Quality first: Saudi Al Faris

Al Faris is up to task of providing rental equipment to Saudi sites

ANALYSIS, PMV, Saudi Al Faris

Al Faris is up to the task of providing rental equipment to major jobsites in remote locations in Saudi Arabia, says executive director of its KSA business, Kieve Pinto

With geographical remoteness, large scale projects, and with demand for major equipment suddenly arising almost overnight, Saudi Arabia is always going to be a challenging environment for rental companies to operate in.

But Al Faris, which has a track record of working on many major jobs in the Gulf, is able to rely on its operational flexibility, the reliability of its rental equipment, and the benefits of its rigorous internal processes and planning, says Kieve Pinto, Executive Director of Saudi Al Faris For Industrial Services Est.

The rental company, which specialises in crane rental, energy rentals and heavy transport, has its central depot in Jubail.

“We always treat all our customers’ requirements with the topmost priority and honesty while paying close attention to fine details. Many customers require lifting equipments on an emergency basis and therefore we strive to meet these requirements on time,” he explains.

“Also, since these equipments have to meet stringent safety standards and inspections, we take utmost care to maintain and upkeep our fleet to international standards, thereby avoiding time lost due to the equipment failing inspection, break downs and safety breaches.”

The company’s trained service personnel have gone a long way to boost production levels, by working around the clock with quick response procedures, ensuring minimum downtime for equipments, boosting customers’ productivity.
The company also aims to provide back-up equipment, depending upon availability.

“Operational flexibility has always played a key role in strengthening relations, we are always willing to go a step further for our customers when required,” says Pinto.

“Furthermore, we provide assistance in selection of the right size cranes to suit a particular lifting task and associated documentation to validate the selection.”

The company established its Jubail depot in early 2011, but from the beginning it was able to leverage off its back-office resources in the UAE, including safety and planning.

Pinto says that this has been especially helpful for jobs in safety-focused sectors, particularly oil and gas, as well as the major industrial projects they supply to.

“The safety standards in KSA vary vastly between market segments, the most stringent standards being in the oil and gas industry. Most plants have differing requirements and procedures in safety, however basic safety norms are common to all.

“We have developed a strategy to employ qualified industrial personnel and train them at our centre of excellence in the UAE, this allows for qualified personnel to be deployed in KSA.

“The number of staff required increases proportionately with levels of safety especially in the oil and gas industry, due to increased planning, hazard analysis and mitigation, drawings and documentation and processing of permits and passes,” he notes.

Al Faris has seen a steady growth in demand for its services, though Pinto says that this does not translate automatically into fleet expansion.

“We have experienced the demand levels to fluctuate randomly and are especially hard to predict. Project starting dates change frequently and can crop up anytime anywhere.

“The size and scale of projects in remote areas are becoming increasingly larger and it is becoming evidently harder to maintain equipments in this vast region. However, projects are beginning to kick off gradually and the demand for equipments is steadily growing.

“We do not try to directly correlate the expansion of our fleet to market demand, and try more to take into account the feasibility of operation of equipment in this region.”

The market itself is diverse with demand from all sectors of industry including civil, power and desalination, upstream and downstream oil and gas, manufacturing and logistics industries, says Pinto.

As far as lifts go, he says they’re seeing demand across the full range of lift classes.

“Most market segments require smaller lifting equipments throughout the construction phases, however, the heavier market segments including power and desalination and downstream oil and gas industries require larger and heavier lifting cranes including mobile and crawler cranes.

“Initial construction phases in all segments demand smaller capacity crawler and rough terrain cranes, and these seem to be market favourites. We are gradually beginning to invest more in new and innovative equipment in this range.

“Our smaller cranes ranging from 30 tonne to 100 tonne are used in all market segments whilst cranes above 100 tonne are required for the heavier market segments. We prefer to be active in all market segments even though we have larger fleet of equipments between 200 tonne to 1200 tonne mobile lifting equipments.”

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