The Business Year

Rejeesh Mani

OMAN - Energy & Mining

Rejeesh Mani

CEO, Special Technical Services (STS)

Bio

Rejeesh Mani is the CEO of Special Technical Services LLC, where he has worked for more than 16 Years in various senior positions. He has over 25 years of experience in manufacturing, construction and maintenance industries associated with upstream and downstream Oil & Gas facilities. Before joining STS, he has worked with International Companies in Middle East and India.

Rejeesh Mani, CEO of Special Technical Services (STS), talks to TBY about highlights of the past year, human capital, and growth plans.

What have been some of STS’ major highlights in the past year?

The STS Group is a leading multidisciplinary contracting group specializing in construction, fabrication, maintenance, and manufacturing services. Special Technical Services LLC (STS Oman) commenced business activities in 1980, and currently have a human resource-base of 10,000 across the entire GCC region. Today, the Group operates within the MENA region and undertakes projects in several industrial areas, with a main focus in Oil and Gas. Collectively, the Group specializes in field development projects, enhanced oil recovery, gas treatment and compression plants, refineries, petrochemicals, tank farms, pipelines, and flowlines. We also undertake maintenance contracts including Turnaround shutdowns in upstream and downstream facilities across the GCC. Our manufacturing facilities in Oman, UAE and Saudi Arabia, having already exported a large number of Oil & Gas Equipment to several countries across the world, offer various products & services such as Vessels, Columns, Heat Exchangers, Skids, Pipe Spooling, Valves & Pump Maintenance, Weld Overlay of Pipes and Fittings and Roto-lining of Piping Spools that are required for Oil & Gas facilities. United Special Technical Services (USTS), an STS subsidiary, has a strong presence in the MENA region and are currently executing various HDPE lining contracts. Another STS subsidiary, STAREF, offers maintenance and fabrication services for Aluminium Smelters across the GCC region. The Group’s REI Process Pty Ltd (REI), a leading process design and engineering company specializes in process cooling, gas compression, natural gas processing and tank cooling solutions – has been awarded a number of projects in 2021 with execution in Year 2022/23. The Group’s performance in 2021 went according to expectations although our industrial activities were unfortunately disrupted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The main highlight in 2021 was securing two major PDC and MIC contracts with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). These are long-term portfolio management service contracts over seven years, where we perform engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, and maintenance services of PDO’s Oil & Gas concession areas.

How important is promoting human capital and local talent within STS?

In STS Group, we recognize that there is nothing more important than a highly skilled, motivated and engaged workforce. We are committed to equipping our employees with skills and competencies that will enable them to maximize their productivity to create and maintain a safe working environment. We are also committed in supporting our employees in achieving current and future career goals. To ensure the correct levels of competence in various positions of the workforce, employees at all levels have a clear and defined job-function requirement, thus creating a bench mark to define and monitor performance. Adequate and effective training is imperative to ensure that personnel are confident and capable of performing safely and competently to the required level, within all work environments. With regard to local content, STS Oman is one of Oman’s largest private-sector employers for the Oil and Gas sector. At the moment, we invest in about 2,700 Omani nationals working across all categories. We focus on quality recruitment, training, upskilling and transparent career pathways for performing individuals to ensure maximum productivity and talent retention. We use a multi-pronged strategy in recruiting Omani nationals; experienced personnel will be recruited based on their qualifications and skillset and undergo appropriate induction and onboarding process. Additionally, STS Oman regularly recruits fresh Omani college and high school graduates from the local job market and by also participating in college fairs and tours organized by the Ministry of Labor. These graduates undergo comprehensive internal and external training programs before they are deployed to work autonomously at STS Oman sites. For technicians and tradesmen, the Group’s Technical Training Institute LLC provides internationally recognized trade level expertise training related to the construction and maintenance sector in Oman. Moreover, STS Oman continues to include more Omani vendors and sub-contractors as business partners where we ensure that these local companies are regularly engaged to maintain adequate support in the areas of HSE, quality and project delivery to enhance their capabilities and sustainability in the business.

What innovative technologies are you currently exploring and deploying across operations?

In today’s competitive world, it is important that we regularly review what we are doing and how we are doing it. In the pursuit of continuous improvement, we aim to make our processes more effective and efficient. In STS Group, we often think of new technologies and actively seek client feedback on our performance whilst addressing their needs. Our core business is resource intensive; all our services need to be executed on challenging time frame in adverse conditions and hence efficiency of our resources is key to our success. We invest heavily on modern equipment and automation that improve the productivity and minimize dependency on manpower. On Information Technology (IT) specifically, the Group ensures that all our offices are well equipped with cutting-edge IT infrastructure, equipment and enterprise applications. On the operational side, we run our business on the Oracle JD Edwards Enterprise One ERP platform coupled with the latest BI tools for generating MIS reports. As we speak today, we have embarked on a digitization drive to replace all our hard copy approvals with a computer-operated approval system. We are achieving this by implementing dMACQ software hosted on an Azure cloud platform to support this requirement. Some of the technologies being considered as a part of our technology vision are unified corporate networks, data warehousing, robotic process automation for repetitive tasks, software consolidation and platform integration across the STS Group, asset tracking systems using technologies like geo-fencing and RFID, learning management systems, Data Loss Prevention software, and customer relationship management software.

What are the main goals and growth priorities for STS in the year ahead?

Over the past two years, we have embarked on a number of business improvement initiatives to enhance our performance in HSE, Cost and Delivery. This year and looking ahead, we expect to see all these initiatives come to fruition. In Oman, we continue to serve major Oil & Gas Operators with a clear vision on ICV (In Country Value). Our manufacturing facilities in Oman continue to focus on securing export orders with a vision of Omani products reaching further countries of the world. Other than that, we are focused on expanding our businesses in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE. In Saudi Arabia, we are in the process of establishing a one-stop industrial facility for many services, including Aluminum Smelter maintenance, HDPE lining, Roto lining, and Oil & Gas maintenance. In Abu Dhabi, our target is to secure more Oil & Gas maintenance contracts while our Ras Al Khaimah facility is now equipped to offer more Oil & Gas products and fabrication services other than Weld-Overlay services. REI performed well in sales last year and will maintain its focus on continued sale performance and timely execution of these projects, going forward. We are also keeping a close watch on developments in green ammonia and green hydrogen projects and are actively discussing how we can participate in them.

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