Nigerdock continues to achieve great success in demonstrating industry leadership, diversification, fabrication, logistics and project capabilities amid difficult market conditions
Writer: Phoebe Calver
Project Manager: Eddie Clinton
When Africa Outlook last profiled Nigerdock, a member of Jagal Energy, a year ago, the Company was going from strength to strength in the industry. Subsequently, 2016 proved to be operationally and financially successful and enabled it to enhance its record of successful project deliveries.
It was a big year for Nigerdock, delivering successfully on OFON EPC project for Total and Egina FPSO, as a sub-contractor for Samsung. It is fair to say that the Company is clearly enhancing its leadership reputation in Nigeria and further afield.
“It is important to note that within this last 12 month period, we have also achieved in excess of 4.2 million man-hours without an LTI, and some nine million cumulative man-hours since our last LTI, demonstrating the highest levels of commitment and delivery of a safe workplace,” explains Chris Bennett, Group Managing Director of Jagal Energy. “In terms of the broader Company objectives, we were slightly less successful, specifically in the area of building a new backlog of work. This however was simply due to the lack of contracts being awarded in Nigeria over this period of time. Subsequently this lack of contract awards in 2016 has created extreme operating conditions for everyone in 2017.
“Fortunately at Nigerdock we have built a diverse business portfolio over the years. Therefore, during these particularly tough periods, where the projects are in short supply, we are able to rely upon broader service streams of ship repair, logistics and base services as well as training and a development academy to enable us to stand strong while others were faltering in the industry.”
Although the downturn has currently been challenging in terms of creating new revenue, there have been a plethora of opportunities arising in consolidation. These include joint ventures and asset sharing models, which are aiding the industry in evolving to survive in the difficult current times and reducing costs to remain competitive.
“We bravely took an opportunity to invest more than 15 million dollars during 2016 and early 2017, further enhancing our supply base services and providing them with new water and diesel storage facilities that are capable of stockholding 5,000 m3,” adds Bennett. “We have also created a state-of-the-art dedicated marshalling area and partnered with an International leader in the business, positioning us to be ready for supply base and logistics contracts that we anticipate will be awarded in 2017.”
Nigerdock sets scorecards for the annual definition and measurement of Company objectives and these typically include financial, quality, HSE, commercial, work-to-win and new business, as well as project and business stream delivery metrics.
“Of course, due to the difficulties within the country this year, we have had to realign some of those objectives in order to match the prevailing market conditions,” affirms Bennett.
“One of the main objectives for the year was to finalise the on schedule delivery without injury of the 7,500 tonnes of steelwork for Samsung on the Total Egina Project; and we proudly achieved this target in June, 2017. A truly world-class performance.”
Nigerdock continues to change with the market needs and the current restructuring should aid the Company in further strengthening the business stream diversification.
Bennett continues: “We have it ingrained within every employee that we must remain positive in this market, as there remains huge opportunities, however disheartening the downside of the unprecedented reductions in numbers of professional artisans and management is, as project work reaches completion.
“We are resolute in our hope that these markets will see a solid recovery in 2018 and there are many positive signs to corroborate that will be a real possibility.”
As previously mentioned, Nigerdock made effective investments in 2016 and 2017, those pivotal investments were necessary to diversify deeper into the supply base and logistics business streams. The Company decided to position itself ahead of the competition by starting this investment in early 2016 and was able to successfully commission those systems in July 2017.
“We have continued on through the year with investments in systems and technology as a key enabler for efficiency within the Company,” describes Bennett. “We have implemented both new software and marketing tools to strengthen our position for service delivery; furthermore we have steadily increased our joint venture relationships into equipment maintenance, surveys, heavy lifting services and logistics services amongst a number.”
The clear challenge for the industry is a continuing pressure on costs and the consequential drive for efficiency with a resolute focus on ‘Nigerianisation’.
Since 2010, Nigerdock has been working on its leadership team capabilities and the development programmes for those personnel.
“I’m a great believer in our Company being an employer of choice and within that, the development of my co-workers and instilling a success-oriented culture enables us to retain great people within the business,” explains Bennett. “The team that we now have working with us have proven capability - without a shadow of a doubt - when it comes to delivering to the highest international standards.”
Impressively, the Company has achieved accreditation by City and Guilds as a perfect example of international competence assessment for its development processes.
“This has been very important for my co-workers, as now they can gain an internationally recognised, transportable competence certificate within a transparent and structured development programme,” adds Bennett. “Our development academy remains a source of great pride to us all and to the 6,000 people who have passed through it.”
Due in part to these development programmes, the Company was recently recognised in the top 100 employers in Nigeria - situated amongst many blue chip international companies - vindicating the hard work and showing that Nigerdock is getting a lot of its development and retention planning right.
Despite the difficulties faced this year in the industry, the outlook for the Company is looking particularly positive and the hope for operations to be fully utilised again are well founded.
“Frankly, I would anticipate seeing a significant increase in the logistics and supply base operations on Snake Island, as well as fabrication works underway again,” affirms Bennett. “In addition to that I would hope that we are fully active in offshore brownfield works by the end of the year.”
Bennett concludes: “Moving forward, I hope that we will be able to strengthen our Company further and maintain the positive effect on the lives of the 100,000 people we affect in running our business. Nigeria needs Nigerdock and more Companies like it.”