Delphine Alingrin, field operator at the Fos Cavaou liquefied gas terminal
After taking care of customers in a call center for seven years, Delphine chose to retrain to work on an LNG terminal. She is still learning today to evolve in a predominantly male environment that is radically different from her previous experience, physically challenging, and exciting every day.
Portrait of Delphine for ENGIE
Working in a technical role is something that Delphine dreamed of since she was teenager. But at the end of the 1990s and even though she had earned her vocational high school diploma as an industrial mechanic, no opportunities appeared. At the time, she recalls “the training was open to girls, but not the companies!” When she joined the Group, it was to work as a customer service representative at a call center. For seven years, first in Albi, then in Montpellier, Delphine handled remote customer service. However enriching this experiencing was, it only confirmed that her future lay somewhere else besides a call center and, in 2006, she signaled her desire for a career change. “Among the different job and mobility offers, there was one that I was drawn to in particular. It was a position at a liquefied gas terminal. This environment called to me and I immediatly told myself that someday I would like to work here. However, I had no idea how an industrial site operated!”
From that time on, everything happened in quick succession. “It was decided in a day. The first interview took place in Marseille at 8:30 a.m., and the others one after another throughout the day at the Fos Cavaou site, until 6:30 p.m.” After the interviews, Delphine was hired, something which was not a foregone conclusion. “My application caused a bit of a stir. I was asked if I was handy and if I was used to handing tools… these questions probably would not have been asked of a man, but I know how to take things in my stride!” Delphine had no difficulty explaining that what was important to her was to learn and to do her job well. Her motivation and her determination were persuasive. She then began four months of theoretical and practical training on site to become a field operator.
A new role
Working in a new role, with new challenges, was a big change for Delphine from her call center job, where there had been as many women as men. At the Fos Cavaou liquefied gas terminal, she was part of a five-member team. Their task: to take all necessary measures to ensure that the infrastructure is operational and be ready to unload or reload a methane tanker at any time. In these predominantly male surroundings, the arrival of a woman caused some reactions which now make Delphine smile. “At the beginning, it is true that I was judged just because I was a woman. But over time, I earned the respect of my peers.”
Energy from the sea
For Delphine, there is a richness to the role of a field operator due to the fact that every day is different. “Today I am working outdoors, and even though the work is physically demanding, both by day and by night throughout the year, I nevertheless have the chance to see the sun rise regularly over the sea and that gives me an enormous amount of energy.” In order to succeed with her career change, Delphine had to learn everything from technical aspects to safety measures, which are essential in this field since they provide the ability to work on the terminal in the event of a problem. This is a formality for this fighter who not only holds a first aid certificate, but also a truck license and can accordingly take the wheel of the terminal fire truck in the event of a fire. “My job draws admiration from my loved ones; it is not a normal life in an environment that is not normal either: it’s like me, and it allows me to learn more every day.”
The Fos Cavaou liquefied natural gas terminal
A liquefied natural gas terminal allows for regasifying liquefied natural gas (LNG) transported by sea from production zones. The Fos Cavaou terminal is located in Fos-sur-Mer in Bouches-du-Rhône, 50 km west of Marseille. With a regasification capacity of 8.25 Gm3/year, it boasts a very favorable nautical location. Commissioned in April 2010 and accessible directly by sea to the largest generations of very large liquefied gas tankers, it is a major point of entry to the French and European markets.