Face to face: Serkan Kilic, Anel Group

Serkan Kilic, tender director, Anel Group, talks about his company’s projects in the Middle East

INTERVIEWS, MEP

Serkan Kilic is quite a happy man. Happy because the company has won underground system projects in the Middle East. Anel’s expertise in underground tunnels back home, in Turkey, has helped put in position to handle such complex projects.

Kilic the tender director at Anel Group says: “We achieved our goal of participating in the ongoing underground system projects following our experience at Marmaray, which is the world’s deepest immersed tunnel. We have undertaken the responsibility for electrical and mechanical works of underground rail projects in the GCC region.”

Marmaray is a partially operational rail transportation project in the Turkish city of Istanbul. It comprises a rail tunnel under the Bosphorus strait, and the modernisation of existing suburban railway lines along the Sea of Marmara from Halkalı on the European side to Gebze on the Asian side. The Marmaray immersed tube tunnel opened in October 2013.

Kilic continues: “We aim to be involved in projects that we believe can create significant value and strengthen our regional leadership in the MEP contracting sector in 2017.”

Kilic adds ambitiously: “As we successfully completed the MEP works of Baku Olympic Stadium [in Azerbaijan] in a record 16 months from September 2013 to February 2015, we are targeting the upcoming stadium projects in the region; however, our participation in specialised projects, such as metro rail, airport expansion projects, healthcare, and high-end hospitality projects will continue.”

Expertise

Since 1986, Anel Group has aimed to continually improve itself by undertaking electrical and mechanical contracting projects, which are comprehensive and require expertise in every aspect.

At Anel Group, engineers with 10 years or more of experience make up 60% of its workforce.

Talking about projects completed in 2016, Kilic says: “We completed our electromechanical works for Ganjlik Mall project, which is known as the biggest shopping centre in Baku and DP World Yarımca Container Terminal project, which is one of the biggest container terminals in Turkey.

Kilic adds that Anel Group has always positioned itself in projects that require a high level of engineering expertise.

With the use of its Resource Management Planning System and a strong planning structure, Anel Group effectively plans each of its projects in terms of cost and management.

He says: “We employ and retain experienced engineers in our organisation and spread the corporate culture via our middle and upper management teams’ involvement in the projects. Our excellent track record in the region, which is achieved by our methodical approach and the attention given to the critical details in the projects in which we are involved, ensures our position as a prominent MEP contractor that is sought out for specialised projects.”

He continues: “One other thing that contributes to our success is the detailed analysis of the projects that we wish to undertake. Even prior to starting the tender studies, the technical and commercial analysis of the project is presented to our executive board along with associated risk analysis and opportunities. Only the projects that exceed certain criteria are studied; therefore, the risks taken due to uncertainties, fluctuations, and socioeconomic developments are minimised.”

Demand drivers

According to Kilic, the demand for MEP comes from two main sources. He says that the magnitude of infrastructure investments is the main driver of MEP business.

He elaborates: “There are challenges for many countries that are in need of urbanisation and better transportation for their citizens. Furthermore, climate change is being taken evermore seriously by every country. As a result, the urgency for new and improved infrastructure in countries around the world is increasing.

“However, infrastructure projects are continually delayed through lack of investment. The countries that have sustainable sources of financing are leading in infrastructure investments.
“The second source,” Kilic states, “is the foreign investment drawn through the opportunities that are abundant in the Middle East region. A secured and easy going business environment, well established trade connections, and high level of welfare in the region draw foreign investment.”

He remarks that the quality of MEP works plays an important role in achieving the desired efficiency from these investments. “The connection between design and construction, and specifically, increasing productivity between design modelling and construction modelling, will be the major challenge to keep the MEP portion of these investments increasing,” he adds.

Obstacles

When it comes to disclosing some of the challenges facing the MEP sector, Kilic says: “Although the glory of pre-2008 crisis days cannot be achieved, the MEP sector is reviving from the hard days of the post crisis shakedown. Having said that, low oil prices are posing a threat for future development.”

Kilic adds that another factor that should be taken into consideration is the saturation of the “easy” projects, such as residences, office blocks, and low-end hospitality projects. This, combined with the impact of low oil prices, may lead to unpaid projects because of low sales figures on the end product, he worries. “On the other hand, we are expecting an increase in the infrastructure projects in the region, which is required for a sustainable future and for which we have positioned ourselves with our building references lately,” Kilic concludes.

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