The role of geotechnical studies in Kuwait’s project developmentDecember 6, 2022
Reem Al Saleh, CEO of Gulf Inspection International, talks to The Energy Year about the importance of geotechnical studies in Kuwait and significant areas of potential growth for the company. Gulf Inspection International is a company providing geotechnical services, geotechnical laboratory testing, land survey services and more.
How important are geotechnical studies for project development in Kuwait?
Being aware of the nature of the soil and using geotechnical data wisely can cut costs in the future for all sorts of projects. It’s much easier; you can monitor the wells, the water – which is important in Kuwait – even the soil, so you can choose the right project and the right place. You can’t do your own projects in just any soil, you need to study it. If anybody wants to build a house, the engineer who does the design needs certain information. How do they get the information? They will request us as a company to go to a certain place at a certain depth to take some sampling. We’ll go to the lab, give them the result and provide our recommendation. Through those results, they can build their project.
We are the first people who know what’s going on in Kuwait because it always starts with us. You can’t start any project without these studies, or the survey. With that geotechnical information, whatever is under the land, you can identify it and be aware of it.
What are the main challenges of participating in projects in Kuwait?
It is much easier to work on projects by providing an integrated package of services. For each project, we involve many departments: the survey or geotechnical department, our third-party inspection services and our well department.
We are one of the few companies in Kuwait with a lab that is ISO certified. We have worked with the UN, with international companies and with the government. Our target always was to be the best in this field, especially with regards to our laboratory services. Our lab does materials testing, but we are still improving and investing in our lab to be better and more capable, especially in the environmental testing area.
Being ahead of the competition in terms of technology is critical. In the Mubarak port project on Boubyan island, we did Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) surveys. We are the only local company with the technological capabilities to take on this type of project.
Which are the most significant areas of potential growth for Gulf Inspection International?
Strategically, we are starting to focus on the oil sector. We have experience working in this sector with KPC subsidiaries. We have built an excellent track record to deliver projects over the years that we could capitalise on.
Another aspect in which I see opportunities for the company is through the data we have acquired over the years. Through our work with the water wells, the geotechnical, the surveys and more. We have very strong data in huge quantities. During these last 50 years, we have become experts in terms of soil data in Kuwait. We believe the government could leverage this data in order to buy better technology and more fully understand the needs of drilling and construction firms.
We implemented most of the projects of the Ministry of Electricity & Water & Renewable Energy. We installed the pumps and everything for the water wells. We also drilled the water wells, both shallow and deep. We even brought a special camera for the existing wells so that we can take videos of and gather information on them.
Which are your key objectives for 2023?
We want to expand our collaborations with the government, as well as to tap into the oil and gas sector. The expansion of our lab is also a critical point. Finally, we want to be present in Saudi Arabia and have projects there. The market in Saudi Arabia is booming, there is a lot of available work. We are currently in discussions to set up operations there. Lebanon and South Africa are also attractive markets for us, and we are working to enter these areas.
2023 will be busy. We are optimistic. We are keen to support the country’s development and strategy by taking on the role of supporting government initiatives.