Keys to developing Nigeria’s fabrication sectorDecember 1, 2022
Godwin Ebong, managing director of Gabson Engineering Services, talks to The Energy Year about the company’s work on Nigeria’s AKK pipeline, its key services and its position in the fabrication sector. Gabson Engineering is an EPC company focused on civil and mechanical projects.
How has Gabson Engineering built up its EPC capacity and reputation?
When we entered the market in 2009, we saw a huge gap in local expertise and know-how, and we immediately established our training school. We train personnel in critical aspects of the industry, such as welding and pipe fitting. After more than 10 years, we can state that our school is a recognised quality trademark in the industry, enabling us to acquire increased relevance in the sector.
Gabson has a team of well-trained engineers and technicians who have made their mark in various engineering fields. We created a division called Gabson Standard Inspection, where we focus on pre-commissioning engagements. We believe in ensuring the viability of a project and work progressively to maintain a standard of service comparable to any available in the industry worldwide.
What is Gabson Engineering’s showcase contract in Nigeria?
We have been awarded a test run of 5.5 kilometres of the AKK pipeline. We have 100 personnel and equipment onsite, but we face some challenges. Some qualified materials such as electrodes are hard to find in Nigeria and we are forced to import them from the US, which means a higher price and longer operational timeframes. We have received the first batch, with the remaining deliveries pending.
If these are successful, we will be awarded a more significant portion of the pipeline. We have the capability to work on up to 100 kilometres. We intend to be the best company on the project because it is a crucial opportunity to demonstrate our efficiency and know-how in a critical piece of gas infrastructure.
What is the company’s footprint in the energy industry?
Over the years, we have managed to land several contracts that increased our footprint. We are procuring pipes, valves, pumps and more for pipeline construction for Network E&P, Oando, the AKK project, SC Johnson, and others. We are constructing a tank farm for a refinery in Benin with a capacity of 40,000 litres.
We provide inspections such as visual, NDT, destructive testing and calibration. We have competent personnel and state-of-the-art equipment ready to be deployed. Currently, we have an inspection contract with Axxela.
How is Gabson Engineering positioned in the fabrication sector?
In Eket and Apapa, we have a fabrication yard of about 10,000 square metres, as well as a 1,000-square-metre fabrication facility. We want to support the industry by fabricating equipment currently unavailable in our domestic market, such as gas metering stations. We plan to manufacture waste bins with 100 litres of capacity in which you could separate four waste components because we were forced to import them from abroad in a previous contract.
We have a portfolio of partnerships with OEMs, but we plan to fabricate their products in our yard. Nigeria must foster and develop its in-house fabrication capacity because it will positively affect the employment rate and our purchasing power by strengthening the naira.
Where do you see the company in the next three years?
We will shortly be experiencing massive growth. We will have strong participation in the AKK pipeline, enabling us to play with the big engineering companies in Nigeria. We plan to establish a solid foundation here in Nigeria by adding value to our stakeholders and to the industry. We have a good credit line with local banks, but we know that expansion will require additional financial partners; we are open to that possibility. We are a company that thinks globally, and we will also operate internationally in the future.