Construction Week Oman Awards 2012

Oman's leaders in construction awarded during inaugural ceremony

ANALYSIS, Business, CW Oman Awards, Oman, Oman Awards

RELATED ARTICLES: Construction Week Awards - Oman, winners revealed

Construction Week held its inaugural awards event in Oman in the last week of March. The event represented the start of a four-part construction awards programme for 2012, with other events to follow in Doha, Riyadh and Dubai,later in the year.

The final event, to be held in Dubai in December, will recognise construction achievements from all around the Gulf.

Each awards programme is designed to honour those individuals, companies and projects that are transforming the region into one of the world’s most exciting construction markets.

Construction Week celebrated the many instances of excellence demonstrated over the past year by the companies that are building Oman.

A total of 13 awards were presented, spanning projects, individuals, companies and initiatives from around the Sultanate.

Construction Week owes a debt of gratitude to several individuals and companies that helped make the Oman awards possible.

The award’s sponsors were integral in helping bring the programme to Oman, so Construction Week extends its sincere appreciation to: FAMCO, Al Hassan Engineering Company, Hill International, Kimmco, Galfar Engineering and Contracting and Towell Construction.

The event was also endorsed by the Chartered Institute of Building. Construction Week’s local partner was Al Nimr Expo, and the supporting association was the Oman Society of Contractors.

Construction Week would also like to extend its thanks to Nick Smith and MNR Gupta for their invaluable advice and assistance.

Nominations were submitted online through Construction Week’s website.
These were then collated and submitted to the independent judging panel, comprising a range of experts drawn from the industry.

The judges had to evaluate each and every entry, and then rank the nominees in their order of preference. These results were then tallied and confirmed, and the winners selected.

Construction Week would like to thank the judging panel for their sterling efforts. The panel comprised: Brian Greenhalgh, David Dunn, Ravindra Nath Teegala and two editors from Construction Week’s team, Gerhard Hope and Stuart Matthews.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Suresh Virmani, Bahwan Engineering Group

Suresh Virmani, head of Bahwan Engineering Group (BEC), won Oman’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award.

Described by one of the awards’ judges as a ‘legend’, Virmani was recognised for his involvement in the building of Oman’s infrastructure and for leading BEC to a position of great prominence among the industry.

Starting with his company in 1977, when it had just 14 employees, his organisation now employs more than 15,000 Omani and expatriate workers.

After receiving the award, which was presented by His Excellency Dr Rasheed bin Al Safi Al Huraibi, chairman of the Oman Tender Board, Virmani told CW: “In the construction field, the best today will not remain the best tomorrow. Anyone can buy cement or steel, but who puts the soul into it ... the project engineers and the project managers.

“Most of my general managers are like me, 25 years, 28 years, 30 years in the business, and that is the reason I take pride that if I go tomorrow, BEC’s excellence spirit will not die. That gives me the satisfaction that there is some achievement in this lifetime,” he said.

With the help of his leadership, his organisation has worked on power plants, hospitals, desalination plants, refineries and, largest of all, an electromechanical infrastructure project for the New Muscat International Airport.

- David Newell, Carillion Alawi
- Maqbool Ali Salman, Al Hassan Engineering

Contractor of the Year
Towell Construction

Towell Construction won the Contractor of the Year Award at the Construction Week Awards – Oman.

Towell Construction’s winning entry stood out for providing evidence of the company’s innovative construction projects, and combining it with clear proof of client satisfaction.

One of the company’s objectives is to adopt and implement at least one new technology every year. Recently it has adopted new shuttering and other equipment designed to enhance the speed of execution.

Iftakhar Ahmed Baz, general manager - operations, accepted the award from His Excellency Dr Rasheed bin Al Safi Al Huraibi, chairman of the Oman Tender Board, and told CW: “I am absolutely delighted. It is great exposure for the company and evidence of our growth.

We have been involved in higher profile projects and have really expanded in the last few years. It is great to have that recognition.”

The judges also noted that, given the volumes of work handled, the company maintained a strong safety record.

Contractor of the Year was one of the most closely-contested categories, and the judges had a tough time placing any entry above another.

In selecting their winner, they also chose to highly commend the work of the two runners up, Al Hassan Engineering and Galfar Engineering and Contracting, for both their extensive back-catalogue of project work and long history of success.

- Al Hassan Engineering Company
- Galfar Engineering & Contracting

Construction Executive of the Year
Z.H. Farooqui, Al Hassan Engineering Company

Z.H. Farooqui of Al Hassan Engineering Company (AHEC) picked up the Construction Executive of the Year Award.

