If there’s one person who exemplifies what it means to thrive on a challenge, it’s Bruno Lanciano. As a power station manager, no two days are the same, but he relishes the challenge.
Bruno Lanciano is not the type of person who simply goes through the motions. As manager of Shell Energy’s Neerabup Power Station in Western Australia, he is meticulous and knows exactly what must be done each day to keep the power station running smoothly. But it’s when things don’t go to plan that Bruno truly shines.
“I love variety, and this role certainly has that,” Bruno says. “Our job is to maximise reliability and minimise the station’s downtime. That means we need to find faults and rectify them as soon as possible. It can be challenging but I really enjoy working through a problem to find the solution. Getting hands-on, collaborating with the team to fix an issue – that’s what really makes it interesting!”
Since completing his electrical trade apprenticeship 36 years ago, Bruno has played a key role in several significant power generation projects. He helped commission two new gas turbines at a hot briquetted iron plant in remote Western Australia, rising through the ranks to become manager of Port Hedland Power Station, and a pipeline controller for the 1,600km Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline (DBNGP).
But Bruno’s biggest and most rewarding challenge? Commissioning the Neerabup Power Station, 30km north of Perth, in 2009. Powered by natural gas, the Neerabup Power Station is a significant provider of electricity in WA, and includes a 30km high-pressure gas linepack pipeline connected to the DBNGP.
“I helped recruit and train the team so we could go straight into operation after commissioning,” Bruno says. “Those early years were quite challenging. Because we had the plant and the gas pipeline, we had to establish two different systems. There were a few teething issues but we worked through them as a team. That was my biggest achievement – setting up the team and getting through that commissioning phase.
“We don’t just turn up each day because it’s a job - we’re invested in this site and we love working here. Most of the team is still here, too. We’re really close-knit.”
Leading a team of seven, Bruno oversees the operations and maintenance of both the power station and gas pipeline. The site supplies electricity to a large area, from Perth in the west, to Kalgoorlie in the east, and from Kalbarri in the north to Albany in the south.
“The gas pipeline is 30km long and 26 inches wide with two compressors,” Bruno says. “It can store a fair amount of gas, and we can run the station with no gas inflow. The power station is a peaking power station, so we don’t run continuously but we’re all set up and ready to go when there is a demand.”
Bruno sees the impact of his work every day. He takes pride in the fact that he and his Neerabup team are powering homes and businesses around Western Australia. And he values being part of Shell Energy’s long-term mission to energise a better tomorrow through smart, innovative energy solutions.
“Shell Energy’s going in a good direction. It’s made investments into other areas, such as batteries, renewables, wind and solar. And because it’s got the backing of an established global organistion, it’s a stable company to work for.”
Bruno supports his team in their professional development, and encourages them to take up the vast range of learning opportunities available at Shell Energy.
“There’s a lot of opportunity. Any time one of our team members wants to undertake training or development, we support them in that. Shell Energy also provides a work environment with a bit more balance. We get five additional days a year to use when we need them, so the company understands when you have to take time out for family or personal reasons. You’re treated as a person, not just an employee.”
Even enthusiastic problem solvers need their downtime. When Bruno’s not on-site working through issues or supporting his team, he’s spending quality time with his wife and three adult children. Or he’s on his road bike, clocking up distances of 70km or more!
“Cycling is my meditation – it’s how I switch off,” Bruno says. “It’s also good for socialising and for fitness. My longest ride so far has been 300km, and I’m stretching myself into longer and longer rides.”
As Bruno continues to push boundaries on his bike and in his career, he looks forward to helping Shell Energy lead the transition to a better future.
And if you’re considering a purposeful career like Bruno’s at Shell Energy? His advice is simple.
“Jump on board! It’s a great job. There’s so much variety; no day is ever the same. There’s so much to learn at a complex site like this. And when you are faced with a challenge and can find the solution, to me, that’s the reward. I get a lot of satisfaction out of it.”
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