From a service provider and equipment manufacturer in the early years to an integrated solution provider, Alfanar offers diversified services and products to match the needs of downstream sectors
Alfanar, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest homegrown manufacturers and EPC players, has over the years taken gradual but firm steps in diversifying its specialised solutions and services both locally and globally. The company maintains global class and has a progressive essence, something very few companies in the industry can boast of.
Alfanar supports the oil and gas sector through its various specialised subsidiaries by providing project development, EPC, products, and services like testing and commission, refurbishment and asset lifecycle maintenance, all of which are compliant with Saudi Aramco standards for oil and gas downstream facility projects.
'Alfanar’s commitment to excellence dates back to 1976. From a service provider and equipment manufacturer in the early years to an integrated solution provider, the company offers diversified services and products to match the needs of downstream sectors covering fuel augmentation, storage and transmission,' says Jamal Wadi, Alfanar CEO.
Alfanar is primarily engaged in the manufacturing of a wide range of low, medium and high voltage electrical construction products utilised in oil and gas, energy and other construction segments, EPC solutions for conventional and renewable power plants, LPG storage, allied engineering services and design engineering holding an industry-leading inventory of resources.
Its local manufacturing facilities operate from the sprawling 720,000 sq m Alfanar Industrial City in Riyadh, where more than 14 state-of-the-art factories are engaged in constant research and development programmes, and technology innovation.
Alfanar has successfully completed complex augmentation/brownfield modification works making it one of very few home groomed specialist companies in this sector.
It is currently executing the Gasco Riyadh Terminal expansion project by providing lump sum turnkey (LSTK) services to add five LPG bullets of 4,000 cu m capacity each. The scope of works consists of supplying materials, detailed engineering, fabrication, construction, installation, testing, pre-commissioning and commissioning assistance of mechanical, piping, civil and structural, electrical and instrumentation works.
Additionally, Alfanar is working as an EPC contractor to replace electrical equipment at the Uthmaniyah Gas and Oil Separation Plant (GOSP) to enhance the electrical infrastructure at four existing plants in the facility without affecting the production at the plants.
The construction of 115-kV substations, replacement and enhancements to the existing power stations are all in synchronisation with the shutdown and maintenance schedule of the plants. Alfanar will also providing the necessary civil and structural enhancements to the electrical infrastructure at the facility.
Alfanar has also recently completed major works at the new Khurais Central Processing Facilities and GOSP to increase 300,000 barrels of heavy crude oil from its current capacity. In addition to LSTK services at plants, the company is also engaged in providing non-industrial infrastructure, having constructed 1,600 units to house 2,200 employees working at the Khurais Arabian Light Crude Increment project. The project has achieved a project quality index (PQI) of 98.1 per cent, which is one of the highest ratings to be achieved in the industry.
Commenting on the challenges, Wadi says: 'The challenges faced during EPC are immense, particularly with brownfield projects wherein stringent measures must be adopted to ensure zero to minimal disruption and ensuring continued production at the plant.
'Our ability to forecast these disruptions and mitigate such temporary setbacks are achieved by implementing a proper planning and scheduling process along with the inclusion of the concerned client teams. The limited time with such projects also provides to be a major challenge.'
Alfanar is committed to minimising the energy industry’s environmental impact and recognises that the future of the industry depends on embracing alternative energy sources.
Accordingly, the company has established itself as a leading global developer of renewable energy, and boasts an impressive project portfolio spread across Saudi Arabia, India, Spain, Egypt and UK of close to 1.7 GW in power output and a commercial value of $2 billion.
Amer Al Ajmi, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, says: 'The company delivers turnkey projects globally for renewable power generation and is solely focused on enriching the value chain of project development, which includes development, financing, design, EPC, testing and commissioning and operation and maintenance for conventional, renewable and water projects globally.'
The company’s project development unit specialises in developing and investing in renewable energy projects, including CSP, PV, wind energy, biomass, geothermal, and waste-to-energy. The division is also actively engaged in developing its portfolio in other segments like oil and gas, water, education, healthcare and digital infrastructure.
Locally, Alfanar has seen major traction, topping the bid opening results of Saudi Arabia’s Round 2 Category A of the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) comprising two solar PV independent power producer (IPP) projects at Madinah PV IPP (50 MW) and Rafha PV IPP (20 MW) aggregating to a total of 70 MW capacity.
Furthermore, Alfanar is a partner of choice for major clients in the region and has partnered in several of Kingdom’s visionary projects including Saudi Arabia’s largest digital transformation - the smart meter project. In addition to partnering in the installation of meters, Alfanar will manufacture and supply almost 50 per cent of the smart meters earmarked to be manufactured locally.
Alfanar has witnessed multi-dimensional growth by expanding its solutions, diversifying into new business as well as increasing its global presence.
The expansion and diversification is supported by the EPC business’ entry into new markets like India, Spain, the UAE and Bahrain, where Alfanar is working on multiple projects. The successes in these markets has further strengthened the Alfanar’s resolve to replicate these in other sectors like oil and gas and water.
Through acquisitions in Germany, the UK, Spain and Italy, the company has strengthened its product portfolio in industrial electrical products manufacturing, including substation and distribution automation solutions, smart grid deployments and EV charging to name a few. The acquisitions have further enabled Alfanar not only to increase its International presence but also further enhance its product lines in the local market.
'The expansion of Alfanar’s global operation has boosted the local manufacturing capability tremendously in a way that international techniques and technologies are now made available locally. Right from grid automation solutions, grid primary products to renewable energy products, Alfanar now manufactures more than 50 products for industrial and commercial uses,' says Al Ajmi.
Globally, Alfanar owns brands such as Kopp, ZIV, SFA Electric and Contactum to name a few. It also has production facilities, projects and R&D centres in more than 24 countries.
SOLID COVID-19 RESPONSE
From the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Alfanar’s major challenges included business continuity, protecting employees, supply chain, contract execution and client availability to name a few.
However, the company with all its stakeholder meticulously developed a comprehensive pandemic response procedure for all its local and global project sites and offices. Special camp inspection checklists were developed to ensure pandemic measures in place twice a month in addition to several measures in every area of challenges identified due to the Covid-19.
And even during the Covid-19 lockdown in the Kingdom, Alfanar came out strong and executed one of the largest projects for smart meters installation across the Kingdom in the stipulated timeline, while maintaining all norms specified by the Health Ministry.
Khalid Al Solami, Projects Director of the Smart Meters Projects, says: 'With more than 5,000 employees working in day and night shifts at various locations across multiple sites, adherence to full PPE was strictly followed, and sanitisation measures at the accommodation, transportation, site and equipment were implemented.
'Mobile health units made available throughout in strategic locations has helped in continuous monitoring and care of the site personnel. No contact policy with outsiders or customers was strictly adhered to which drastically helped in safeguarding both the employees and the public. Special movement permits were secured to avoid any delays on this strategic project.'
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Alfanar has a very positive and optimistic outlook on both the local and international markets. 'The current situation is just a temporary hitch, which most of our businesses have overcome by adapting innovative and technology driven ways to work and excel,' Wadi adds.
The company has major plans of expanding its portfolio to six different industry verticals in the near future, all aimed at bringing a positive change and impact the lives of millions by providing solutions that bring a quality of life.