The judges said Farooqui’s entry provided well-structured evidence of substantial achievements. He was praised for his insistence on safety, coordination, communication, detailed planning and programming, costing and quality deliverables.

“I am very thankful to God and to CW for the award. Also I would like to thank the Al Hassan chairman for nominating me. I focused on projects when the market was going through a challenging period.

“To win three projects in the UAE during that time was a significant achievement for us,” Farooqui told CW after collecting his award from His Excellency Dr Rasheed bin Al Safi Al Huraibi, Chairman of the Oman Tender Board.

After the award, Al Hassan Engineering MD Maqbool Ali Salman said the growth and expansion of AHEC and Farooqui has been literally intertwined.

“He joined the company in 1988 when AHEC was trying to establish its foothold in Oman market as a contracting company,” explained Farooqui.

“Each has prospered and benefited from the contributions of the other. He is a man of few words, with a humble demeanor, but firm determination, who delivers what he promises. Over the years, Farooqui has contributed significantly in making AHEC an EPC company and first choice for its broad customer base.

“Farooqui is a very calm and quiet person, but excels in providing pivotal leadership to his project team. He leads his team upfront, by example. He works relentlessly, with zeal and vigour, to meet the project and cost schedules, maintains excellent relationship with key clients and consultants and keeps his team motivated to give their best, and treats them all fairly and equally in a transparent manner.

“He is a veteran of the civil construction industry in Oman, and commands immense respect from his colleagues, peers and customers. I am sure that this award and recognition will further reinvigorate him to lead the Civil Infrastructure & Water – Wastewater business stream of AHEC to even greater heights and achievements.”

- David Newell, Carillion Alawi
- M.N.R. Gupta

Project of the Year
Royal Opera House, Muscat – Carillion Alawi (Building)

The standard of the nominees made Project of the Year a tough category, with more than one project that it would be difficult not to recognise as significant and important for Oman.

To solve this dilemma, the judges decided to make two project awards, one for a building project adn one for an infrastructure project.

The judges described their selection of the Royal Opera House, Muscat as one of the project winners as “an obvious choice”.

They pointed out the project’s exceptional quality and the highly successful venue that was the result of its completion. They said it was a difficult project to beat given its significance, location, quality and the benefits it has brought to Oman.

The award was presented by David Clifton, business development director for Hill International, with David Newell, operations director for Carillion Alawi collecting the winning trophy on behalf of the company.

“I think we won because Carillion worked as a team to deliver another iconic, prestigious building,” said Newell.

“We worked closely with the client, for whom we have a lot of respect, and who expects very high quality. In addition, working as a team with our supply chain made the overall project a great success,” said Newell.

- Medical City - Atkins
- Millenium Resort Mussanah - Omran
- Royal Opera House - Carillion Alawi
- Muscat Expressway - Galfar Engineering

Project of the Year
Muscat Expressway – Galfar Engineering (Infrastructure)

Project of the Year – Infrastructure was awarded to the Muscat Expressway, constructed by Galfar Engineering.

One of the judges described the project as “a diamond necklace for Muscat”. It is a project that has influenced the daily lives of all who live in the city. At the peak of construction, more than 3,000 people worked on the project, which was carried out in some of Muscat’s most severe and challenging topography.

Rahmat Sayed, Galfar’s deputy manager for business development, collected the award on behalf of his company from Ayman Ahmed, country manager for FAMCO.

“It was the largest project of its kind in Muscat, costing almost $350m,” said Sayed. “It started if as a simple job, but soon after the reality of the Gonu cyclone struck, it was clear that a mega structure was needed.

It has been a project Galfar and Oman have learned a lot from. We were challenged with completing the project within five years in an public area, and trying to create minimal disruption to the public.”

- Medical City - Atkins
- Millenium Resort Mussanah - Omran
- Royal Opera House - Carillion Alawi
- Muscat Expressway - Galfar Engineering

Consultant of the Year
Majan Engineering Consultants

Majan Engineering Consultants won Consultant of the Year at the Construction Week Awards - Oman.

The award, which was presented by Ayman Ahmed, country manager for FAMCO, came after judges praised the company’s work on the Royal Opera House, Muscat.

The judges also noted that the company had provided important assistance in implementing mega projects throughout Oman, through the provision of engineering site supervision in both the public and private sectors.

Majan Engineering Consultants general manager Neil Marsh said: “We won because of the dedication and hard work of the team at Majan Engineering Consultants. Our team delivered successfully on the Royal Opera House, Muscat project, enhancing it, and we thank everyone in the team for their hard work and efforts in making it a success.

“Majan is predominantly a cost consultancy QS company, and it has an engineering MEP devision; so jointly this award recognises everyone’s hard work and efforts in delivering on the project.”

