Wider Portfolio For Middle East

24 January 2011

Costain’s Abu Dhabi operation is spreading its wings as it widens its portfolio of work in the emirate.

For much of the past three decades, the Company’s work has been concentrated on Das Island, some 50 miles off the emirate’s coast, where it continues to work with several subsidiaries of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), one of the world’s top 10 oil and gas companies.

Originally, Costain concentrated on providing ‘shutdown services’ – essentially repair and upgrading work when sections of the refinery on the island closed for periodic maintenance.

Increasingly however, says Commercial Manager, Rob Davies, its scope has expanded and today it operates as an Engineering, Procurement and Construction Company.

Recent contract awards, for example, have included environmental work to reduce emissions from the ADGAS plant on Das Island.

Costain has also recently moved on to nearby Zirku Island to replace water pipelines for the Zakum Development Company, which manages several oilfields in the emirate.

Prospects for future business remain good, says Davies. While much newsprint has been expended over the past two years detailing the economic problems of neighbouring Dubai, Abu Dhabi possesses 90% of the UAE’s oil and gas reserves and has been largely unaffected by the global recession.

To help support Costain’s expansion plans, the Company has signed a three-year agreement with Speedy Asset International Services to supply all non-operated plant and equipment. Speedy Hire established itself in the Gulf in 2009 but was already a strategic partner to Costain in the UK and this important supply chain relationship has now been extended overseas.

The agreement was signed after six months of market research, business strategy and commercial structuring to ensure mutual benefits would flow from it, says Rob Davies. By securing most of Costain’s business in this market, Speedy has a better understanding of Costain’s requirements and can plan its own workload more accurately, while Costain will also benefit financially through placing a larger volume of work with one supplier.

“It’s worthwhile from Speedy’s point of view because although for them we’re a relatively small customer in the UAE, we are viewed as one of their blue-chip customers and they are pleased to have secured this agreement with Costain.”

The Speedy contract is likely to be the prototype for other, similar deals in the UAE, he adds.