Saudi Arabia's Energy Era - 80 Years

 Dr Awadallah ... pioneering technologies

Dr Awadallah ... pioneering technologies

QCS sees boom times in oil and gas sector

The company already has state-of-the-art facilities in the Eastern Province (Dammam, Khafji and Jubail) as well as in the Western Province (Yanbu and Rabigh). It also plans to set up facilities in Jazan, which is developing

SAUDI-BASED Quality Control Services sees boom times for it in the kingdom over the next five years.

“Large scale projects were awarded between mid to end 2012, which is translating to high demand for non-destructive testing (NDT) in the oil and gas sector. Therefore, we foresee booming work for the next five years,” says Dr Mohammad Awadallah, general manager, Quality Control Services (QCS).

Before 2012 a lot of work was pending. Most NDT companies are now busy, and even small companies face shortages of labour/technicians, he explains.

“Our technicians are now at 100 per cent utilisation rate,” he says.

“Since 2009 we have grown at a healthy rate. QCS is already one of the top 10 biggest NDT services providers in Saudi Arabia. We are set up for the long-term,” he says.

As well as providing in-house NDT services, QCS outsources some services to US, Canadian and German companies.

QCS ... excellence at work sites

“Among the high-profile projects that have been executed by QCS was Manifa Phase 1&2, where QCS was inspecting pipelines on the ship to be laid then under the sea using UT scan technique in association with its joint venture partner Canadian company UTQuality. Now, UT Quality Arabia is QCS’s sister company in Saudi Arabia, and together they offer sophisticated NDT services,“ he says.

“One of the key factors behind our growth in the 2009-2012 was our commitment to maintaining quality, which has given us credibility in the eyes of our clients.

“We have a high-profile client list.We are ISO certified.We also received an appreciation from Aramco last November for our attention to safety. We are one of only two Saudi companies in our field to receive this.”

“We are also pioneering new technologies. We are working as part of a consortium with universities building a robot which will carry out RT safety tasks dealing with radiation sources to save the health of the workers. It is an example of cooperation between the industry and academia,” he says.

“We have also introduced a new technique – phased array also called AUT (advanced automated ultrasonic testing).We also offer IRIS (internal rotary inspection system) which is the most efficient way to test specific types of plants, for example heat exchangers,” he says.

The company already has facilities in the Eastern Province (Dammam, Khafji and Jubail) as well as in the western province (Yanbu and Rabigh). It also plans to set up facilities in Jazan.

Dr Awadallah feels that Saudi manpower is very important for the success of any venture. “We want to employ Saudis. For our sector we have a 16 per cent stipulation from the government. We are currently at 34 per cent Saudisation, some of whom are graduates from the Jubail Industrial College.

“We are now running a one-year radiography training course for 14 Saudis at Khafji, a location where no one else is investing in training. Out of the 14 Saudis, we have now got four to work. The other 10 are still under further training,“ he says.

In terms of the future, he says: “We have developmental priorities including establishing relationships with universities in Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

“We are also talking to KFUPM to introduce NDT as a course in physics and engineering degrees. In my opinion, civil, mechanical and electrical engineers all need to know NDT.

“I want to sow and then grow the seed of teaching NDT for engineers.

Also, I am stepping up efforts to establish an Arab NDT Society. It has been in the planning for the last three years. We have a lot of oil and gas professionals in the Middle East and North Africa who need to be certified in NDT. Through this society we can raise the profile of NDT,” he adds.

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