TBY talks to Faik Rzayev, General Director of Encotec, on its main operations, major projects, and foreign operations.

 Faik Rzayev
Born in 1953 Faik Rzayev obtained his PhD in Physics and Mathematics at the Azerbaijan State University. He is the founder of Encotec and has more than 25 years of experience in both professional engineering and management. He previously worked at Kværner Baku, where he held the position of Country Representative and Manager of Business Development.

What have been Encotec's main strengths since it began operations?

In the early years of Azerbaijan's independence, we saw many Western companies arriving in the country seeking local partnerships. These companies would carry out training courses aimed at building the skills and capacities of young Azerbaijani engineers. Thanks to the qualified workforce available in the country, we decided to set up an Azerbaijani engineering company focused on quality above everything else. In the early 2000s, we experienced very slow growth. However, once we became a part of BP's development plans, it propelled our growth and enhanced our reputation in the market. In 2005, we succeeded in signing a long-term contract with BP. The contract greatly increased our profile and heightened our understanding of BP's procedures, systems, and guidelines. All in all, it helped us meet Western standards and set our company apart from the local competition. We are now capable of developing projects realizing both Western and local standards, and this puts us in a position where it is very difficult to be challenged by local national competitors. Today, Encotec is a general engineering company providing multi-discipline design engineering, consulting, procurement, project management, fabrication, construction supervision, and commissioning services.

What are Encotec's major ongoing projects?

The company is primarily involved in the local and international oil and gas sector. However, the company's expertise extends beyond this sector to embrace the petrochemical, industrial, and utility sectors. At the same time, we are expanding our activities in the construction sector. We are involved in several major projects, one of which is the construction of a new shipyard, where we are responsible for full detailed design and project management. This is a very challenging and fast-paced project and involves the management of numerous sub-contractors. Another major project we are participating in is the detailed design and author supervision of a new plant in Azerbaijan. Furthermore, our ongoing contract with BP for engineering modifications provides us with a continuous stream of small- and medium-scale projects.

Encotec has recently opened regional offices in Kazakhstan and Georgia. What are the company's strategies to increase its activities outside the Azerbaijani market?

We are still in the early stages for the development of our regional offices. Although we have been involved in some important projects so far, our activities in those markets have been completely driven by our office in Baku. Our aim is to strengthen our position as a unique company capable of working to international standards and simultaneously working toward understanding the local markets. In Kazakhstan we opened our offices in the industrial city of Aktau, where there is great potential in the oil and gas sector. Our local office in Georgia is relatively new and currently our only client there is BP. We hope that in the future we will have identified further clients and sectors that we can tap into to ensure the growth of the office. In the expansion of Encotec's business activities, human capital is crucial. For that reason, we have focused a lot of resources on our recruitment and training process over the past few years. We expect that the employees we hire will be with us for the long term, participating in the company's growth and expansion. We prioritize their adaptability and learning capacity, which will enable them to take part in different projects across all sectors.