Q&A Phil Gabriel
Hempel is benefitting from its locals base in Qatar
How has business been over the last 12 months for Hempel in Qatar?
It’s been a very strong year for us. Protective has been more about maintenance work than new build, but we all know that and Barzan has been the only major oil and gas related project of any significance going on in Qatar.
We have almost the whole of that work and it is coming to the end very soon of Train 1, which has been subject to significant delay. We are happy to have been the major supplier to RasGas as the ultimate client, while the remainder of protective coatings business this year has gone to civil infrastructure as Qatar builds in readiness for the World Cup.
How has the decorative side of the business gone?
Our main growth this year has been on decorative, where our growth has been substantial. We have a very strong decorative segment led by Chris Sharkey, whose business is split into retail and projects. In retail, we have been aggressively opening third party retailers and now have a network or around 35 partners and shops. The philosophy is to make these retailers partners and extensions of the Hempel family. We have worked extremely hard with our marketing guys to drive these businesses and help them be successful. On project work, we are making sure that supply to Qatar’s growing market is uninterrupted through supply chain support with a wide variety of products.
Tell us a bit about some of the projects you’ve been working on and what you’ve provided?
For decorative side, the three biggest single projects are Musheireb, the ISF camp, Lusail and the Sheraton – and we are working on all of these high-profile programmes. Stadium works have started, although not yet for the World Cup and we are supplying Al Saad and Lusail with a range of products. All are taking a range of standard products, but also specialties like our Contex anti-carbonation coatings, floor coatings and Hempacore, which is Hempel’s intumescent paint
In terms of future opportunities, what are some of the goals for Hempel in Qatar?
The goal is to continue to be the market leader in Qatar in the oil and gas sector, to grow in line with market needs and to be the premier supplier to the steel fabricators. In terms of marine, we have the majority share that is not LNG related, but we have fouling defence technology to reduce fouling and the amount of fuel used. This is targeted at the vast Qatar LNG fleet, but it is capable of use on almost all, if not all, vessel types in one form or another.
What are some of the challenges of working in the Qatar market?
The challenge for us is to serve the market in the most efficient way we possibly can. Its growth has made it a demanding and dynamic place to manufacture and sell paint, but we are the only international paint manufacturer actually making paint here in Qatar. As a result, we believe we can offer the best supply chain and technical service support because we make what we sell right here in Qatar. Our work with Ashghal and ASTAD Project Management are critical to us and we work closely to meet their needs.