Oman Review

Inco spreads its presence in Oman

Inco: making inroads into new sectors

Dubai-based leading contractor and supplier Inco Group has strengthened its footprint in Oman with the setting up of its third manufacturing unit in the emerging industrial hub of Duqm, where it has found success by winning a major engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the Duqm Refinery.

Inco’s new facility in Duqm is particularly dedicated to the massive project for which Inco has secured a subcontract to build storage tanks by a joint venture between UK-based Petrofac and South Korea’s Samsung Engineering.

The Petrofac-Samsung JV had early this year been signed up by Duqm Refinery and Petrochemical Industries Company for the $2 billion EPC package 2 (utilities and off-sites).

Inco has received the letter of agreement (LOA) recently and work is likely to be completed within two years, said Hiral Poshiya, assistant manager of production and projects at Inco International.

EPC 2 contract is one of the three main EPC contracts awarded by Duqm Refinery, a joint venture between Oman Oil Company and Kuwait Petroleum International for the construction of the 23,000 bpd refinery coming up in the Al Wusta region of Oman.

The Duqm Refinery project is aimed at boosting the refining industry of Oman and Kuwait and enhancing Duqm’s position as a new business hub in the region.

Inco: a major supplier to many high profile companies

Inco: a major supplier to many high profile companies

Duqm Refinery’s EPC scope of work was divided into three separate packages. The scope of EPC 1 included the process units of the Refinery, while EPC 2 consisted of the utilities and offsite facilities. EPC 3 included the product export terminal in Duqm Port, the Duqm Refinery dedicated crude storage tanks in Ras Markaz and the 80 km interconnecting pipeline from these crude tanks to Duqm Refinery.

“We have established a new workshop at Oman Duqm Area targeting Duqm Refinery Project,” said Poshiya. “We believe we can extend our support for the success of Duqm refinery project with our high-tech manufacturing facility of Inco Duqm workshop,” he added.

This brings its workshop strength to three in the Sultanate and six in the Middle East. The company already has two workshops in Sohar, Oman with a capacity of 1,000 tonnes per month each. 

Located two-km away from Duqm Refinery project, Inco’s newest workshop is spread across an area of 50,000 sq m with a capacity of 1,500 tonnes per month. The company has received Inco-Duqm commercial license in March and currently construction of workshop is going on and is expected to be completed by December, this year, Poshiya revealed.

Inco is also considering to open workshops in Bahrain and Kuwait to expand its wings in the region.

With an overall capacity of over 42,000 tonnes per year, the Inco Group has five fabrication shops spread throughout the Middle East, including one in Zubair, Iraq (area 20,000 sq m, capacity 500 tonnes per month). The company has two workshops in Sohar, Oman (30,000 sq m and 1,000 tonnes per month each), one in Dubai (30,000 sq m and 900 tonnes per month) and one in Gebze, Turkey (25,000 sq m, 600 tonnes per month).

All workshops produce different products, suited to the demands of local markets, Poshiya said.

Of all the products, its main products – fabricated storage tanks and pressure vessels – have contributed the most to the company’s revenue in 2017. Power plant products such as ducts, stacks and flares have contributed fairly well, too, in addition to structural fabrication work like fabrication of piping skids and harps.

According to Poshiya, in terms of business, 2017 was stable for the company with a healthy pipeline of project spilling over from 2016. Most projects, he pointed out, came after the company shifted its focus from the oil and gas industry to other industries such as electricity, water and petrochemicals. 

Following a slowdown in oil and gas projects, the company, after conducting a comprehensive review of its strategic focus, identified these sectors where it can dominate the market with its products and focus on priority projects first.

“In 2017, our strategy was to diversify from oil and gas projects and focus more on power and petrochemicals,” Poshiya said.

The company adopted the diversification strategy for the first time in 2015 when the oil and gas industry began to face a slump following oil price decline by focusing on electricity and water.

“In 2015, we diversified our attention to power and energy sectors and subsequently in 2018 we set our eyes on water and petrochemical sectors,” he said.

According to Poshiya, water is the new oil at present as is evident by the fast growth of the market, which is seeing the launch of several high-ticket projects in the region.

The company, he said, is bidding in all the major water projects in the region since it has successfully completed water projects in the UAE as reference.

“Our advantage is that we cater to many different sectors and industries. However, 2018 was more challenging than 2017 which has prompted us to find innovative solutions for our customers,” he said.

An approved supplier to many high profile companies, Inco Group has in the past two years supplied to companies like Adnoc Companies, EGA-UAE, Orpic-Oman, Qatar Electricity as they are the main end- user. However Samsung C&T, Hyundai, Tecnimont, Boldrocchi, Nooter/Eriksen etc are its product buyers as main contractors.

The company mainly works with steel as its raw material, but it also has capabilities to manufacture using super duplex and alloy metals, said Poshiya. It procures 41 per cent of its material from the GCC region, 27 per cent from Europe and 12 per cent from Korea with the rest coming from the US and India.

According to Poshiya, the Inco management is consistently looking at implementing innovative construction technology and processes to improve its time of delivery and costs.

Towards this, the company has procured new improved machinery for the new Duqm facility.

“We have procured CNC plasma cutting machine with auto bevel head which has sixteen tool changer and is able to do marking, punching, drilling, beveling, tapping, threading with angular cut.

The company has procured two lines: P83E- for CNC punching line and Gemini 32HPE- for gantry automatic CNC drilling, milling and thermal cutting system for large plate. Both the machines have been imported from Italy (FICEP-Italy).

“We have received the delivery of machines and we will be installing these machine in our new Inco Duqm workshop soon,” Poshiya revealed.

“These machines are an integration of high-tech software and multi operational ideas. We can do punching, drilling, milling and cutting in one operation. We believe it can reduce up to 30 per cent of man-hours for some operations,” he added.