The judges took the time to highly commend the work of Tenable Fire, a company which they said has not only provided an invaluable contribution to every one of its projects, but has also helped to develop standards and institute educational initiatives.

- Dr. M. Alaa Mandour
- Tenable Fire

Sub-Contractor of the Year
Bahwan Engineering Company

Bahwan Engineering Company (BEC) picked up the Sub-Contractor of the Year Award, eliciting the only unanimous decision from the award’s judging panel.

The company was viewed by the judges as having had a long history of excellent successes, producing work of excellent quality. They described it as consistently the number one choice as a ‘subbie’, and as the most prominent sub-contractor, with its work having been instrumental in the successful completion of numerous major projects in Oman.

The judges praised all the nominees for their specialist work, but in what was the most unanimous and clear-cut decision of the awards, BEC stood out clearly.

“It is a team effort,” said C.K. Khanna, general manager – corporate, for BEC, after he and other members of the executive team collected the award from Salim Al Hashmi, CEO of Al Nimr.

“The team at BEC has been recognised by our consultants, our stakeholders, our partners, who have made us achieve this award,” he said. “We have collected this award on behalf of our team; we thank all our colleagues and other stakeholders for recognising our efforts.”

Commenting on the victory, managing director of BEC, Suresh Virmani, described how, when starting out with the business in the 1970s, he believed that building a core business would not work.

“Methodically I went about thinking we have to go horizontal,” he said. “So we started with central air-conditioning, added electrical, added plumbing, added high-tension electrical, added oil field projects and finally added civil. That is how we could become something which is called big and among the top contractors; we do everything now.”

- Luminous Power Solution - Sreemanikandan
- United Gulf Access

Project Manager of the Year
Muzzamil Naqvi, Al Hassan Engineering Company

Muzzamil Naqvi from Al Hassan Engineering Company collected the Project Manager of the Year Award.

The award was presented to Naqvi by Salim Talib Al Sheedi, CEO, Oman Society of Contractors. The judges said that Naqvi’s entry demonstrated how he had managed projects and contributed directly to their success. They also noted Naqvi’s strong team leadership and the instrumental role he had played in the completion of a huge wastewater treatment plant.

“I would like to thank God and my company for nominating me for this prestigious award. This achievement is possible only because of good teamwork, and I have tried to lead my team upfront by example and continuously motivating them through all phases of projects.

Timely decisions in critical situations make a project successful, which I have tried to do to the best of my capabilities,” Naqvi told CW in Muscat.

After the event, Al Hassan Engineering’s managing director, Maqbool Ali Salman, described Muzzamil Naqvi as one of the youngest, talented, focused and committed project managers in AHEC.

“He has excellent relationship management skills with client, customer, consultant and sub-contractors. He is an asset to the company and we see a bright future for him in Al Hassan,” he said.

The judges were also quick to highly commend the work of R. Balaaraman as project manager and project director on complex and difficult road-building projects.

- Joy Francis, Towell Construction
- Krishna Raj, Al Hassan Engineering
- R. Balaaraman, Galfar Engineering & Contracting

Engineer of the Year
Grant Gellatly, Galfar Engineering & Contracting

Grant Gellatly won the Engineer of the Year Award, in part for his involvement in the Muscat Expressway project.

The judges noted that Gellatly has mentored many of his colleagues, encouraging them to take up professional challenges. The award was presented by Iftakhar Ahmed Baz, general manager of Towell Construction, and collected on Gellatly’s behalf by Jai K. Salvi, VP of Business Development.

“I am really surprised, I did not even know I was nominated,” he told CW by phone, after the award was announced.

“I know that finishing the Muscat Expressway project has made a huge difference to people’s lives. Infrastructure changes people’s lives. I am really pleased to have won the award. This role is often that of an unsung hero, so any recognition received is great. I am truly surprised and pleased.”

The expressway project, which one of the judges described as “a diamond necklace” for Muscat, has influenced the daily lives of all who live in the city. At the peak of production, more than 3,000 people worked on this project, which was carried out in some of Muscat’s most severe topography.

Again, this was a tough category, with all nominees demonstrating a high degree of professionalism and experience in their work as engineers. The judges praised Kameshwar Rao for his efforts in coaching and training junior staff, and a well-balanced entry demonstrating showing all-round ability. They also praised the extensive experience of M.N.R. Gupta, who drew support for his nomination from a number of local companies.

- Kameshwar Rao, Al Hassan Engineering
- Masood Ali Syed
- M.N.R. Gupta

Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year

Omran secured the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year Award. Judges were quick to describe the company as this year’s clear winner, applauding its work in creating jobs for Omanis, thus making an important and valuable contribution to Oman.

