KUCHING: OceanMight Sdn Bhd, a new oil and gas (O&G) player, is a bright spot in the battered industry caused by the slump in global crude oil prices.
The 43%-owned associate of steel fabricator KKB Engineering Bhd is on an expansion trail, active in hiring to beef up its pool of skilled workforce.
This is a big contrast to some of the more established offshore fabricators, which were reportedly scaling down their operations and laying off workers to stay afloat in this tough time of getting new jobs from oil majors.
According to KKB group executive director Kho Pok Tong, OceanMight hired some 100 experienced engineers and technicians in their respective fields in the past year, bringing its total workforce to 200.
“From the current headcount of 200, this is expected to rise all the way. We have to recruit another 200 and double it (total workforce) to 400 by the end of this year,” he said.
Kho, also OceanMight director, said about 50% of the 100 employees it hired last year were Sarawakians, who had vast experience working for fabrication yards outside the state.
“They help to bring down our costs in project management.
“Our (recruitment) priority is Sarawakians, who have between 10 to 20 years of working experiences. They include qualified welders, fitters and those working in the safety fields,” he added.
These Sarawakians will take over from expatriates, who wil leave upon expiry of their contracts with the company.
OceanMight is Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) licensed fabrication yard for offshore facilities construction-major onshore fabrication. There are eight such licensed yards in Malaysia and OceanMight was the seventh issued with the licence three years ago.
To facilitate its diversification into offshore structures fabrication, KKB had invested some RM98mil (excluding land cost) in a fabrication yard along Jalan Bako, Kuching, in the past three years. The new facilities include five covered fabrication workshops and two loadout jetties.
In January, OceanMight was awarded by Talisman Malaysia Ltd the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the wellhead platform of the Kinabalu redevelopment project. The project involves a 3,700-tonne wellhead riser platform and 350-tonne bridge that would link the new facilities to the existing Kinabalu platform.
Scheduled for completion in mid-2017, the project will enable Talisman to drill up to 10 wells with deck space available to install additional equipment for future development.
Kho said OceamMight had won the contract, which attracted six bidders, based on “our competitiveness and financial standing”.
OceanMight had completed and delivered two contracts so far – the provision of fabrication, hook-up and commissioning services for Tanjong Baram wellhead platform, and the provision of services, fabrication and new helideck assembly for Baram B Revisit 4 project.
Kho said OceamMight was eyeing more O&G jobs, and had bid for another RM370mil worth of contracts.
“The outcomes of most of these bids are expected to be known in the second or third quarters (2016),” he added.
He said OceanMight had tendered for five O&G contracts last year, three of which were later cancelled and two deferred by oil majors due to the plunge in oil prices.
According to Kho, KKB’s diversification into the O&G industry was a long-term ambition to move up the value chain in structural steel fabrication to complement its traditional activities.
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