Momentum in Egypt’s energy sectorOctober 27, 2021
Amr Osama, managing director of PROWEACT, talks to The Energy Year about potential opportunities in Egypt’s hydrocarbons sector and how the company is remaining competitive. PROWEACT provides EPC, project management and tools provision for Egypt’s oil and gas and power generation sectors.
What does Egypt’s energy hub strategy mean for companies like yours?
Several mega-projects are propelling the country’s energy hub strategy, such as the Egyptian Refining Company [ERC], the West Nile Delta [WND] development, the Zohr gasfield and the Red Sea complex. Such mega-projects could drive the development of the market.
Many companies in Egypt are waiting for the Red Sea complex project to start, especially after 2020’s negative impact on the industry. An investment of around USD 10 billion will ensure a sustainable five years of construction and a minimum of one year of commissioning. This could lead to potential development in companies participating in the sector and its resources, including equipment, tools and knowledge, even for those companies that take a small share.
What recent shifts have you seen in Egypt’s energy industry?
The Zohr and WND hubs were a recent shift in the oil and gas industry. However, we expect a boom similar to the development scenario for the power sector. In the past five years, we participated in three mega-projects in the power generation sector: Burullus, New Capital and Beni Suef power plants. After that, we participated in the Assiut and Cairo West power plants. This market is slowing down nowadays. However, there is a plan for developing existing petrochemicals plants and sourcing funds for a new complex like the Red Sea complex, which could dramatically shift the market to a new level.
What kind of services did you provide for ERC’s refinery?
We mainly provided services such as flange management and heat treatment. PROWEACT has the largest fleet of on-site machining in the market and is the only company in Egypt that can provide portable flange-facing machines up to 80 inches [2.03 metres].
During construction and pre-commissioning, our contract was with GS Engineering and Construction. Now that EPROM [Egyptian Projects Operation and Maintenance] has taken on commissioning, operation and maintenance for the ERC refinery, we did participate in some maintenance activities. This project has faced many challenges, but such challenges have developed our capabilities. We succeeded in repairing vital equipment on site, which saved a lot of time and a tremendous amount of money by reducing the plant’s downtime.
What kind of products and services does your company provide?
We provide integrated piping construction services, prefabrication, welding, site installation and welded and bolted joints. However, we are specialists in heat treatment and flange management services. PROWEACT is the agency for international brands such as the UK’s Globe Heat for heat treatment products. We also recently signed a distribution agreement with US company TorsionX, which specialises in controlled bolting tools, such as hydraulic torquing tools. We also began distributing for PowerX, an American company specialised in hydraulic tools like jacks, flange spreader and nut splitters.
Competing with Chinese companies is quite challenging. We try to find a balance by working with companies that manufacture affordable and high-quality products. We also provide renewables-related services such as controlled bolting for wind towers using hydraulic torquing and tensioning tools.
What is the company’s strategy for growth?
Since we started as a services company and developed distribution agreements, we found that the market needs specific services and related equipment. Two years ago, you could not find a professional flange facing services company in Egypt. We will continue developing the on-site machining sector from an integrated services perspective to provide any service related to piping systems, including the related equipment. Looking ahead, we would like to invest in the manufacturing of equipment, such as pressure vessels and heat exchangers for the global market.