Saudi Aramco Review

Gair ... hands-on approach to issues

Gair ... hands-on approach to issues

Bahrain’s AMA spreads wings across the region

Bahrain-based Ahmed Mansoor Al-A’ali is forging strategic tie-ups to ensure that it participates in many of the large-scale projects in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the wider region, says ALAN GAIR, general director of AMA-SMD

ESTABLISHED in 1954, Ahmed Mansoor Al-A’ali (AMA Group) is today one of the largest and most reputed conglomerates in Bahrain active in trading, manufacturing, contracting and real estate business.

The AMA Group, with its over 4,500 plus professionals, has endeavoured to provide a strong, customer focused approach with a continuous quest for delivering world class quality products and services to its clients within both the public and private sectors at the highest level and is widely regarded as a ‘partner of choice’.

“While we are proud of our business achievements, we are prouder still of the enduring contribution that we have been able to make to the social well-being and business, infrastructural and economic development of Bahrain,” says group chairman Ahmed Mansoor Al A’ali. “Underlining our success to date, and the status and reputation that we now enjoy, are the deep rooted founding principles that have served to guide the group over the last 60 years. With the objectives of delivering to our promise and achieving highest level of customer satisfaction, the AMA Group is firmly committed to its goal of building relationships based on integrity and performance within the GCC as well as the global market.”

The Structural and Mechanical Division of AMA Group (AMA-SMD) was established in 1990 as a steel fabrication facility to provide products and services for primary industries including petrochemical, chemical, oil and gas, steel and power sectors. Employing over 700 skilled craftsmen and professionals, the AMA-SMD facility is today by far the biggest and well equipped fabrication shop in the Middle East having a total covered area of 32,000 sq m with nine large workshops and a blasting and painting shop and over 150,000 sq m of open yard.

AMA-SMD’s scope of service includes design, detail engineering, procurement of materials, fabrication, blasting and painting and delivery to site for:

Structural steel;
Process and utility piping;
Plate steel for furnaces, HRSG’s, ducts and miscellaneous works;
Process equipment including heat-exchangers, vessels and storage tanks;
Pot-shells, crucibles and super structures; and
Modular skids.

AMA-SMD’s fabrication shop is accredited with ASME ‘U, S, PP’ and NBBI ‘R’ certifications and its QHSE System is in total compliance with the requirement of ISO9001:2008 & 14001:2004 and OHSAS18001:2007.

Alan Gair, general director of SMD, is in a confident mood as he discusses business development for this key division which looks to enhance business in Saudi Arabia and across the region. He is very much a hands-on manager drawing from his over four-decades-long experience in structural engineering, fabrication and welding on the shop floor, operations and management.

Since the early 1990s, Gair has been involved in key projects across the Middle East with 20 years’ experience at the highest levels, working with top fabricators and steel companies in Saudi Arabia including Belleli and later Zamil Steel where he focused on process equipment, pressure vessels and structural steel. Gair joined SMD in January 2012 and his no-nonsense approach to business development is making its mark.

“I consider the AMA facility in Bahrain to be the best in the Middle East not only because of the scale of the facilities and the state-of-the-art equipment but also because of the fact that more than 32,000 sq m is covered areas. This capacity including two lines for the equipment we supply to the aluminium sector is awesome. Added to our continuous investment programme, a qualified and experienced workforce and strategic location in Bahrain, SMD provides a formidable value proposition to our increasing number of clients.

“We are also entering into strategic alliances to ensure that we participate in many of the large- scale projects in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the wider region. SMD is looking to partner with specialist EPC contractors as our company has the necessary experience to fabricate anything as such is the breadth of our facilities. We are supplying pot shells to many of the leading aluminium smelters in the Middle East and as far afield as North America,” says Gair.

Currently, SMD is completing the supply of 721 pot shells to the Ma’aden aluminium plant in Ras Al Khair, north of Jubail, under a $45-million contract.

“We are ahead of schedule and to ensure timely delivery SMD has been shipping the pot shells from our jetty in Hidd to the new port at Ras Al Khair. SMD is also supplying aluminium duct work directly to the Ma’aden smelter too,” adds Gair.

“SMD can provide a competitive edge to our quality-assured production with our manufacturing efficiencies and fabrication expertise as well as leveraging from Bahrain’s strategic advantages in facilitating shipments into Saudi Arabia and the region,” he continues.

Since assuming the top position, Gair has been actively reorganising the division by streamlining his workforce, investing in new equipment and controlling costs to ensure that SMD’s competitive edge continues.

“We have a great facility and with our proven quality assured capabilities SMD can provide steel fabrication to the oil and gas, petrochemical, process, steel and power sectors. In Bahrain we supply to Bapco and GPIC and currently are providing concrete ground storage tanks for EWA (Electricity and Water Authority) and additional pump stations. Saudi Arabia is obviously an important market for SMD. We are looking to expand on our supply contracts in the kingdom as well as Kuwait and other GCC States, Africa, North America and Europe.

“In terms of the pot shells supplied to Ma’aden, Alba, Qatalum, Sohar Aluminium, Emal and North America, we are dealing with top clients and EPC contractors such as Bechtel, JGC and Black & Veatch. SMD is well recognised in international markets and we deliver our fabrications through our knowledge partners across the region. Despite the challenges, we are seeing growth coming through the region and there are many large projects under way in Saudi Arabia such as Sadara and the Ma’aden expansion. Our manpower is extremely efficient with intense cost controls in place and SMD is winning contracts on price and quality and I am optimistic for 2013 and beyond,” continues Gair.

During the construction of Alba’s line 5, AMA-SMD completed 9 million man hours on site without a single Lost Time Accident for two large contractors, Alstom and Solios. SMD achieved 3 million man hours without a Lost Time Injury at the Bapco site. Quality is the key factor of SMD’s success with quality assurance provided across the organisation. SMD provides the most advanced and comprehensive suite of quality management solutions, says Gair.

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