Energy, Oil and Gas last featured VENKO Offshore in November 2014 when Business Unit Manager, Tom Herok, noted that the company had continued a successful run of delivering contracts to a number of offshore clients. Today, despite growing pressures in the industry amid falling oil prices, VENKO is still positive in its ongoing success as more and more companies see the quiet period as an opportunity to focus on maintenance issues.
“We have experienced a small set back,” Tom points out. “However, we are glad to see that clients realise that if they don’t maintain their platforms now, they will have bigger problems in the future. With this in mind we have managed to carry on supporting our clients in increasing their offshore efficiency and delivering reduced square metre pricing for coating services.” With its UK office based in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, a local newspaper recently reported that the company was looking to double its employee levels to nearly 100 due to the awarding of major contracts in the North Sea. With this level of positive growth present in the UK then, it is no surprise that VENKO has set its sights on expansion with a new office in Aberdeen with its strategic partner Brand Energy and Infrastructures for scaffolding and insulation.
Commenting on what it is that makes VENKO so strong in such a challenging market, Tom explains: “We seem to be able to make a difference to our clients as we have a very customer focused way of operating. We provide them with a service that works for them in the long-term, instead of just chasing the current maintenance contract. We really focus on delivering high quality, advanced competencies and efficiency to take the concern of their hands and we seem to be doing a good job of this. We focus not on short-term projects, but on longterm relationships.”
As it looks to expand its growth in the UK with a new office in Aberdeen, VENKO Offshore and Brand approach Offshore Europe to showcase the services it can deliver to its clients. With specialism in services from industrial coating and surface preparation to fireproofing, scaffolding and rope access the company has a lot to offer and is currently in the process of developing a new fabric maintenance jack-up barge to enhance it. Speaking in the last feature, Tom highlights: “This will be a real game changer in the future of VENKO operations.”
The innovative, cost-effective and purpose built installation looks to solve issues to do with a lack of suitable equipment for high intensity offshore work, therefore reducing delay times and operational costs, which VENKO can then pass onto its clients. “With the oil price issues, the market has changed in recent months and although we still believe in the product and are active in showing clients what we have to offer, it is more difficult to get a long-term commitment to enable an official launch at the moment,” expresses Tom, who despite this challenge remains confident. “We are eager to start and our clients are eager to start because they see how much of a difference it will make. However, it’s a bit of a catch-22 situation as the barge is not ready yet because the client can’t commit, and the client can’t commit because the barge isn’t ready yet. As soon as there is a change in the market and we get a commitment, then we can bring the concept to market. In the meantime we continue to bring it to the attention of existing and new clients, particularly in Aberdeen, because we know how significant it is.”
Elsewhere, VENKO Offshore’s success continues with existing clients on a number of fabric maintenance contracts in the North Sea. “We have now moved onto our third platform for a maintenance campaign with a major North Sea operator who have been a really solid client for us. This is important to us as it proves our difference and they are very pleased with the work we are doing, particularly with safety, client interface and quality,” says Tom. “We have also been awarded the clipper project for One Gas for a maintenance campaign on the clipper complex over the next five years, which shows that Shell are also pleased with us. In the Netherlands, we also seem to be picking up again with some interesting projects coming up.”
The attitude at VENKO Offshore is positive. Whilst Tom remains keenly aware of the challenges that currently face the industry as a whole, he is confident that opportunities exist for the company in the UK and is focused on chasing them. “Over the next 12 months we will very much be focusing on expanding the business in Great Yarmouth, where we have increased our offshore support organisation, and exploring the Aberdeen market,” he says. “We are looking forward to exhibiting at Offshore Europe as it is important for us to let people know that we are there now to deliver our services in Aberdeen, and we want to establish some strong working relationships for the future.”
Services: Provide fabric maintenance services to outdoor applications in a range of industries
Issue 125 October 2015