with Ronnie Garrick, Managing Director, TWMA
TWMA has existed for many years, but it got a big jump-start in early 2007 and is experiencing high growth levels since. What is driving this renewed dynamism?
In February 2007, TWMA successfully completed a significant injection of capital, when Lime Rock came on board as an investment partner in our business. This enabled us to build equipment and develop new technologies for the environmental services that TWMA provides. Moreover, the new investment became a springboard which allowed us to truly launch the business on the international marketplace.
Previously, TWMA had done some overseas work, but was still far from being an international service provider. Now, besides Aberdeen, the company has bases in Norway, Egypt and Nigeria. We have also established sales offices in Houston and Kuala Lumpur. As a result, TWMA has been experiencing a high level of enquiries and global interest in the services that we provide.
How would you define TWMA’s business offer today for the global oil and gas sector?
TWMA is positioning itself as a provider of total environmental services for the oil and gas industry, both onshore and offshore. We can offer operators in any location around the world to look at the waste generated by their activity, and thereafter provide advice and environmental solutions to safely recycle or dispose of them.
What is the main innovative feature of the recently launched TCC-RotoTruck, with technology developed exclusively by TWMA?
Looking back to just 5 years ago, cutting or drilling waste processing was a static, factory-type operation. The TCC-RotoTruck is able to simply drive up to a particular well or drilling site, dispose of waste safely, recycle the oil and water, then carry on to the next site. It is a compact, mobile and fully versatile process equipment which overcomes the logistic and environmental issues that arise when having to move the waste material over long distances.
The TCC-RotoTruck is an innovation and is truly unique in the global market, but at the same time it is just one of the wide range of services that we provide clients today.
After attending OTC in 2008, what impression did you get about the industry’s interest for environmental issues, and what does it mean for TWMA’s business perspectives?
Environmental concerns used to be a matter for just a few large operators, in certain parts of the world. We feel that today there is a global awareness and stronger legislation, so the environment is on everyone’s mind. Within the oil and gas industry, as in many other sectors, this is creating a growing market for environmental service providers like TWMA.
As a company, our participation in OTC was particularly satisfying and successful. On the back of having our new sales office in Houston, TWMA has a growing presence and recognition in the American and global markets. Many good business opportunities arose during OTC, and we have been busy following up on them ever since. In particular, we see a lot of potential for the TCC-Roto-Truck in the dynamic onshore sector in the United States.
What type of clients has TWMA traditionally worked with?
TWMA tends to deal directly with the operators, offering them a total package of environmental services. We have already worked with most of the major players in the North Sea. Irrespective of their size, today all operators are very conscious of environmental issues, particularly in the North Sea where legislation is very advanced.
As TWMA grows and expands its presence globally, where do you see the most potential for your services?
At the moment, TWMA is very active in the markets around North and West Africa. We see big potential in the Middle East, but in reality it is a growing market all around the world. The level of awareness is increasing, and so are the environmental standards imposed by new legislation regarding discharges.
2007 was a milestone year for TWMA, with the MBO, capital investments and record growth. What is the main theme for the company in 2008?
2008 has seen TWMA position itself so we are ready to take full advantage of the opportunities that arise as we go forward.
Our investments are decided with a medium to long-term perspective. Thanks to the new concepts, sales offices and capabilities that we are consolidating, TWMA is ready for the wave of new projects that will be coming up in the coming years.
What would you say most characterizes TWMA’s corporate culture and how has this helped build your success?
At TWMA, we have a can-do attitude that characterizes everything we do. We aim to meet the challenges that arise, whether through technology or people; most likely, it is a combination of the two. TWMA is ready to take on any new opportunity, with the capabilities to design, engineer, develop and train people in order to overcome the difficulties. Operators and contractors are increasingly developing areas full of challenges, and TWMA is ready to support them with our wide range of environmental services.
How is TWMA managing its international growth, particularly in terms of people and resources?
Being a relatively small service company, we tend to employ as many local people as possible in our overseas operations. Of course, some of the technologies used are unique to TWMA, so there is always a base of people from the UK who go train them through the initial phases. This has been the case, for example in Egypt where there is important offshore work going on and we expect that within 18 months the full operation will be run by local staff. I am glad to say that over there, as in many places around the world, we find very motivated, qualified and focused local talent to work with.
To what extent does TWMA face the same challenges regarding the lack of skilled workforce as the rest of the oil and gas sector?
The whole industry is facing the combination of an ageing workforce and a difficulty to get the necessary new people to come in, and TWMA is not completely immune from this trend. However, our specific business within ‘environmental services’ makes us a company looked at in a positive light, and many people are keen to be a part of something relatively new and different within the industry. People genuinely feel that the environment has an impact on all of us, so they are glad to be a part of a company offering solutions in this regard.
How far along is TWMA on the road to become a recognized environmental solution provider internationally?
There is still a lot of work to be done. TWMA has established an important position in the North Sea and Africa, but there is still much room for growth in other key regions like the Americas the Middle East and Far East. We want to be seen as a global supplier of environmental services, not just for one or two locations. Operators can be confident that TWMA can be their partner of choice in more remote parts of the world where they operate as well.
What personally motivates you more: the technological aspect of the services TWMA develops, or their environmental benefits?
I am interested in all the engineering aspects, so it is a mix of both. It is great to be able to develop technologies for the oil and gas industry, while making a positive impact from an environmental point of view at the same time.
What is the main contribution that you would like to make to TWMA over the next several years?
I have been with TWMA for many years, and would like to lead the company towards achieving its objective of becoming a fully international service provider in its field. I am confident that over the next two to three years, this global aspiration will be a reality.