Singapore – Robin Koenis, Managing Director
Robin Koenis of Mammoet describes the company’s leading operations in Southeast Asia, and how it has been delivering despite facing some of the largest logistical challenges that modern industry can conceive. He expands on the capabilities of their leading cranes, including detailing imminent future developments in their crane fleet. Koenis describes Mammoet as it is- a company which delivers.
You have been in your current role with Mammoet for over three years now; what have been the company’s main milestones in Singapore since then?
Mammoet’s provides solutions for lifting, transporting, installing and decommissioning large and heavy structures. For our customers, the main objective in construction projects is to get their facilities up and running within their deadlines, preferably even sooner. Our engineering, planning and safe delivery are aimed at realizing just that.
The ExxonMobil SPT Project is a good example. It comprised multiple contracts on Jurong Island, working on the Ethylene Cracker facility. We deployed a crane with a capacity of 4,000 tons, the largest in the world at that time. In addition, we transported 44 pre-assembled 1,500-ton pipe rack modules from the Philippines to Singapore, as well as eighteen 2,500-ton furnace modules from Thailand to Singapore.
All in all, Mammoet had 40 cranes working on Jurong Island at the peak of our activity at this facility. Finally, Mammoet had to transport a number of 1,600 ton Splitter Columns from Malaysia to Singapore before installing them on site. This final transport involved quite some creative engineering, as these splitter columns had to be transported over a jetty, which could only carry 1,200 tons. Mammoet engineered an ingenious solution which reduced the ground bearing pressure on the jetty during the entire load-out. This meant that it was not necessary to spend any time or money on creating new load-out facilities or reinforcing existing ones. In the shortest possible time span, load-out, transport and installation were completed – all without causing downtime for surrounding parties.
For our Asia Pacific region, a leading milestone is to provide engineered heavy lifting and transport services for three massive modularised LNG projects in Australia. The projects include the Gorgon LNG (Chevron/KJV) project, the largest LNG processing facility ever constructed, Ichthys LNG (Inpex/JKC) and the Wheatstone LNG (Chevron/Bechtel) project. Among others we use a 2,000 ton ringer crane, and hundreds of axle lines of Self Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMT) for these projects.
The modules for these projects are completely assembled in yards in Asia. Mammoet provides the load-out services to transport these modules to several locations in Australia. The total weight of these modules for the three projects is almost 750,000 metric tons and the largest modules are almost 7,000 tons, which is roughly the same weight as the Eiffel tower! Gaining the first project – Gorgon – allowed us to fully establish ourselves, and demonstrate that we were the ideal party to deliver the other contracts too – our safety performance for example, was exemplary.
These projects, amongst others have seen a significant increase in Mammoet’s staff numbers in this area -nearly doubling over the last three years.
Mammoet provides services for lifting, transporting, installing and decommissioning large and heavy structures; what is the principal growth driver for the company here in Singapore, and how do you plan to achieve growth in this region?
We believe that our business is about time. In essence, it’s the biggest thing we move. Because it’s the most important aspect of our customer’s projects: uptime, turnaround time and time to market. They rely on us for creative engineering, careful planning and safe delivery – saving time and even moving deadlines forward. We believe that we should always be able to utilize the best possible equipment for any type of project. That is why we have the largest and most modern fleet of equipment in the world. Mammoet keeps investing heavily in its equipment to ensure we remain the market leader with the largest fleet of large mobile cranes and self-propelled modular transporters (SPMT) – we have increased numbers of the latter by around 1,400. This is almost half Mammoet’s fleet, and a third of the global total of SPMTs.
We also keep investing in people, especially engineers (many sourced locally) so we can sit with our clients to come up with innovative and smart solutions in the FEED stages. The company’s investment in its staff is the reason we have very high staff retention.
All the way back in 2001, Mammoet had prioritised Malaysia as an operational hub for the company in the region, citing lower costs. What benefits today, does the city of Singapore offer to the company?
