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REGIONAL REPORTMIDDLE EAST


our customers have been signed recently,” added Madsen. Peter Mathew, managing director of


Dubai-based Fleet Line Shipping Services, agreed the ADNOC announcement was a major boost for the industry. “ADNOC’s strategy to become


self-sufficient and a net gas exporter has indeed boosted the whole industry, including project forwarders such as us.” In addition, he said, there has been a


surge in power generation and infrastructure-related cargoes; the indicators suggest that 2019 will be a good year. Fleet Line also operates in Iraq, where


Mathew believes the market is “getting aggressive” in the oil and gas and power generation sectors. Various energy-related cargoes are set to come onto the market. ExxonMobil has awarded Schlumberger a 42-month contract to drill 30 wells in the West Qurna field, for example. “Another contract was awarded by Iraq’s oil


ministry to Vancouver’s Pacific Future Energy to build a refinery in Nassiriya,” he added.


Renewable growth For Coordinadora’s Madsen, oil and gas is still “by far” the main engine for project logistics growth, but renewables are steadily taking a share of the activity. “The investment in clean energy in the


Middle East region has been sound and clear. We have participated in the logistics of many solar parks developed in the area, including the biggest one in the world, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park in Dubai. We are actively tendering in several similar opportunities.” Saudi Arabia has been a major source of


project work, too. As well as aiding the construction of the 453 km Mecca-Medina high-speed railway, Coordinadora was awarded the entire airfreight contract, along with super-heavy cargo transport contracts, for an EPC contractor working on the Fadhili gas project, which is being developed by Saudi Aramco. Coordinadora shipped five slug catchers, weighing over 2,000 tonnes each, from Spain to the job site. “We optimised the maximum load-in and


load-out timings by means of an in-house engineered solution applied by our own personnel at port,” explained Madsen. One challenge for foreign firms


operating in the region is local protectionism. According to Madsen, employment rules imposed by national oil and gas majors have been designed to develop the economy by encouraging foreign contractors to invest in local talent. “This makes it challenging for mid-size


www.heavyliftpfi.com


Oman is expected to kick-off pretty soon with the long- awaited Duqm refinery, and Saudi Arabia should also come out of slumber with more power-related projects. – Philippe Verdeure, Sarens


Sarens completed some “ground-breaking”


transports and specialised lifts for Aluminium Bahrain (Alba).


foreign companies when in competition against local or larger companies that have higher capabilities to invest in the country, but cannot necessarily provide a better service.” Another challenge is equipment


availability. He said that as Coordinadora does not own its own transport assets, it is at the mercy of those that control supply. “This is particularly notorious for the


SPMT axles which are in circulation over the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region serving the major projects, and operated for a few well-connected companies,” said Madsen. In order to target the project cargo


opportunities in the Middle East, Turkey’s Hareket Heavy Lifting & Transportation has


opened an office in Dubai. Located in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) office also includes a 10,000 sq m machinery park. According to Hareket, the company has


invested in CC 2800 and CC 6800 crawler cranes from Terex, with maximum lifting capacities of 600 tonnes and 1,250 tonnes respectively; SPMTs and THP trucks will also be based at the facility.


Challenging conditions Sarens is another foreign heavy lift player with plenty of experience operating across the Middle East. Philippe Verdeure, regional head of sales, said market conditions have been challenging. “The downturn in the oil and gas sector


has not necessarily been balanced out by upturns in other sectors,” he observed. Nevertheless, he said Sarens has kept


busy with a range of projects, including Qatar’s preparations for the 2022 World Cup. Over a period of 18 months, Sarens deployed a fleet of 17 mobile and crawler cranes to help build the 60,000 seat Al Bayt stadium in the city of Al Khor. Sarens also completed a large gas plant


upgrade in Saudi Arabia, and some “ground-breaking” transports and specialised lifts for Aluminium Bahrain (Alba). “Bahrain is still on the rise with the


Bapco refinery project starting up,” said Verdeure. The USD4.2 billion Bapco


modernisation programme (BMP) includes the expansion of Sitra oil refinery on Bahrain’s east coast, which will up production from 267,000 to 360,000 bpd. Alba, on the other hand, is nearing completion of its USD3 billion Line 6


January/February 2019 119


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