with Mohd Rozlan Mohamed Ali, General Manager, Grenland Group Malaysia
Grenland Group is well-known worldwide, but could you introduce the group’s activities in Malaysia?
Malaysia is the first site outside Norway set up by Grenland Group in 2005. From the first moment, our aim was to market 3D laser scanning and modeling, and to establish relationships with PETRONAS. In 2007 we decided to also penetrate the engineering sector, while still being mostly focused on servicing Norway. However after a lower performance in 2009, the strategic plans of the group changed, and we moved our engineering department from Kuala Lumpur to Shanghai, leaving in Kula Lumpur again only 3D laser scanning and modeling and related services. From 2010 onwards, we will focus on the local market to promote this technology. By having a subsidiary of Grenland Group in Malaysia, 100% of the group’s 3D modeling will be done here, in Kuala Lumpur. Therefore the Malaysian office is crucial for Grenland’s activities as no modeling activities will be feasible without us from now on.
Grenland Asis is taking over your facilities in Malaysia, how does this impact your activities in Malaysia?
It does not impact our activities that much, but is extremely positive in a sense that it reduces our operating costs since we moved all our engineering capabilities to Shanghai, and re-centers our activities.
Grenland is involved in several segments, what is the relative importance of each of them to your activities in Malaysia?
For us, the market in Malaysia is divided in three sectors: Oil & Gas, which is controlled by PETRONAS, Petrochemical, and other industries. For the Oil & Gas market, we are applying for a PETRONAS license, but in the meantime we are partnering with a company that is licensed to be able to work on in the Malaysian market. For Petrochemicals, the country has a strong area of development in Gebeng Kuantan for which we have appointed an agent who is doing active marketing actions, and that will also develop Grenland’s activities in other industries such as shipping and the governmental fleet among others, to whom we can offer laser scanning and modeling.
Grenland uses technology developed in Norway, how do you concretely support the development of the Malaysian Oil & Gas industry?
We try to educate the Oil & Gas players in Malaysia on the advantage of using laser scanning. They have to realize that they do not need to send engineers to do measurements and verify any data, and have to send them again when any question arise. With 3D laser scanning, we scan the facilities, for example the offshore oil platforms, and our clients can have the as-built data in their office to make decisions on whether or not to upgrade it, install new pipeline and how to install it etc. It saves costs of travelling and reduces risks since all the engineers taking the decision can be in the same room viewing the facilities. Once we do the modeling, our clients can do the clash checks before going on with their fabrication processes and only need to go offshore during the installation process.
How receptive are Malaysians to new technology?
We explained to them that they can use these technologies to reduce their costs, even to PETRONAS. The NOC has more than three hundred platforms that need to be refurbished, or upgraded, involving very high modification costs. With our method we only need to send two persons to collect the data, instead of sending an entire team of multi-discipline engineers on the platform. They start to understand that we help them do things effectively.
What project would you name to highlight Grenland’s capabilities in Malaysia?
In 2006 we worked with ExxonMobil (Esso) that wanted to build a new launcher on an existing platform. We did laser scanning and 3D modeling and showed them where they needed to do their modification. That enabled them to do adjustments before even building the new launcher. They came back to us saying that we avoided many clash during the installation and they were very happy with our services.
Who will your clients be: local companies wanting to develop their competitive edge or international companies who already know Grenland’s solutions?
We used to only serve Norway, but we now serve some local companies. Since in Norway we serve Aker Solutions for example, our clients know that in Malaysia we have facilities locally that can help them here. For international projects, we collaborate between the Norwegians and Malaysian offices, sending together team member from both offices depending on what is the most cost effective solution. One of our potential clients is located in Sakhalin (Russia) for example, and we will be able to provide them with services.
You are a Malaysian at the head of a Norwegian company, what is your relationship with your headquarters?
At the earliest stage of the company, Grenland had put an expatriate as the head of the Malaysian office in order to transfer knowledge to the locals. I was already working for Grenland and learnt from day 1 the culture of the company. I receive 100% support from my Norwegian headquarters, and no later than last week I received a visit from them. We communicate a lot and they are extremely helpful with us. We need to transfer data online between Norway and Malaysia which is how technology know -how is transferred. As I get full support from my headquarters, it enables me to understand better the Norwegian working culture and give Grenland regular feedbacks on the way to operate in Malaysia.
And how did you manage, with your financial background, to adapt to the engineering culture of Grenland?
For people with a financial background it is sometimes hard to understand engineers. But through the years I got to understand how 3D laser scanning and modeling and Grenland’s technologies work in general terms, and by being surrounded by engineers, I got to grasp how they function. I do not need to work too much into details but only to understand the way it works.
If you had one project to realize, what would it be?
It would be a project with PETRONAS that wants to refurbish 21 of its platforms, and it would be a pilot project for us, hence creating a high level of confidence not only within PETRONAS. After such a project we would then have a perfect reference to show to other players on the Malaysian market.
Why operators would chose Grenland in Malaysia?
If you compare Grenland to other players, we are more advanced in terms of technology and are the only ones to have color point cloud for example, when others have only black and white. This gives more details for clients when they look at the modeling and see clearly the difference with the waterline etc. Moreover we have an interactive web portal called STARCLOUD. Through this portal, our surveyors can register the image on line and clients can view from their office the image, even before our team has come back onshore. And we are the only ones to be able to deliver to our clients’ part of our solutions before even being back from offshore.
What are your ambitions for Grenland Malaysia in the coming five years?
Our group vision is to be the preferred high-end quality service company to the international industry of laser scanning, data visualization, data management and associated surveying and measurement services. Locally, we have already planned five years ahead and want to become the preferred and reliable 3D and laser scanning solutions provider in the region, meaning not only Malaysia but the entire South East Asia.
What would be your last message to Oil & Gas Financial Journal readers on what Grenland can bring to the Malaysian Oil & Gas industry?
Grenland group Malaysia has high technology content in 3D modeling and laser scanning. We wish to work together with our potential clients to help them minimize risk and reduce their operating cost and turnaround time. We can bring the facilities of operators to their office instead of having them go to their facilities.