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Awadallah: a packed agenda  for growth

Awadallah: a packed agenda for growth



QCS to cover new ground

March 2014

QUALITY Control Services (QCS), a leading non-destructive testing (NDT) company in the Gulf, reported strong business activity over the past year and is poised to introduce digital radiography technology to the Saudi market.

Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mohammed Awadallah said his company is speaking with US and German technology suppliers interested in deploying their digital technologies in the kingdom to provide better inspection outcomes.

QCS offers a full NDT and heat treatment package and is approved by all main Saudi oil and gas companies. As well as radiography, ultrasonic and other NDT methods, the company maintains safety in line with Saudi Aramco and KACST safety regulations. The company also implements ISO 9001:2008 and all relevant quality standards in all its facilities.

It plans to step up the use of in-line inspection services in the local market, as well as acoustic emission technology for application in petrochemical plants, which is not widely used in GCC projects. Another technology is the risk based inspection (RBI) testing method which provides an early warning system for defects or cracks, and which can be monitored from anywhere in the world.

RBI is very important for big plants such as petrochemicals because it offers advanced warning for potentially dangerous, or even catastrophic, accidents.

Awadallah also announced the company would begin soon a tank farm inspection project at Luberef (Saudi Aramco Base Oil project), on a similar scale to the Yasref project and using both conventional (radiography) and phased array techniques.

Discussing other initiatives, he said: “We aim to expand both horizontally and vertically in 2014 to achieve the highest levels of inspection and testing in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. We will intensify our focus on the UAE, predominantly Abu Dhabi, where we have opportunities for advanced technology work and which is a big market with a strong demand outlook.

“Plans for the near term include becoming involved in the naturally occurring radioactive material (Norm) market in Saudi Arabia, local demand for which is now increasing. We are planning to introduce Norm services in 2015, and believe we have the edge – it is a highly specialised and heavily regulated field, which requires radioactivity expertise, which QCS has.”

QCS is part of a conglomerate of three companies including UT Quality Arabia and Isotopes Arabia and is looking to have a more integrated presence in the market.

 

2013 ACTIVITIES

Advanced ultrasound testing allows the inspector to perform manual ultrasonic testing with high reliability and objective true to scale data presentation

Advanced ultrasound testing allows the inspector to perform manual ultrasonic testing with high reliability and objective true to scale data presentation

2013 was an eventful year for the company which expanded its services to Khafji Joint Operations (KJO) in response to a request by the KJO operator for advanced technologies such as Borescope, Iris and Tube Inspection available on an ad hoc basis.

OCS now has a full branch office in Khafji, headed by a Level 3 operator and a fully qualified team of technicians, enabling it to meet KJO needs at short notice.

“KJO appreciated our commitment to this service, since it is a remote location and not many NDT companies are prepared to invest in resources there,” said Awadallah about his firm’s role in Khafji.

During 2013 the company concluded the Yasref (Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company) tank farm project, testing 33 large tanks for defects during construction by both conventional (radiography) and advanced (phased array) methods, the first time this technique was used for a tank inspection project of this scale.

In Jubail, where building capabilities is a strategic priority, it made major gains and now serves eight major projects including the huge Sadara development currently under construction as well as other petrochemical plants and the recently completed Satorp refinery. As a result of stepped-up activities during 2013, the city now accounts for some 40 per cent of QCS business.

In Jubail the company has a branch office, accommodation and more than 50 highly qualified technicians, and is eyeing the many projects due to be awarded in the coming years.

Postweld heat treatment can encompass many different potential treatments to improve the properties of weldment

Postweld heat treatment can encompass many different potential treatments to improve the properties of weldment

2013 saw it significantly step up its activities in Jubail, such that it now accounts for some 40 per cent of its business.

In the training sphere, the company established during the year a training department headed by a Level 3-certified trainer who is an expert in both conventional and advanced NDT.

The training centre will build on QCS’ excellent relationship with Prince Mohammed bin Fahd University (PMU) and offer training for final year PMU undergraduates, thereby bridging the gap between the industrial and academic worlds.

Having delivered a presentation at the PMU, Awadallah aims to offer both in-class training for students as well as inviting them for summer training at QCS headquarters.

“This is an important initiative for QCS, assisting young engineers to build a career track record. We are also planning, through our network of contacts, to help promote the capabilities and skills of some of these engineers to leading companies in Saudi Arabia’s oil and gas industry,” he said.

“We are also very keen to open channels of communication with other companies in Saudi Arabia and work together to address Saudisation issues, to share knowledge, and to involve more graduate Saudis. I hope soon I will be sitting here talking about meetings such as this, involving the colleagues from Aramco, PMU and of course QCS.

“We already enjoy an excellent relationship with Sabic’s Research Committee who have a lot of research projects and who have already said they would be open to sharing ideas and knowledge with graduates.”




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