Bahwan Engineering expands operations to Qatar

Competition in Oman drives BEG contractor to seek opportunities abroad

Bahwan is currently one of the main contractors on the $1.8bn Muscat International Airport expansion project, to be ready by mid-2014.
Bahwan is currently one of the main contractors on the $1.8bn Muscat International Airport expansion project, to be ready by mid-2014.

Bahwan Engineering Group (BEG), the Omani contracting firm, is planning to start operations in Qatar, in cooperation with a local partner, after carrying out a market survey.

The news comes as BEG’s managing director, Suresh K Virmani, said that the company is confining its operations in the UAE to high-tension electrical projects and petrochemical projects.

"We are limiting our operations to these fields. Presently, we have about 800-900 people in Dubai. However, we will go need-based, do the project and then return to the headquarters in Muscat," said Virmani, according to the Times of Oman.

Referring to growing competition in Oman, Virmani also said that the net margins of local contracting firms came down by 30-40% in the last two-three years, from 7-8% to 4-5%.

"There is pressure on the bottomline," said Virmani. "For instance, five of the seven pre-qualified companies for Al Ghubra desalination project are either directly or indirectly Spanish firms."

Foreign and domestic firms are trying to grab business opportunities in Oman primarily due to a project shortfall in the neighbouring UAE, Turkey and European countries like Spain.

In turn, Libya is another country where BEG is looking to tap business opportunities. "As far as Libya is concerned, we will proceed with our plan the moment we find a right time," said Virmani.

BEG now comprises 15,000 employees, up from only 14 when it started operation way back in 1977.

Virmani recently bagged the life time achievement award at the Construction Week Awards Oman 2012, while BEG also won the Sub-Contractor of the Year award.

 

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