AlShammari ... eyes on regional expansion

The leading Saudi industrial services provider is expanding into new sectors and leveraging its 400,000 sq m terminal in Jubail to drive innovation in critical industries, aligning with Vision 2030 and sustainability goals

EXPERTISE, a leading industrial services provider based in Saudi Arabia, is positioning itself as a one-stop solution provider for the region's rapidly expanding industrial landscape.

The company, which has a strong presence in the oil and gas and petrochemical sectors, has been steadily expanding its operations, diversifying into new areas, such as modular buildings, catering, and entertainment services.

Operating with a terminal spanning 400,000 sq m in the heart of Jubail Industrial City, the company further leverages its expertise to drive innovation in critical industries such as fertilisers, steel, cement, water treatment, and power

In an exclusive interview with OGN energy magazine, Fares Alshammari, Chairman of Expertise, shares insights into the company’s key objectives, new developments, and long-term plans for the Saudi and regional markets, on the sidelines of Shutdowns, Turnarounds and Outages Technical Conference (STOT ME) Saudi Edition.

The company, which employs over 10,000 people, is part of Saudi Arabia’s giga-projects and is particularly focused on the energy sector, where it sees significant expansion opportunities, he says.

Below are excerpts from the interview:

What are the recent developments at Expertise and how have they impacted your market position?

Established as an industrial services firm, Expertise has evolved significantly over the past five years. Our aim and vision is to be a one-stop solution. We have expanded our manpower and equipment and opened new opportunities in modular building manufacturing and facility management. This strategic expansion has allowed Expertise to position itself not just as a Saudi company, but one that can serve the entire Middle East region.

How has this year been for your company?

The Expertise headquater in Jubail

The Saudi market has been abuzz with activity, driven by the country's ambitious Vision 2030 development plan. 2024 has been an ‘excellent year’ for Expertise and the broader market, as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic gradually subsides. There's a lot of progress happening, especially in the oil and gas and petrochemical sectors, where there are several giga-projects in the pipeline.

Given the scale of projects in Saudi Arabia, what opportunities do you see for Expertise?

Expertise’s footprint extends to some of the most high-profile projects in the kingdom, including Neom, the Expo 2030 preparations in Riyadh, and the upcoming FIFA World Cup. There is a lot of opportunity not just for Expertise, but for the entire world. We are part of these giga-projects and are particularly focused on the energy sector, where we see significant expansion opportunities.

What sets Expertise apart from competitors in the Saudi market?

The company's agility and responsiveness to market changes set it apart from its competitors in the Saudi market. As owners, we are directly involved in the operations. We have a better understanding of the market, which is why we've expanded into sectors like modular building and facility management, even though some may view us as an industrial services provider.

How have you aligned the company operations with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 objectives?

Aligning with the Kingdom's Vision 2030, Expertise has placed a strong emphasis on local content and Saudisation. The local content, or Saudisation, is a key pillar of Vision 2030. We have adopted these requirements, and we have a good score in terms of local content. In fact, recently, we sent more than 500 high school students to receive diplomas in various majors to serve the nation.

With sustainability being a key focus, how does your company help the region further its green goals?

Sustainability has also become a crucial focus for the company, as Saudi Arabia and the wider GCC region strive to achieve their green goals. We acknowledge that the transition to greener technologies has been challenging, particularly in the oil and gas sector. However, over the last 3-4 years, we have been looking for more innovative solutions and adopting them in our operations. The Kingdom is investing heavily in hydrogen and other green initiatives, and we are exploring opportunities to reduce our environmental impact and contribute to these important efforts.

What are Expertise’s long-term plans for expansion in Saudi Arabia and the region?

Beyond Saudi Arabia, Expertise has its sights set on regional expansion. We are already serving in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, and Kuwait, and we had plans to establish offices there before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Now, we are re-evaluating those plans and exploring new opportunities, including in Egypt.

What are some of the company’s major orders or achievements in Saudi Arabia and the region?

Among the company's major achievements is the signing of a 10-year contract with Aramco for the rental of 82 cranes, which is the biggest contract in the Middle East. Equally impressive is the fact that Expertise now employs over 10,000 people, a milestone that we consider as a significant accomplishment.

How is your company employing technology to enhance operations and productivity?

On the technology front, Expertise has been steadily upgrading its systems and processes. The company has implemented SAP solutions for its financial operations, a challenging undertaking given the diverse nature of its services and pricing models. Additionally, the firm is working to develop an online platform that will allow its employees, who are spread across different locations and even countries, to access HR services and other resources more conveniently.

By Mazhar Siddiqui & Zainab Al Taitoon