Certified for growth in GhanaFebruary 28, 2020
Stephen Narh Wayoe, CEO of Wayoe Engineering & Construction (WEC), talks to The Energy Year about recent upgrades in the company’s internal systems and processes and WEC’s plans for domestic and international expansion. WEC is a 100% Ghanaian company that provides multi-disciplinary services to the oil and gas, mining, infrastructure and petrochemicals industries.
How do you view the business environment in Ghana for oil and gas companies?
The general business environment in Ghana for oil and gas is great, and we foresee an even better future. Even though the market is slow right now [in late 2019], the government is working on improving it and I am certain it is going to pick up again very soon. For indigenous companies like ours, potential and opportunities are very good.
What have been your most notable oil and gas contracts?
We have worked on a lot of projects for Tullow and MODEC. Last year , we won a new five-year contract with MODEC, which means that we will become the primary maintenance services provider for MODEC and their two FPSOs. As an indigenous company, we are trying to raise our qualifications and expand our capacity, as we see a lot of opportunities ahead of us.
How are you planning to expand the company’s domestic operations and capabilities?
We are building a new fabrication facility on 15 acres [0.06 square kilometres] of land that is going to be about 60% automated. Once that is operational, we are going to bring in more equipment, such as a beam fabrication line, column and boom welding systems, rolling machines that can roll thicker sectional plates and sectional rollers that can roll beams.
We have also acquired a space at the quayside of Takoradi harbour to build a workshop to prefabricate larger components such as suction piles and jumpers. The prefabrication will be done at the new facility and transported to the port’s quayside for final assembly. We are hoping to have that workshop fully operational by the end of Q2 2020, which will align well strategically with Aker Energy’s upcoming developments.
How did the company’s Business Reset and Business Excellence project optimise operations?
This internal assessment allowed us to update and professionalise our systems and processes. We are a local company that started with one person and grew to an international level, and this growth required us to put new standards in place.
In 2018, we brought in an expert to carry out a review of our operations and make recommendations on how they could be improved. Based on those recommendations, we have made changes across the board in areas such as personnel, environmental issues, internal systems and processes, and general business operations.
What is WEC’s value proposition?
Although we are an indigenous fabricator, we have international systems and standards in place. We have received management standards certificates ISO 9001:2015 for quality management systems, ISO 45001:2018 for occupational health and safety management systems, and ISO 14001:2015 for environmental management systems.
In 2020, WEC will also become DNV-GL ISO 3834-3 certified, which is a quality requirement for fusion welding of metallic materials. This is to certify that our workshop and processes meet the oil and gas industry’s standards to better position ourselves within the industry. WEC is also TRACE certified, which is the due diligence standard for conducting business ethically.
What are some of the challenges that WEC has faced recently?
One of the key issues we have in Ghana is the higher cost of materials, which does not put us in a very competitive position when we tender. We have also identified a deficit in our steel supply, which could be an issue in the future. Our workshop should be able to produce around 600 tonnes of steel per month, but in order to meet this requirement we are considering importing steel from Europe. However, we need to be able to import materials with a reasonable duty.
We are in the diligence process with the government to obtain a free zone licence, which will make our company exempt from import duties. Then instead of doing fabrication outside of Ghana, companies could just pay freight and duty insurance and do the fabrication here. We will have the facilities and the capacity, and our prices will be very competitive.
Could you talk about WEC’s presence outside of Ghana and your aspirations for international growth?
WEC has a registered office in South Africa for handling capital projects, and we just completed a USD 12-million project in Sierra Leone. We will also be starting a project in Guinea soon, and we are already registered to do business in Ivory Coast.
In the future, we want to open an office in Europe to build relationships with more prospective clients in oil and gas. We did this on the mining side of our operation, and it created fast growth. In terms of personnel, I am bringing two expatriates in to manage the oil and gas section of the company.
Where do you envision your company five years from now?
I envision the company being a preferred partner of choice in Africa for the mining, power and oil and gas industries as a result of our capacity, capability and cost savings.