Chromalloy Arabia to open Saudi workshop operation
Chromalloy Arabia, an independent gas turbine services provider, plans to open a workshop in Jeddah in the Western Province of Saudi Arabia.
The company – a joint venture between Chromalloy of the USA and Arabian Qudra of Saudi Arabia – says the workshop is part of its Middle East expansion strategy which saw it launch the company in Jeddah last year followed by the opening of a sales and customer support office in the Dubai Airport Free Zone.
“We are looking at beginning workshop operations and to be operating at full capacity in 2018,” said Hani Shehata, CEO (pictured right) . Chromalloy Arabia already has a service centre within Saudi Aerospace Engineering Industries at King Abdulaziz International Airport, following a 17-year relationship between Chromalloy and the Saudi Arabian Airlines subsidiary.
The workshop will fulfill needs from both the aerospace – commercial and military – and industrial sectors which Shehata says will come from a step-change towards cost-effectiveness prompted by prevailing, post oil price down turn economics, and from an increasing desire by operators for the promotion of workforce localization.
Shehata said the move into the Gulf, after 15 years of servicing clients in the region from overseas, was made because of changing requirements emanating out of the area.
“Operating remotely on business trips to the region is no longer feasible, he said. “The move towards using nationals within the workforce has now become much more imperative and we are increasingly seeing preferential procedures on this coming into place for business. By moving into the region we are providing economic benefit and jobs as well as ensuring Chromalloy’s efficiency, quality and order execution at the customer’s doorstep.”
Shehata says the new workshop will play a role in developing Saudi nationals through training and career progression opportunities. “We are looking to operate at double the workforce localization quota of Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI), which reflects our commitment to the Saudi market,” he says.
Shehata says the company is remaining pragmatic about its Gulf investments. “We are all bracing for a tough financial year here for sure but we see this as an opportunity. For many years Saudi and the GCC operators have been very loyal to original equipment manufacturers regardless of the cost of maintenance of plane and land turbines, but we believe cost pressure from lower oil prices may provide us with opportunities.
“Chromalloy is globally known for the highest yield on repairs which saves significant cost for operators, with demonstrated savings of up to US $500,000 per shop visit.”
From its new Dubai sales and customer support base which operates with a 10-strong team, Chromalloy Arabia is looking to expand its GCC and MENA reach to “complement our support services office in Jeddah and further ease the expansion and reach across these key markets,” explained Shehata, who says business from Iran is on the company’s radar.
“From the UAE perspective we see demand from the Iranian market.”
Chromalloy, which is headquartered in Florida, has annual sales of US $1 billion, in innovative gas turbine engine solutions including component repair, engineering services, castings, machining, protective barrier coatings, manufacturing and supply chain management. It operates in 23 locations in 11 countries and has a workforce of over 4,000 personnel. Arabian Qudra is part of Saudi Arabia’s Abunayyan Holding.