Nigeria 2017 | ENERGY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Guido D'Aloisio, Managing Director of Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited, on the importance of Nigerian operations to the company as a whole and the significance of its joint venture with Dangote.

Guido D’Aloisio
Guido D’Aloisio is the Managing Director of Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited and Saipem Nigeria Limited. He has over 25 years’ experience in the oil and gas business, mainly in the offshore/deepwater design and installation activities relevant to FPSO, risers, pipeline, flowlines, and flexibles, participating in main deepwater developments in West Africa like Kizomba, Akpo, and Egina. He graduated with honors in mechanical engineering from University of Ancona and has a diploma in intercultural management from Cambridge.

What is the significance of Nigeria for the overall operations of the company on the continent and worldwide?

Saipem has been working in Nigeria since the mid 1960s. It operates through Saipem Contracting (Nigeria) and Saipem (Nigeria) Ltd and has offices in Lagos, a fabrication yard in Rumuolumeni (Port Harcourt), logistics bases in Onne and Warri, and various other project sites (Tunu, Rumuji, and Lekki). Nigeria has always represented an important location for Saipem. In 2017 we will have been continuously present in the country for 50 years. The company promotes local content through long-term investments and by establishing partnerships with local companies, using local workers and procuring goods and services locally. Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited has been an integral part of the country's oil and gas industry, but has something to offer in all areas of the energy sector. We have been involved in both onshore and offshore drilling, in the shallow and deepwater offshore business, and in the onshore sector with projects involving pipelines, power plants, fertilizers, and refineries. The company has a large footprint in Nigeria, with approximately 3,900 employees, 95% of whom are local, while our major investment is in Port Harcourt, where we have a 1 million sqm fabrication yard and base, one of the largest in West Africa.

What is Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited's current relationship with its clients?

Saipem has worked for a number of different clients as Total, Shell, Eni, and Chevron. Among the most recently completed projects we can highlight the Otumara-Saghara-Escravos Pipeline project for Shell Petroleum Development Co, encompassing the engineering, procurement, fabrication, and commissioning of a network of pipelines in a swamp area to connect the client's flow stations in the Otumara, Saghara, and Escravos fields. There is also the project for the second train of the Afam Central Power Plant for the Rivers State government. Finally, the semi-submersible drilling rig Scarabeo 3 operated in Nigeria for Addax, concluding its scope of work toward the end of 2015.

In 2015, Saipem entered into a joint venture with Dangote for West and Central Africa. What is the significance of this partnership for the future of Saipem in the continent?

The Joint Venture saw the creation of a new company named Saipem Dangote E&C, a significant new player in the Nigerian and Central/West African market, with high technical and financial capabilities. It aims to secure complex engineering and construction (E&C) projects and ensure a realization capacity focused on efficiency in terms of costs, timing and flexibility in order to respond to different needs related to local content and to the specificities of individual projects and countries. To develop new business, the JV will benefit from Dangote's financial strength, expertise, and standing in the Sub–Saharan African market, where it has launched a significant oil and gas investment program, complemented by Saipem's unique capabilities in E&C. We have a great deal of trust in this collaborative venture, which confirms our shared commitment to the Nigerian market and to sub-Saharan Africa more generally.

What are your expectations and key projects for 2017?

The entire industry has been suffering in the last few years with the current market situation and this applies particularly to Nigeria, where basically we have received no new projects. That said, some investments and projects are gradually starting to move. In the meantime, we are completing some very important projects such as the Egina UFR field for Total Upstream Nigeria Ltd. Activities are also underway on the EPCI contract for the subsea development of the Egina field. Furthermore, work continues on the Dangote Fertilizer project for Dangote Fertilizer Ltd on a new urea and ammonia facility, and on the Southern Swamp Associated Gas Solution project for Shell Petroleum Development Co for the construction of various compression facilities. Finally, we are completing the Northern Option project for Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd (TEPNG), which involves a pipeline connecting Rumuji to the Imo River.