320 EMPLOYEES IN QATAR

Qatar 2019 | ENERGY | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Junji Nagasaka, Managing Director of Chiyoda Almana, on 10 years in Qatar, the North Field Expansion (NFE) project, and the energy sector's resilience in the face of the GCC blockade.

What have been some of the major highlights of Chiyoda Almana during its 10-year history in Qatar?

In 2009, we started the RasGas contract, our largest project in Qatar. We had a great deal of experience in terms of design work, and our experience led clients to choose us as their preferred partner. We perform maintenance and design services, as well as solving engineering issues. This is one of the most important highlights to date, though we also try to expand our project portfolio with engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) works. We try to focus on small projects because this is where we can add the most value and gain experience. Our office in the country has 320 employees, and if the market expands we plan to increase our footprint.

Chiyoda was recently awarded the front-end engineering and design of the onshore facilities of the North Field Expansion (NFE) project; what does this mean for the company's operations in Qatar?

We have strong expertise in engineering projects that will be needed for the development of the North Field, which is one of the reasons we were awarded the contract. At the moment, we are in the early engineering stages, and most of the items are being done directly by our parent company Chiyoda Corporation, and we provide support services. We have strong experience in site survey for the oil and gas industry. This will help Chiyoda Corporation to organize its engineering projects as effectively as possible. The most important factor behind our bid's success was our extensive experience in designing and executing on complex projects. We know how to organize and manage projects of this size and scale, and that positioned us perfectly in terms of winning the bid.

What other projects is Chiyoda Almana currently working on?

There are two major projects that are currently ongoing. One is the Helium 3 project, while the other is the Flare Reduction Project. These are the two major business lines for us in the country at the moment. The projects are currently in the construction phase, and the engineering is all completed.

How does Chiyoda Almana help the local energy sector expand its business despite the blockade?

The Helium 3 and Flare Reduction Project started before the blockade, and some of the materials such as steel, cable, and pipe can no longer be purchased from Saudi Arabia. However, we have many relationships with global suppliers in Asia, Europe, and the US and have been able to access many of the materials we need. Overall, there has not been a huge impact, and we are not greatly concerned about the blockade as a result of our alternative supply channels and relationships. We also have good communication with Asian suppliers because of our relationship with the Chiyoda head office in Yokohama.

Competition in the Qatari contractor market is fierce. What values that set Chiyoda Almana apart?

We have a sufficiently strong relationship as a result of our reputation as excellent engineers. Client satisfaction is important. Sometimes, clients prefer high-end engineering. That is why our global reach and extensive engineering allow us to cater to all the needs and wishes of clients. If the market is focused on engineering an issue, that is perfect for us because we are confident of our capability, we have a track record of more than 300 successful projects only in Qatar, and when clients make partnership decisions, it helps to see a demonstrated ability to execute projects.

What is Chiyoda Almana's role in promoting the development of Qatar, especially taking into account the shift towards environmental sustainability?

Chiyoda follows and supports all Qatari regulations as well as the country's vision for the future. We support clients in their efforts to assess and mitigate environmental impacts. We are interested in reducing our negative impact through projects that emphasize wastewater treatment. We have a well-established management system for safety, environment, and quality. Additionally, our internal quality team supports the company through extensive knowledge of ISO certificates and the country's various regulations. Most of our environmental assessments are conducted by our team in the country.

Where will Chiyoda focus its efforts in the next 12 months?

Over the next 12 months, the market will still be fairly tough. There are many markets in the country, and we are interested in expanding our activities to have an active presence in the market at different levels. We have organized a new business department that is currently trying find and develop new markets and businesses. We also try to support our mother company's technologies, because it has many technological applications across a number of areas. This is particularly important given the focus the Qatari government places on economic diversification across the country. We are also well known in Qatar for our extensive human resources development. We work in cooperation with our clients to provide technical training for Qatari engineers in our head office in Japan. We are extremely proud of these long-term programs as part of our business is dedicated to supporting the Qatari government's vision to expand its human resources via such programs.