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Emerson strengthening its position in the region


Emerson Process Management is consolidating and strengthening its presence in the region when it opened its new Middle East Flow Service Centre in Abu Dhabi which represents the first in-region VSL Calibration and Measurement Capability (CMC)-certified calibration facility.

In an interview with Oil Review Middle East, Dave Tredinnick, Emerson's Process Management president of Middle East & Africa business and Rock Tanner, Emerson Process Management, Middle East Flow Service Center Abu Dhabi discussed the significance of the new flow facility and the company’s outlook for the region.

The expansion of the Abu Dhabi Facility, which has been in operation since May 2010, to include a flow lab was an important step for Emerson Process Management plans to expand its service offering in the region and provide them with a competitive edge in the market. According to Dave Tredinnick the facility “is geared towards helping out our customers here in Abu Dhabi.”

The facility has been expanded to 20,000 sqf and serves all of Emerson Process Management for the Abu Dhabi greater area.  The plant has about 60 people working there from sales, support services, engineering and since February provides flow calibration service facilities.

Emerson Process Management already has facilities in Saudi Arabia and in Qatar.  The Middle East and Africa headquarters is based in the company’s Dubai facility which has around 300 people working there.

According to Mr Tredinnick, “We get support across the region. What really drives our growth is the capital investments that are going on today, primarily in oil and gas, power, water and petrochemical.

Flow Facility

Emerson's Middle East Flow Service Centre in Abu Dhabi operates using ISO 9001:2008 certified processes and is committed to ongoing process improvements to ensure superior quality. Metrological traceability and certification processes ensure reliable measurements in laboratories and facilities around the world.

VSL, the National Metrology Institute of the Netherlands, has certified the calibration equipment's Calibration and Measurement Capability (CMC) with an uncertainty of 0.03 per cent. This CMC reflects the traceability, technical competence and capability of the calibration equipment available at the new Emerson facility.

As Mr Tanner said, “Typically the industry is changing from a two times to a three times better calibration. So the industry expects 0.03 calibration accuracy. This means that our flow calibration is unmatched in the Middle East region. “

Mr Tanner continued, “Our lab has had a big impact on our customers not only in the UAE but across the GCC.” Beforehand customers in the region would have had to go to the US or Europe to get this level of accuracy but now it is being offered in country.

The investment currently stands at US$3mn for the flow lab.  Emerson does intend to expand the flow facilities in the near future. “Our target is to expand the capability range, now at four inch process connection and in the next year we are going to increase our scope to 12 or 14,inch,” added Mr Tanner.

Regional focus
Emerson Process Management has been looking at setting up operations in Abu Dhabi for a number of years. Mr Tredinnick said that it was about two years ago that the company decided officially that they would invest in Abu Dhabi. The initial contract was for the first plot but “within six months before it was even completed we took the second unit. We are now looking at the two units above us for a third and fourth unit. We are growing rapidly here,” said Mr Tredinnick.

Emerson has been expanding it operations in the region with a new facility in Jubail, Saudi Arabia just opened in January of this year. Jubail is the largest industrial petrochemical centre in the world in Saudi Arabia and is very close to Saudi Aramco’s production areas on the east coast.

“There we manufacture Fisher Valves,  Rosemount Pressure transmitters and valve automation actuators.   We also conduct systems staging. The idea is to continue to bring that value addition close to the end customer and make sure we have trained people and resources on the ground,” stated Mr Tredinnick.

Emerson is very proud of its workforce and is keen on localising its workforce whenever possible. As Mr Tredinnick explained, “when we can we try to localise it we do, in Saudi today over 50 per cent of our workforce are Saudi nationals.  We also work very closely with universities such as Jubail industrial university to develop curriculums that allow their graduates to understand our technology.”

Emerson Process Management is not only focused on the GCC region and is actively working on projects in other parts of the region. Iraq is one such market as Mr Tredinnick expanded, “over the past year we have been training our people to support our Iraq installed base. We are recruiting Iraqis today to open our investment in Iraq. We are focusing on the South in the Oil production areas with all the multinationals which are in Iraq today.  So it is an important segment for us.”

Mr Tredinnick talked about Emerson’s plans for the rest of the year saying, “we plan to open a facility in Rasalfan Qatar in Q3 2011. We already have quite a large installed base there as Qatar Gas and Ras Gas operate there.” He also mentioned that the west coast of Saudi Arabia will happen but did not go into any more details.

“We will continue to drive our service, our support capability, our value addition and bring them closer to customer installed bases,” said Mr Tredinnick.

Mr Tredinnick ended by discussing his outlook for the coming year. He thought a lot of the hurdles of had been overcome in 2009 and 2010.  He pointed out that a lot of projects in the Middle East did not necessarily stop but had slowed down. In his view, customers were taking advantage of lower commodities and lower EPC rates. But now capital has flown back in and these projects are moving ahead.

“For us it is a very solid time and we look forward to a very positive growth moving forward.  If Oil stays where it is then we all will be happy,” Mr Tredinnick added.