8/11/2008 Furmanite sets up in West Africa

NEWS RELEASE from FURMANITE International

Furmanite sets up in West Africa

Furmanite, the specialist engineering and technical services company, has set up a West African operation and appointed a general manager West Africa to manage and develop business in the region, geared to helping operators (primarily in the oil and gas industry) keep their assets earning and minimise downtime.

The move to establish a full time on-the-ground presence means that the full range of Furmanite on-line and on-site services is now available to operators in West Africa with the quality, speed and level of service to meet their needs. These services include hot tapping and line stopping, on-line pressure leak sealing, on-site machining, composite repair, Trevitest on-line valve testing and valve repair. These will be delivered to the oil and gas industry upstream and downstream (Furmanite already has good working relationships with a number of the key operators in the region) and will also be valuable to other industries in which downtime is costly and undesirable.

Furmanite West Africa Limited, incorporated in Nigeria earlier this year, is headed up by Bulus Sambo, who takes responsibility for establishing, managing and building the business in this region.

Sambo joined Furmanite in June from Sulzer Pumps Nigeria, where he was senior business and operations director. A Nigerian himself, qualified in the United States as a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering Technology, he has an extensive industrial engineering and management background in America (Sulzer Process Pumps, Robert Bosch Corporation and Curtiss-Wright Flight Systems), and an impressive track record in successfully managing and developing business in the West Africa region. His experience extends from liaison with government officials regarding business laws and regulations to training Nigerian field service engineers. He has a sound knowledge of many of the industries in which Furmanite’s services are in high demand, and he has spent several weeks at Furmanite International’s head office in the United Kingdom being fully inducted in Furmanite’s services and processes.

Sambo’s immediate priorities for the business include setting up the head office in Lagos and service centre and operational base in the Niger Delta, where the company will establish a trademark Furmanite facility, in order to be able to deliver Furmanite services quickly and efficiently to meet the needs of customers in the West Africa region.

A full business structure is being built in the country, based largely on local content in line with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s local content directives. A number of local technicians with relevant engineering capability have been recruited and are being comprehensively trained at Furmanite’s United Kingdom training centre to provide the range of Furmanite services as multi-skilled technicians, in accordance with the company’s rigorous assessments, procedures and safety standards.

Furmanite International managing director Paul Brown said: “Our decision to invest in the region with an on-the-ground presence enables us to offer our 75 years of experience to oil and gas operators in this region, where there is high demand for our services to enable vital maintenance to be undertaken without shutdown, avoid unplanned downtime, and help keep scheduled outages to a minimum, representing high value. We are delighted to have Bulus on board to head up this operation. He is ideally qualified for the role, and will be a prime asset in establishing Furmanite West Africa, and developing and growing a strong business.”

Sambo added: “This is an exciting opportunity – there is so much potential for operators to benefit from Furmanite’s services. We have the technologies, experience and expertise, coupled with the quality, service standards, and engineering resource to support their needs and keep their assets operating.

“With the business structure in place, our first objective will be to inform our customers and prospective customers of our presence and the capability available to them. We’re already seeing demand for hot tapping and line stopping to repair or modify plant or pipelines without interrupting operation, and anticipate considerable interest in our composite repair technology for ‘live’ repairs and strengthening, for example. Initially we’re focusing on the oil and gas industry, but going forward our services will be valuable to other industries where downtime comes at a price, such as mining and power generation.”

For further information on Furmanite West Africa contact Bulus Sambo on bsambo@furmanite.com.

Sarah Manwaring-White, Keep in Touch Ltd,
Tel: +44 (0)1451 844 488
Email: sarah_mw@keepintouch.co.uk

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