Rigmarine has four global locations—others are in Baku, Azerbaijan; Sharjah, UAE; and Aberdeen, Scotland—all strategically positioned to serve offshore oil and gas, renewables, construction, break bulk, shipping and marine industries. However, the economic climate in Kazakhstan, in particular, lends itself to diversification.
Situated to the east of the Caspian Sea (Baku, Azerbaijan is 230 miles south west on the opposite coastline), the Aktau site is well placed to serve the nearby Kashagan and Tengiz oil fields but, more notably of late, Kazakhstan's mining and power industries are demanding heavy lifting equipment as the oil and gas market remains cool in the region.
Neil Brodie, general manager at Rigmarine Kazakhstan LLP, said: "While globally there are positive signs for the [oil and gas] sector, the Kashagan field has experienced problems and I don't anticipate Phase II of the drilling project to commence for a number of years. Mines and power stations however are showing signs of greater potential and there are opportunities to leverage our heavy lift expertise and product supply capabilities."
Despite the fact that Kazakhstan's mines are located in eastern regions, such as Almaty, Astana, Karaganda and Pavlodar (the latter is approximately 2,000 miles away in the country's northeastern corner), Brodie said Rigmarine wouldn't need to expand its footprint and could serve an expanded customer base through recruitment of additional sales representatives.
He said: "We are actively contacting professionals in the country's mines and power stations to update procurement contacts and arrange further meetings to discuss potential cooperations. There are many similarities between the industries and our traditional offshore markets but to release this potential we need sales staff strategically positioned to build relationships."
However, Brodie notes that the majority of Kazakhstan's power and mining companies are government-owned and will source equipment via tender processes. Accordingly, Rigmarine is registered to respond to these requests as they are issued.
Meanwhile, the Tengizchevroil (TCO) joint venture Future Growth Project and Wellhead Pressure Management Project at the Tengiz oil field will create product and service opportunities as it gathers pace. Tengizchevroil LLP was formed between the Republic of Kazakhstan and Chevron Corporation in 1993 to explore and develop the Tengiz oilfield.
Brodie concluded: "We have built up and retained a skilled workforce through the Rigmarine accredited training programmes as well as third-party qualifications, despite market challenges. We are excited about prospects for our diversification strategy and look forward to what 2017 has in store for the Aktau operation."