Issue 08 2012
Going with the flow
Operating in the Middle East, one of the oil and gas industry’s busiest hubs, it can be difficult for a company to stand out in the market, but Petrotech Enterprises LLC has achieved this by building a business on diversity and reliability.
As a tight-knit group of companies, it has a portfolio of more than 25,000 products as well as support services for clients throughout the energy and utilities industries. The group is now looking to expand its services even further afield, into the rapidly emerging alternative fuel market, including the compressed natural gas (CNG) sector.
Group head of business development Harsh Sharma talks about the company in greater depth: “Petrotech was established in Dubai, a major regional centre for the oil and gas industry, to provide the essential products and services required by process industries. Under the noble guidance of managing director Murli Odhrani and young, hard working and dynamic sales director Bharat Odhrani, it has become one of the most trusted and leading suppliers of instrumentation and control hardware and process solutions, bulk piping and flow line materials, valves, hoses, filtration systems, hand tools, industrial chemicals, and various related accessories.”
Where Petrotech has succeeded is in acquiring the highest quality products for its inventory whilst being able to sell them at very competitive prices. Of all its suppliers, the Parker Hannifin Corporation is its biggest, providing Petrotech with a wide range of instrumentation and verification products for use by oil and gas companies. However, it also has a long list of additional prominent suppliers including Conbraco Industries, Apollo Valves, Midland ACS, Westlock Controls, Georgin, Nouva Fima, Tungum, Hip, Alcon Ludecke and Dixon, Rotelmann, Racor, KS Tools and Skyes Pickavant amongst many others.
On 3rd Feburary 2011, Petrotech entered into a partnership with Hale Hamilton, a supplier of high-pressure valve regulators and hydraulic systems. A crucial motivating factor for both these companies is shared interest in industrial gas and alternative fuel applications, for which such valves and control instruments are important components. In particular, because the region’s market for it remains relatively small, CNG has become a focal point for the two companies.
Reflecting on the global recession, Harsh Sharma explains: “The current economic crisis has now entered into the UAE borders and devastating results are well visible on crux. We at Petrotech are feeling the pressure from the current global economic slowdown, particularly the EU economic crisis and the uprisings in various Middle Eastern countries. It has also become clear that a quick recovery is not on the books. Clients are more nervous about their own income and spending, and as this circle continues, it will continue to put pressure on our working too. Therefore, we have realised this time for consolidation and restructured ourselves at Petrotech to make the most of our resources and make some tough choices to not only survive the current crisis but come out as a winner.
“We believe at Petrotech that the basic tonic of revival from this crisis is to make better decisions about the use of our limited credit facilities, while maximising cash flow and cash transactions for smooth operations. We are also trying to develop new alliances for cost effective products and services, sales strategies, collection plans and a comprehensive timeline for this situation to plan for business after the credit crisis.
Petrotech continues to supports its traditional sectors in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, however. The group comprises of four national companies: Pioneer Oilfield Enterprises in Oman; Petrotech Establishement in Kuwait; Petrotech Enterprises Pvt Ltd in India; and Petrotech Enterprises in the UAE. This latter company was established in 2009 following the discovery of large oil deposits around Abu Dhabi that came under the control of major Petrotech client Emirates. This act displays the group’s ongoing commitment to providing one-stop solutions for its clients throughout traditional market sectors. Other regular clients include major names such as Saipem, Dubai Dry-Docks, Arab Heavy Industry, Maritime Industrial Service, Crescent Petroleum, Petrofac, Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), BP Dubai, and the Dubai and Sharjah electricity and water authorities as well as engineering project management companies such as Worley Parsons, EIL, Flour, PDO, Oxy, Petrofac and Emmar.
“At Petrotech we have a strong team of engineers trained extensively according to our customer service principals,” comments Harsh Sharma. “Our objective is to provide technical expertise and reliable solutions to clients. We have on many occasions teamed up with them to cater to projects with special requirements and, along with their support, have been instrumental in providing key engineering solutions. They make good use of our experience, knowledge and engineering consultancy that comes with all of our products.”
With a strong history behind it, Petrotech pulled through the financial crisis with a number of major contracts. Over the last few years it was involved with such projects as the design and installation of automated electrical hoists for The Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest shopping malls, and supplying critical engineering equipment to UN and NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq. With the establishment of its Abu Dhabi branch, as well as its foray into the alternative fuel sector, the future for Petrotech looks to be bright.
Harsh Sharma concludes with confidence in the next few years: “Challenges are always there but we are expecting exciting developments in the pipeline, gas processing, petrochemical and refining markets throughout Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Nigeria. We have sustained our business successfully with total commitment to our existing clientele and are growing with our efforts to strengthen and expand our customer base. In five years time we hope to be one of the top ten engineering products and services companies in the Middle East.”
Products: Process control equipment