Aberdeen-based engineering services group, EnerMech, view the African continent as a market of huge strategic importance, more so following the dip in the price of crude oil.
Traditionally focussed on the international offshore oil and gas sector, EnerMech has realigned its core business to tap in to a number of opportunities in Africa’s onshore hydrocarbons, mining, industrial services, solar power generation and petrochemicals industries.
The approach is paying off and EnerMech expects to double its African workforce to 300 by the end of 2017 and to increase revenues in the next 12 months from £16.5 million to £24 million.
The company’s philosophy is to put “boots on the ground” and to build a solid operating infrastructure in-country. In South Africa, where the company has just won its first industrial services contract – for rope access services and blasting and painting oil storage tanks – EnerMech has bases in Cape Town and Johannesburg, recently opened a facility in the Northern Cape and has plans for a presence in Durban.
Elsewhere, the EnerMech brand is well-established in Nigeria, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo and a recent £5 million investment in facilities in Angola will create opportunities in the repair and refurbishment of drilling risers.
Steve Ord, EnerMech regional director for Africa, said: “We are an international company with more than 2300 staff working from more than 35 locations but our core philosophy is to invest locally and establish a genuine presence in-country. We have been doing this in Africa since 2011 and it is paying off with year-on-year growth and a flexibility which allows us to respond very quickly to changing market conditions and client demands.
“Having equipment and key personnel on the ground leads to a strong understanding of regional markets, local customs, the complexities and challenges of working in a diverse landscape and gives us a competitive advantage over rivals who take the short-term approach of flying in squads of people and kit to do particular projects.
“Africa has huge potential both offshore and onshore and many of the hard lessons learned by working in the North Sea and other mature basins over many years has positioned us to play a central role in some of the largest projects which are just starting or will kick off in the next few years.”