S16 ORME 7 2016 Adipec_Layout 1 26/10/2016 11:29 Page 78
Expanding and diversifying
for success Surendranath Dhanekula, managing director of Sharjah-based Trans Asia Pipeline Services, discusses the company’s activities and ambitions in the Middle East and the wider region. How do you view prospects for your business in the Middle East and the wider region at the moment? We started as a small business providing services only to onshore pipelines. Over the years our experience, track record and success with some of the complex engineering projects helped us to get a foothold in the offshore segment of pipelines, where time had always remained of the essence for project execution. With an experienced team of more than 100 field persons and our custom designed equipment, in a very short time we were able to break through offshore hurdles, and today we are a reputable company having successfully executed projects for global oil and gas majors as well as national oil companies in Asia. EPC contractors who operate in this region treat us as their partners in project execution, and we are associated with them from the bidding stage. We see good scope and market growth in the coming five years in the Middle East, particularly in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Kuwait is set to double its production in the coming years, and a good number of projects have already been awarded or are at the tendering stage. In Saudi Arabia, the plans are to increase efficiencies and a number of projects are ongoing. Our local presence in these countries will help to drive our growth. In 2016, we also ventured into Qatar, and I foresee that there will be a demand for our services here in the next two to three years. We have also secured our maiden contract in West Africa. We already have some experience in East Africa, and this new contract proves the trust our customers have in us. I personally feel that Africa offers vast opportunities for small but specialised services companies like us, and at present we are looking at it as our next growth driver.
We have been focusing more on our process division to drive the overall growth of the company.” How is the low oil price affecting your business? With low oil prices there is a very serious downward trend and throughout the region, greenfield projects are drying up. With very few jobs available for bidding, there has been immense pressure on pricing for the last couple of years. The reduced oil prices are here to stay for some time now and very quick turnaround is not looking feasible. Hence over the last year we have been focusing more on our process division to drive the overall growth of the company. We have made serious investments from 2012 onwards in this division with which at present we are able to get brownfield jobs and work
Issue 7 2016
Surendranath Dhanekula, managing director of Trans Asia Pipeline Services
on routine maintenance jobs for petrochemicals and allied industries.However, having said this, like everyone in the industry we are also feeling pressure of this downward trend, and “operational efficiency” is a buzzword here. We are streamlining some processes and have outsourced a few other. We are investing in IT services to reduce costs and inventories as well as improve our efficiencies.In addition, we are also looking for some diversifications away from the cyclical oil and gas industry and are working on a few internal projects. Although as of now there is no set timeline for these new ventures, we hope to see these coming in 2017. Are there any current projects you are working on which you would like to highlight? We have just finished a prestigious project for a national oil company in the Middle East, involving five pipelines. I am pleased to report