workers nationally and in the El Jadida Region to participate in the battle against Covid-19.
Financial support was provided to permit the acquisition of all the resuscitation equipment needed for 13 intensive-care units in Moroccan hospitals, as well as related medical equipment (monitors, intensive-care respirators, electric syringes…) and support for 20 nurses at the Mohammed V El Jadida Provincial Hospital Center to reinforce healthcare services for vulnerable populations. The company also donated two L2 ambulances equipped with respirators, one of which is dedicated to the city of El Jadida.
Social support was also provided to the El Jadida region to support the most disadvantaged people by distributing baskets of basic necessities, as well as the purchase of beds, blankets and other essential equipment, as well as equipping them with tablet computers to support remote learning for schoolchildren. TAQA Morocco is also mobilizing alongside Local Authorities by donating 3 equipped vehicles.
TAQA Morocco’s social-support initiatives relating to the fight against Covid-19 have reached 15 million dirhams: 10 MDH for communities and 5 MDH for the preventive healthcare initiative put in place to protect the health of TAQA Morocco’s collaborators and subcontractors, as described in the BCP.