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Nathalie Welman and Didier Gens, guardians of documentation at the LNG terminal

22/03/19

Nathalie Welman and Didier Gens are both in charge of documentation at Gaz-Opale which operates the LNG terminal at Dunkirk. Their job is not well known, but it is crucial to ensuring that everyone can quickly find the documentation they need to go about their daily work.

The two Gaz-Opale documentation officers, Nathalie Welman and Didier Gens, share not just an office, but their view of the profession, which makes them a highly complementary duo. 'I work more on the "administrative documents" side and Didier focuses on "technical documents", but if one of us is gone, the other can easily take the reins,' observes Nathalie Welman, who joined Gaz-Opale in 2013. After earning a degree as a management assistant with a concentration in business, she began a long stint at RTE in Marcq-en-Baroeul as a department assistant, then labour relations attaché. 'I saw the posting for the documentation officer at Gaz-Opale. I was ready for a change, so I applied and was hired. I started in my position at the same time as Didier. We learned the profession on the job and built our two-person approach. It was a great challenge,' she recalls. Didier Gens was currently working in the position on secondment from the engineering firm Sofresid. 'I was meant to train the person that Gaz-Opale hired at the end of my contract. But ultimately, I applied and I landed the job in 2014,' he recounts with a burst of laughter. He adds: 'I had been a scutching technician at a flax cooperative in Grande-Synthe after earning a certificate in engineering-machine milling, then worked at Sofresid for 24 years. I was quite versatile, which is why I was seconded to the LNG terminal in 2011 during the construction phase to work as a documentation officer. I loved the job immediately. That is why I wanted to work for Gaz-Opale.'

Being a documentation officer at Gaz-Opale is a bit like being a super-librarian, but without the long aisles of books since all the documentation is electronic. According to Didier Gens, their 'role is to archive administrative documents (which relate to the functioning of the LNG terminal) and technical documents (which relate mainly to equipment construction) in the correct locations in the software so that every employee at the terminal can find what they need to go about their daily work in as little time as possible and with no possibility for error. Inside this virtual library that contains more than 100,000 documents, we call ourselves the exchange facilitators.'

The job responsibilities of the two colleagues includes another aspect: ship-shore. 'Whenever a new tanker plans to stop at the terminal, we need to check its compatibility with our facilities,' explains Nathalie Welman. 'To do that, documents are exchanged between the ship owner and the terminal and Didier and I handle that, in consultation with the engineering office tasked with carrying out the compatibility study. Then we draw up the approval plan sent to the shipping line.' Nathalie Welman and Didier Gens also compile all the logistics documentation needed while the ship is docked and file all the paperwork that has been generated over the course of the stopover.

Equally enthusiastic in their professional and personal lives, the energy shared by these two colleagues carries over into their favourite pastimes: shore fishing and pétanque for Didier and union organising and basketball for Nathalie.

Article présenté sur la lettre d'information : Mars 2019

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