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Interview

with R. Banerjee, Managing Director, Wood Group Engineering India

17.12.2010 / Energyboardroom

After three decades of experience and expertise in the Indian onshore and offshore industry, what attracted you to J. P. Kenny four years ago?

I started my career in offshore engineering in the Bombay High area, the first offshore production area of India. I was part of the main engineering team and my experience goes back to the design of the first offshore platforms in India, in 1976. Subsequently I moved on to different engineering specialist areas including onshore and offshore pipelines. After spending quite some time in project management of offshore and onshore projects including turn-key projects, I thought that J. P. Kenny would be a good opportunity and challenge for my career since this is one of the world’s most recognized leaders in cutting-edge technologies around engineering pipeline solutions.

So I decided to switch over to J. P. Kenny in 2006.

Proven track record (PTR) is a major asset for this industry, not only internationally but also locally. How successful has J. P. Kenny been in creating a convincing PTR in the Indian market?

We have made J. P. Kenny India now a self-sufficient player. We have created performance-track record by commissioning major pipeline projects completing three major pipeline projects in the last couple of years like Morbi-Mundra Pipeline Project of GSPL, Chainsa-Jhajjar and Jagoti Pithampur Project of GAIL. We have also completed important city gas distribution (CGD) projects for CUGL etc. Today, J. P. Kenny – India is qualified on its own as a major service provider in pipelines and CGD projects.

Building a track record is very important. If you have to compete in the Indian market, it would be on track-record basis. If you want to bid based on the name of an international company, you are priced out however competent you may be – there are other Indian companies who are equally good and can offer local clients a good track record. It is extremely important to create a PTR of the company in major pipeline projects and this is exactly what we have done up to now.

Right now we are becoming active in other strong areas of J. P. Kenny Group, especially offshore, renewables & integrity management studies. J. P. Kenny – India has been involved in the last four years in the KG-D6 project as well as Cairn’s major insulated pipeline – the world’s largest with more than 600km. As a result of these major milestones, J P Kenny – India has grown its business more than 130% since 2006.

Now that J. P. Kenny is established and has built a PTR, what are your next steps to keep on consolidating your leadership in the Indian oil and gas market??>

Our objective is to enter steadily into the Indian offshore market. As you know, J. P. Kenny is an internationally renowned company in the offshore business with challenging works already done in India for the deep water offshore in KG-D6 and integrity management areas. ONGC’s Bassein-Hazira offshore gas pipeline (SBHT) from offshore fields to Hazira is an example of that.

We have also recently completed a high-profile process study for one of the major oil companies of India, HPCL, for one of their existing oil lines. The acceptance and recognition of J. P. Kenny as a worldwide renowned company is now gradually getting into the local mindset.

As a result, J. P. Kenny eyes’ are very much focused on India’s offshore industry and also on renewables, where we have already built a good footprint. My vision is also to cover the Indian onshore market as successfully as we are doing with the offshore sector.

Some people question the potential of India’s offshore industry, which lacks a major discovery after KG-D6. Has the Indian offshore industry further space for growth?

I see it differently. There is a huge business potential in the Indian offshore market. There is KG-D6, then its promising adjoining areas where ONGC, GSPC has already been successful in locating major reserves and is entering in the phase of commercial exploitation. In the South offshore basins there are also very interesting developments coming up to the commercial level.

ONGC has huge offshore installations already built in Bombay High itself. To maintain these major assets is, by itself, a very major task. That is one of the strong areas of J. P. Kenny, Group’s service range. India has plenty of work to be done for a good company, and J. P. Kenny is not only good, it is one of the best.

Can you give us a concrete example of how J. P. Kenny’s technological leadership is benefiting the Indian oil and gas industry?

One of the studies given to us on a nomination basis was to study whether or not to replace an old huge offshore pipeline that needed to get rebuilt – at least this remains to be one way to go ahead. J. P. Kenny was asked to study it all over again to certify the need of replacement. However, J. P. Kenny came to the conclusion that the line was good for several more years and submitted study report. This was only possible because J. P. Kenny, has complete access to the latest technologies available worldwide.

Major International companies such as Honeywell perceive India not only as a emerging market but also as a cost-competitive platform to provide their international clients high-end services. Is the Wood Group also following this trend?

For being globally competitive player, it will have to blend the latest technologies with the best manpower at an affordable price. With Indian engineers and cutting-edge technologies, the Wood Group Kenny Group is creating the proper mix so that, apart from high-quality services, we can provide better prices to our clients in India and abroad.

As a final message, how do you want your Indian clients and international partners to perceive J. P. Kenny India and what is your major contribution their this industry?

If you look at the international oil and gas industry you will see everyone trying to give the best quality services at the best price. We at J. P. Kenny clearly have the best quality, but we have to bring the best price as well. And it is there where India can play a major role for the Wood Group Kenny Group and for the International oil and gas industry.

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