Our office and yard in Malaysia is Mammoet’s operational HQ for South East Asia. In addition to the Malaysian yards, we also have facilities in Indonesia, Thailand, Sakhalin and Australia. Our office in Singapore is the international HQ and management and engineering office for APAC. Singapore is a good location due to its strategic position. Being the regional oil and gas hub, a lot of clients are present here and construction work is happening in Singapore – refinery parts and equipment are regularly shipped here from neighbouring countries.
‘The biggest thing you move is time’- clearly this is a slogan aimed at telling the client what you can do for them- how do you cultivate longevity in your client relationships?
By engaging in dialogue with our clients at an early stage, we can identify the challenges right at the beginning. Together we can solve any issue by devising innovative solutions. Mammoet helps clients improve construction efficiency and optimize the uptime of their plants and installations. After working on a safe successful project together, a strong and sustainable relationship is forged.
In the Singapore region, one example of our innovative approach is a combination of three jack-up operations within three months. In a very tight time-frame, we completed jack-ups for the 18,000 tons Tapis Platform (Exxon/MMHE), the 16,500 tons Zawtika Deck (PTTEP/SMOE) and the 20,000 tons KBB Deck (Shell/MHHE).
These operations were executed with our unique jack-up system that has over 50,000 tons capacity. It allows our clients to build these large decks on lower levels, simultaneously – it is safer than working at heights, and saves them time and money.
At this year’s OTC, Mammoet launched its Versatile Ballast System, to simplify float over projects; how is innovation continuing to push forward Mammoet’s capabilities?
The Versatile Ballast System is a great example of innovation and moving time. The system is fast and easy to install. It saves up to eight weeks in float-over barge rental and speeds up production time with one week. Next month, we will use this system in Indonesia for the load-out and float-over for the 3,200 tons Kepodang platform, which has been built in Batam.
In the meantime we have brought more innovative equipment to the market like our new MTC-15, a fully containerized Terminal Crane with high capacity and low ground bearing pressure. It turns any small port into a Heavy Lift terminal in a matter of days.
The latest news is that we are also working on an upgraded PTC crane which will have a capacity of 5,000 tons. We are also building a new jacking system, with an increased capacity, up to 9,600 ton per unit.
Recently Rowan Companies employed a Mammoet crane in its project to remodel the Rowan Viking at the Damen shipyard. What differentiates your company’s equipment from that of your competitors, and how do you ensure it is easily integrated into client projects?
For this project we used one of our platform twin-ring, containerised (PTC) ringer cranes to lift the jack-up legs. Mammoet ringer cranes are different due to the high capacities and relative small footprint so it doesn’t take up too much space. The crane can be relocated and fully assembled on its internal crawler system.
The big advantage of Mammoet Ringers is that we own 11 of these machines in the range of 1,600 tons to 4,000 tons, located around the world; there is always one available or nearby. Mammoet will soon complement our existing range with a 5,000 ton crane. The mobility of our equipment guarantees availability and flexibility for the client’s construction schedule.
There is a shortage of these cranes at the moment- with particularly high demand in India. The booking time for these cranes is around two years.
Our cranes include a range of mobile crane assets which can be deployed in any small port. Capable of carrying up to 750 tons, they offer temporary heavy lift capacity to any rural port, which means we can go anywhere to support our client’s needs.
Can you explain to us the strategy behind your SHE-Q program, and what progress you feel it is making towards delivering a safer working environment across the company?
Safety comes first for everything we do at Mammoet. We care about the safety of everyone involved in a project. Recruiting experienced staff and providing training are important to ensure we have the best people available to complete any job. We start every working day with a SHE-Q moment called the ‘Mammoet minute’, in order to assess and discuss the safety risks before starting any task. This carefulness is maintained throughout the day.
Visible safety leadership from our management team is very important, which is why our managers pay regular visits to our projects and discuss safety with our people who are executing them.
Where do you see Mammoet in five years’ time here in Singapore?
We keep investing in people, services and equipment in order serve our customers better and execute their projects more efficiently and cost-effectively. We consider this the basis for our growth.