Germany-based RMA’s Middle East pipeline equipment plant in Bahrain has made important inroads into regional markets and is undertaking its first expansion since commencing operations in late 2012.
The company has won approvals from all major oil and gas companies in the Middle East and expects significant business growth in the coming years from feeding pipeline construction maintenance and rehabilitation projects, said operations manager Manuel Jaschan.
RMA produces pipeline inspection gauge (pig) scraper traps, insulating joints, drill opened tee branches and quick closures at its plant in the Bahrain International Investment Park.
“The current production area of 6,000 sq m is to be extended by another 4,250 sq m, and capability will be enhanced to achieve 25 per cent production growth in all product lines.
“We have organised some special machineries from Germany that can considerably minimise our production time.” The highest size of pig trap manufactured in RMA Bahrain was 64 inches even though the facility is capable of making higher sizes according to customer requirement. The facility had delivered other sizes right from 12 inches to 56 inches.
Pig traps account for 70 per cent of sales, while insulation joints account for around 15 per cent with other products making up the balance.
The Bahrain facility had delivered approximately 42 large-size pig traps and 19 of the smaller ones since the beginning.
“The first party that RMA Bahrain supplied larger-sized pig traps to was Cosider of Algeria, which took 15 units. Supplies to the firm began in 2013 and went on till the first three months of the following year,” recalled Jaschan.
“We also delivered smaller-sized pig traps, including one to Saudi Aramco and another to Qatar Petroleum (QP).”
Now we have secured approvals from major oil and gas companies and almost all the end users in this region.
With that development, the future for RMA Bahrain looks good. Approvals received are also a reason why it went ahead with its expansion project, which is set for completion in March, 2016.
“We’re sending out quotes to many clients in the Middle East and it’s taking a long time to close the deals. Aramco is set to release some projects to us and we expect to continue the same successful tradition in RMA Germany for manufacturing and delivering high quality products as we have a long-term legacy of serving major oil companies in the Middle East,” observed Jaschan.
“Additionally there are very few manufacturers in the world making pig traps that are approved by Aramco, so we are very hopeful to get contracts for them.
“Another advantage is that the product is made completely in-house; it’s ready-to-use and ready to install on site with no assembly required. To ensure the absolute highest quality, RMA Bahrain has implemented a Quality Management System in full compliance with ISO 9001. Also RMA Bahrain maintains the ASME U Stamp, a construction certificate to manufacture pressure Vessels”
“If there’s a pipeline, they definitely need a trap,” remarked Jaschan. At least any one of our products will be used in pipeline construction, maintenance or revamping. So the potential is good in the coming years.”
RMA Bahrain has supplied more than 150 insulation joints, most going to PDO through RMA’s Muscat agent. Insulation joints have also been delivered to Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) and QP. The product is normally used to block against the flow of electric current in all piping systems
Another product – drill opened Tee branches – used mainly during maintenance repairs, has been shipped to Gasco (Abu Dhabi) and Cosider while a test piece was delivered to Aramco. The company has a current order to supply the same product to Gasco. Orders have also been placed by two other companies including Target Engineering & Construction Co, Saudi Arabia.
The company uses carbon steel, stainless steel and duplex steel in its production process and as much as 90 per cent of the material will be sourced from Europe, said purchasing manager Abhijith Parameswaran.
“Our imports of forgings have been huge, some 2,500 tons since starting production, and our plates imports are also enormous. We’ve given fantastic business to logistics companies last year. Unofficially, we were the second-largest container volume occupier in Bahrain for one of the major shipping lines this year. Our strong vendor line and efficient logistics networks has helped us to ease our procurement process of our raw materials.” added Parameswaran.
Jaschan said the company’s staff had expanded from 13 at its inception to 25 with several more to be recruited after the expansion. “We’re appointing more agents and strengthening our vendor line and sales support team.
“We’re confident of our production processes and our quality. Each product line undergoes strict monitoring to meet our quality requirements.” The company’s adherence to quality excellence, inspection and transparency would take it far, he went on to say.