The Hydrocarbon SBU of Essar Projects Limited (EPL) has overcome these challenges methodologically. The positive results are visible in the form of various EPC projects awarded to the SBU by companies operating in different business sectors. Recent additions to the contracts include those for fertilizer plants, pipelines, plant utilities and OSBL works in the hydrocarbon sector.
The perception issue
EPL has undertaken projects in various business sectors, however, the projects were developed using internal expertise, with outside resources for specialized or licensing work. EPL up until the last decade had developed in-house projects, which proved to be a deterrent to qualify for third-party projects, because the clientele was reluctant to accept it as worthy experience. This concern was addressed by offering onsite visits for on-going in-house projects to verify the quality of the projects and the ability of EPL to undertake medium and large project contracts. The major clients who visited the facilities were GASCO, Abu Dhabi, UAE; TAKREER, Abu Dhabi, UAE; PDO, Oman; Saudi Aramco, KSA; Engineers India Ltd; Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Projects and Development India Limited, India.
The site visits convinced the companies about the capabilities of EPL, and paved way for major EPC projects including a condensate pipeline for GASCO; two major packages, ie, R&R and CDSP from BPCL for the Kochi Refinery; a spent caustic treatment plant for TAKREER and a color grade compound plant for BOROUGE; a few more contracts are in the final stages of being awarded.
A trusted team
The next challenge was mobilizing human resources with GCC experience. The EPL Hydrocarbon SBU is executing its maiden projects in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and appointing the appropriate set of key personnel with GCC experience is important for the on-time successful delivery of the projects with the best quality and safety standards. EPL personnel are deployed on these projects to assist the new members to adapt to the working environment of EPL and on-time project execution. This peculiar blend of experienced and new personnel has proved its worth with projects achieving a great headstart.
With exponential growth in the sector, EPL is tackling labor shortage in the hydrocarbon sector through a unique solution. Foreseeing the increasing demand for quality work and skilled workforce, over the past few years, EPL developed a pool of skilled labor through long-term investment in workforce training. When EPL received international projects, the maximum part of the labor pool from India was transferred to international project sites including UAE. The proven experience of the EPL workforce is well received by the clients in Abu Dhabi, UAE. TAKREER and GS Engineering awarded a certificate of appreciation to the EPL Hydrocarbon SBU for excellence in performance and progress achieved on the project to date with highest standards of quality and safety.
Better project control
The increasing size and complexity of projects has led to a greater reliance on the capabilities of contractors and project management skills. The risk of time and cost overruns has been transferred to the contractor, along with the responsibility of designing, procurement of materials and construction. While all the risks cannot be mitigated, it is best to be informed and provide for unforeseen events to ensure that each project is self-sustainable and does not adversely affect the cash flows and profitability of the company.