In 2011, Omran instigated an income-generating project entitled ‘Intajee’, to empower families residing in Al Batinah to improve their livelihoods by selling locally-grown produce through existing micro-businesses.

As a result, the programme has helped farmers effectively harvest, package and label their goods, thereby strengthening their presence in the market.

The award was presented by Jai K. Salvi, VP for Business Development for Galfar Engineering & Contracting, and collected by Abdul Wahid Al Farsi, Omran’s VP for Corporate Affairs.

“It is our goal to help local communities, which we believe is very rewarding,” said Al Farsi. “The recent project of the Asian Beach Games in Musanad allowed us to engage the community, help them create job opportunities and improve the livelihood here.

Supporting them to package and market their farm produce helped them generate an income and boosted the economy of the Sultanate.”

The judges highly commended the work of Towell Construction in offering comprehensive community development by creating programmes in the fields of health, education, social life support and skills training.

- Carillion Alawi
- Towell Construction

HSE Initiative of the Year
Carillion Alawi

The winner of one of the most sought-after awards, that for HSE Initiative of the Year, was Carillion Alawi.

The company was praised for its record of HSE achievements and policies on projects throughout Oman. Over the last year, team members have spent much of their own personal time in developing and delivering engaging grass-roots level training to win the hearts and minds of the workforce on health and safety issues, training more than 7,000 workers.

Nick Smith, chairman and international ambassador for the Chartered Institute of Building, presented the award to Carillion Alawi’s regional managing director Andy Jones. “I think safety is Carillion’s priority in everything we do,” said Jones.

“Nothing is so important that it cannott be done safely. That is absolutely the way that we approach everything we do. Safety first always. We target zero accidents to ensure that everyone goes home as well as they came to work.”

This was one of the most closel- contested categories, with the judges commending Powertech Engineering’s safety initiatives during Ramadan, and also those the company has in place for working in the heat of summer.

They also commended the work of Al Hassan Engineering in encouraging health and safety by reward, which some judges felt had a high impact in making sure standards are maintained.

- Al Hassan Engineering Company
- Omran
- Powertech Engineering
- Towell Construction

Sustainable Initiative of the Year
Carillion Alawi

Carillion Alawi picked up the Sustainable Initiative of the Year award, its third of the event, for its FSC Joinery Workshop project.

The judges congratulated the winner for “ticking all of the boxes” in its efforts to use sustainable timber resources. They felt the initiative had contributed towards improving the GCC construction industry by being able to guarantee that a greater proportion of timber the company uses and supplies to its projects and other organisations comes from well-managed, sustainable Forest Stewardship Council certified sources.

The award was presented by Maqbool Ali Salman, managing director of Al Hassan Engineering, and collected on behalf of Carillion Alawi by Raja Packrisamy, senior sustainability co-ordinator.

“I am really excited,” said Packrisamy. “Carillion Alawi is keen to protect the planet and implement sustainable initiatives. Timber is important for global activities. Saving it and sourcing proper resources is our goal.”

The judges also highly commended the achievements of Octal in creating a lower carbon footprint policy and for its efforts at creating sustainability through innovation. To date, the company has invested more than $600m in environmental sustainability for the deployment of ground-breaking technology and proprietary production methods to produce PET resin and PET sheet with the lowest carbon footprint in the world.

- Carillion Alawi - Sustainable site set-up
- Octal
- Vale

Innovative Energy Project of the Year
Glorei Muttawar, Atkins and Faithful + Gould

The Glorei Muttawar project, a combined entry from Atkins and Faithful + Gould, secured the Innovative Energy Project of the Year Award at the Construction Week Awards - Oman.

What caught the judges’ eyes was how the winning entry clearly demonstrated that energy was being considered as a design driver, with LEED accreditation being a goal.

The design incorporated innovative approaches to energy conservation and environmental sustainability, with a strong emphasis on passive design, combined with active energy reduction and sustainable water and waste management.

The award was presented to Matt Squires, managing director – Oman for Atkins, by Suresh Virmani, managing director of Bahwan Engineering Group.

“For me, what was important was the approach of the team,” said Squires. “The client was very forward thinking. They were testing us as the designer, and allowed us to demonstrate our innovation.

They allowed us to approach it in a very open way, speaking with many different suppliers, and coming up with many new ideas, ultimately leading to silver LEED accreditation. The project is almost under construction, with the appointment of a contractor imminent.”

The judges also highly commended Al Hassan Engineering for its entry, which described the company’s work on one of the most valuable water energy projects in Oman.

- Nirm C Field - Al Hassan Engineering Company

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