WORKING HARD

Azerbaijan 2016 | ENERGY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Faik Rzayev, General Director of Encotec, on the growth of the firm, the construction of the Baku shipyard, and servicing companies outside of the oil and gas sector.

 Faik Rzayev
BIOGRAPHY
Faik Rzayev is the General Director of Encotec. He is Azerbaijani educated to the PhD level and has acquired extensive and diverse experience. He worked at a senior level for six years with a leading international engineering contractor before forming Encotec in 2001 with a vision to create a design engineering organization working to international standards.

How has Encotec grown and evolved into the company it is today?

Encotec has been in the market for about 15 years, having started with a small team of about five people. We wanted to establish strong engineering standards above all else, and we did not want to grow until that was achieved. Today, we have about 150 employees, but we are limited by the market size of our niche. We expect more demand in the market soon; therefore, we will continue with our system of training. The style of engineering in the Soviet Union was different to what Western markets require; hence, after independence we had to work hard to understand those requirements. We have demanding standards and employees have to pass many exams to work at Encotec. We do this to stay competitive, as our competition, partnership engagements, and alliances include up to tier-one Western engineering companies, such as Fluor and Worley Parsons. Our main client is BP, which is why we aim to serve it to the required standards, both technically and in terms of project controls. We have now completed more than 500 projects, big and small. We have expanded operations with offices in Georgia and Kazakhstan. In Georgia, we target BP. We expect new projects in Kazakhstan in the near future, but for now it is dormant.

What has been your biggest and most challenging project in Azerbaijan?

The construction of the Baku shipyard was one of the biggest and most challenging. It was a huge project in terms of volume and capacity, covering 60ha. We did detail design and project management, and spent overall about 500,000 man-hours. There are perhaps 100,000sqm of shops altogether, with office facilities covering 7,000sqm and eight power substations. The transfer slab is 30,000sqm with a capacity to bear loads of 150,000kg per sqm. We passed all state approvals without fail, completing the project within 22 months. It was fast, efficient, and well organized. We are proud of that project. We worked with a number of construction companies, among them two Turkish contractors with a lot of experience, and it went smoothly.

How has Encotec evolved over its years in operation to offer services to companies outside of the oil and gas sector?

We are doing more works for industrial facilities. The Baku shipyard was an example, and we have also been involved in a fiber cement factory as well. We created the concept and detail designs for the cement factory, although the project's location was then moved. It is hard to find local clients because it is a small market overall and the clients generally prefer Western companies and contractors. However, with oil prices low, they may be opting more for local companies like ours

This year is your 15th anniversary. What is your outlook and what are some of your objectives for the year?

The majority of the large engineering companies are going through a lot of redundancies. All industries are on the down around the world, and also in Azerbaijan. We will continue doing what we are doing, going ahead with our plans for growth and development. We will talk to BP to discuss how we can grow, and what we can do in Azerbaijan. We also have plans to work with SOCAR, seeking to leverage our Western standards and experience. We are looking forward to the year ahead.