To strengthen its presence in the Middle East and the Arabic region, Lewa has expanded its existing sales office in Dubai into a legally independent subsidiary. LEWA Middle East FZE is headquartered in the Jebel Ali free trade zone in Dubai. Jim O'Neil has been appointed to CEO, having already headed the sales office in Dubai since September 2010.
"We want to show a stronger presence in the region, which offers us a significant sales potential in the oil and gas sector as well as in the process industry, with a separate company," explains Bernd M. Stütz, CEO of the Lewa Group. To be successful there, after all, you have to be represented on-site with sales and service.
There's an important long-term strategy behind this new subsidiary; in the future, more countries in the Middle East will be represented from the base in Dubai which promise interesting potential, especially in the oil and gas industry: these are 27 countries around the Caspian Sea in the north, through Sudan and Yemen in the south, to Saudi Arabia in the west and Sri Lanka in the east. For the companies in the process industry also in focus - including Aramco, Sabic, Fertil, Gasco, Takreer, Borouge, RasGas - Lewa is initially concentrating on the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. The longer goal, according to Adolf Grossmann, head of oil and gas industry sales, is that LEWA Middle East FZE could also tap into the enormous potential of the Indian subcontinent from Dubai.
Jim O'Neil clarifies the background of the company foundation with this statement: "Our top goal is to work as closely with our regional customers as possible. To that end, not just complete technical solutions are important, but also personal availability and regional 24/7 customer service."
Lewa currently primarily handles customers in the upstream and downstream sector of the oil and gas industry - companies like the national oil companies (Adnoc, Aramco, KOC), but also the big internationals (Shell, BP) and service companies (Halliburton, Schlumberger). Especially important are the national and international EPC contractors (McDermott, Petrofac, NPCC, Saipem, etc.) who are responsible as general contractors for the engineering, procurement, and installation of facilities (EPC: engineering, procurement and construction). For example, McDermott recently entrusted Lewa with the delivery of chemical injection skids in the amount of over €10m for an offshore project in Saudi Arabia.
All these customers expect as quick a reaction as possible - both to technical requests and any customer service they require. "It is now to the point that suppliers and system builders with a regional presence are clearly preferred by the customers," explains Jim O'Neil. "Customers don't want to accept delays due to different time zones and a work week that falls on different days." In the Middle East, the work week runs from Sunday to Thursday, while the week begins on Monday and ends on Friday in the West.
Lewa's general strategy to provide complete system solutions from design to commissioning ("Creating Fluid Solutions") and not to restrict itself to the delivery of standard products is also supported by LEWA Middle East FZE, as shown by this example: LEWA experts worked with their customer Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) to prepare specifications for special condensate pumps. These weren't only affected by the difficult questions of corrosion resistance of the materials used and low available NPSH values, but also how reliable maintenance should be organized in the middle of the desert. Jim O'Neil says, "We developed a unique, custom-fit solution for this customer. It has now become a reference at PDO for similar tasks."