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New Middle Eastern hub to grow regional footprint

Nov 01, 2020
6 min read
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Angus Rodger, GM, Abu Dhabi, and John Bright, Operations Director, explain how Proserv Controls’ partnership with ADNOC has driven its expansion plans.

Making a commitment to move the site of a key facility involves significant strategic analysis and tangible investment. For any business, no matter what sector it operates in, crucial supply chain considerations underpin that whole process. To undertake such a step just as a pandemic blows across the continents only adds to the potential challenge.

Yet Proserv’s global service team has done precisely that – twice in recent months. Firstly, in Scotland, we have moved our measurement and metering offering to a more spacious Centre of Excellence at Cumbernauld, outside of Glasgow, to provide more capacity for its current and future activities. But in Abu Dhabi we have relocated our local hub, serving most of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, to a bigger, more cutting-edge resource in Mussafah.

As with most facility upgrades, increased business activity and a subsequent need to enhance workflows and efficiencies were important drivers. Despite the current headwinds, due to fragile oil prices and the coronavirus health emergency, we have continued to secure solid, new deals and have been growing our headcount in the region.

ADNOC factor

Our dedicated site in Abu Dhabi provides a workshop with greater footprint and tooling capability, offering both flexibility and scalability – meaning the space is dynamic and can be configured as required at any one time. In fact, this adaptability came under scrutiny right away as the current need for social distancing and reduced physical contact have meant we have been supplying clients with remote factory acceptance testing, or FATs, via live video conferencing links.

But the over-riding factor in our decision to move to our Service Centre of Excellence has been our growing partnership with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). We are now officially recognised as a minor EPC, or engineering, procurement and construction, contractor by ADNOC and our increasing involvement as a service provider on numerous of the firm’s fields, and within its time critical operations, essentially gave us the necessary assurance to make the investment in our new site.

Being close to ADNOC’s headquarters in the city means we have proximity to its engineering team, while we are also conveniently placed near to its logistical and storage hub in Mussafah, so we can transfer equipment to them quickly and smoothly, prior to it being taken offshore to fields where we are currently providing support.

In-country value goals

One strategic objective resulting from our relocation is to further develop our in-country value, or ICV, commitment. We have had a focused and consistent approach to establishing our business in the UAE. An effective localisation policy takes time and genuine, applied effort, and our expanding footprint is testament to our aspirations to ramp up our contribution in this area.

We are now delivering a bigger spend on a larger site in Abu Dhabi and the new space will allow us to increase our support of local suppliers and businesses. Our roots have been cemented in the city and as we grow, our aim is to play our own part in aiding the development and diversification of the UAE’s economy.

ADNOC is unquestionably an extremely important partner for our business but Proserv’s service team supplies a range of offerings and our Abu Dhabi facility will act as a hub to assist these operations right across the MENA region. We have other sites in the Gulf, such as in Saudi Arabia for instance, but where we don’t retain a permanent base, then this new facility will prove vital.

Our measurement offering might now be headquartered in Cumbernauld, Scotland, but it has worked regularly across the Arabian Peninsula and it is presently engaged in Libya. The new space not only offers a base for this team to facilitate these contracts, but it also enables it to maintain a larger local presence, with a view to securing more wins.

 We also have several on-going contracts in Algeria, including the provision of our sampling solutions, in this case our sample cylinders. This team has also delivered projects in Oman and Iraq over the past 12 months, further highlighting the valuable support role our new Abu Dhabi base can play.

Increased bandwidth

Our developing relationship with ADNOC has been instrumental in growing our service support endeavours but we have retained a manufacturing business in the region for several years, delivered from our facility just up the road in Jebel Ali, Dubai.

This additional capability has undoubtedly proved beneficial as we have sought to ramp up activities in the UAE and beyond. As a service provider, suppling maintenance solutions and know-how, to have the additional ability to actually design and manufacture a new piece of equipment, if an operator is experiencing a chronic issue beyond repair, offers an extra level of reassurance and flexibility to the customer.

Within the industry, Proserv is known for its large installed base of legacy equipment across the Middle East, incorporating brands like Brisco, CAC and EPS, and so not only is the team seen as the natural specialists to support those specific names and products, but, as a consequence, operators understand we possess an agility regarding whose equipment we service or maintain.

Maintenance matters

Right now, as the world copes with the on-going challenge of COVID-19, operators in all areas of the hydrocarbon industry are wisely adopting a general policy of caution and limited investment. That means firms offering effective maintenance optimisation solutions and service support, able to ratchet up efficiencies for operators and generate more for less, are going to be sought after.

ADNOC is presently looking to fulfil long-standing plans to boost its daily production levels but, due to the impact of the pandemic and weaker prices, the firm has sensibly chosen to postpone some of its projects until the landscape looks more promising. So, we have been working alongside them in recent months to maximise ADNOC’s ability to ramp up output from its existing towers, utilising spare slots, and so generate a lift in production from established, current assets. This avoids expensive investments in new sites as we move through an uncertain period.

Proserv consistently states that a joined-up, proactive maintenance regimen is key to sustaining operational excellence and avoiding unexpected, and costly, downtime. When the oil price is bearish, as it is now, such an approach can make a real difference to a firm’s margins.

Moving forwards, operators across the globe will need support from service partners who can provide a rapid local response, who have an established and efficient supply chain set-up, and who possess a team offering high competencies and broad, deep expertise able to address any situation.

Our new upgraded and enhanced facility in Abu Dhabi will not only allow us to expand our own regional footprint but also strengthen our reputation even further with the Middle East’s biggest players.

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