Chris Christie, 6th September 2010
HERTEL may be a new name in Aberdeen, but the Dutch group has been trading for 115 years and employs more than 12,000 dedicated personnel working across the world who are an expert group of professional project managers, engineers and technicians who take pride in long-standing and well established relationships with their international customers.
Hertel is a complete solution provider, offering a full turnkey service from the initial Front End Engineering Design to the continued maintenance support, creating a full lifecycle partnership standing out in quality and safety.
Alongside the design and engineering services, Hertel also provides other multi-discipline and support services such as insulation, fabric maintenance, alternative access and painting. This integrated approach generates cost savings to the clients through increased efficiency.
Hertel’s guaranteed commitment to quality and safety is reflected throughout the company. With in-house training and recognition programmes in place and a target of zero accidents, every employee in the company holds their own personal safety record, allowing for demonstrable safety performance at an individual level.
It has been clear for a number of years that, to really make major inroads offshore in the UK, having an Aberdeen presence is important.
The offshore market is a very important one that Hertel wants to expand, having a wide range of skills and experience that it already has gained either onshore or offshore. In the UK, Hertel has over 3,500 employees working across four key market segments: oil&gas, process, power and utilities, and offshore.
To ensure the fastest possible start and highest impact in Aberdeen, Hertel decided to acquire Quest Worldwide, a marine and offshore living-quarters design specialist, having initially worked with it successfully on several joint bids and contracts for some major oil and service companies in Aberdeen.
Jon Rokk, managing director of Hertel’s offshore business in the UK, said: “We worked very well with Quest and it was an ideal strategy on a number of fronts as it would enhance our architectural and engineering skills base, and would immediately bring an established and proven network in Aberdeen into the group.
“We acquired the business in April this year and we then located and acquired our new facility in Dyce so we would have, at the outset, the right sort of infrastructure to service our offshore clients.”
Simon Hay, who was managing director of Quest and has now joined Hertel as development director, was very excited about the deal: “Now that the team are all part of Hertel, we can also focus on a much wider portfolio of services, many of which were not possible as Quest, but also areas such as brownfield developments; design-and-build contracts; fabrication; full lifecycle ownership of living quarters; maintenance, and being part of a large engineering team that has a real focus on R&D and the development of new concepts for the industry, such as green, environmental and sustainable living quarters.”
To match the ambitious growth plans of Hertel, it also decided it was the ideal opportunity to offer the full suite of services in Aberdeen to the offshore sector that Hertel has been successfully delivering in the industrial services and fabric maintenance sector.
To this end, Hertel has implemented an experienced offshore fabric maintenance and industrial services team within the new Aberdeen office, and this is headed up by regional director Bob Jack.
“Aberdeen has had a limited amount of local offshore fabric maintenance contractors for a number of years now, and with the Hertel brand, experience, competitiveness and financial backing, we are confident that we can provide a superior service to offshore clients,” said Mr Jack.
So what does Hertel’s Aberdeen presence comprise?
It now has acquired new offices, a large warehouse area and plenty of external lay-down storage area in refurbished premises in Dyce.
“For all of our offshore maintenance activities, we now have the right infrastructure and people in place in Aberdeen to ensure we can provide the necessary project management and supervision, labour and equipment offshore,” said Mr Rokk.
“All the right support activities are here in place in Aberdeen, such as a multi-discipline labour pool, logistics support, procurement, inventory and material handling. We have also based our offshore UK sales and marketing team in Aberdeen and have a large number of technical and engineering staff on site to work with our customers and offer them real solutions to their problems.”
According to Mr Rokk, when the initial decision was made on the move into Aberdeen, Hertel was an unknown player with no work originating from the area.
Yet major contracts followed within a couple of weeks, which means that, by the end of this year, more than £10million worth of work will have been executed, and a large order book has been secured already for next year.
This has created more than 40 new jobs this year, and the forecast shows that at least 175 new jobs will also be needed by the end of 2011.
Timing in terms of laying down an Aberdeen presence appears to be strategically good, given the pipeline of green and brownfield projects involving platforms coming forward in the UK sector.
Rokk: “Yes. However, we’re trying to set ourselves up so we’re not entirely dependent on whether projects are new or brownfield. Our services support all stages of the platform lifecycle, from design, build and installation through to the 20 years of maintenance, upgrades and renovations. Hertel supports the complete product lifecycle.”
That includes a suite of industrial services such as insulation work, scaffolding, fabric maintenance, access, mechanical, electrical, NDT (non-destructive testing) and related services.
“We want to provide experienced and skilled professionals to cover many aspects of services work offshore, whether they are doing fabric maintenance, maintaining existing quarters, building and installing new quarters,” Mr Rokk added.
For existing clients and those not yet familiar with the company, Hertel is about to have an open day in Aberdeen at the end of September.
Mr Hay: “Given the scale of the operation already, with real work and real customers, we decided that now is a good time to showcase who we are and what we can do. Many companies do this sort of thing as soon as they open. We decided to wait until we could offer something tangible. Our open day will show our existing and potential clients that Hertel has invested to be in Aberdeen long-term and will strive to have facilities that are second to none for what we offer in the offshore industry.”
If you wish to attend Hertel’s open day, from 10am until 6pm on Thursday, September 30, contact Gaynor or Lynsay on 01224 225540, who will send you a personal invitation. This is no ordinary open day – it will be one to remember.