Quality International Cracker Units Port Arthur Texas for web
The four large modules arrive safely at the final destination in Port Arthur in Texas in the United States Image Credit: Quality International


Why the UAE-based process equipment manufacturing brand could be a case study for international firms interested in tapping the rich expertise and excellent production acumen that the nation offers

The UAE manufacturing sector witnessed a prestigious achievement this year as Sharjah based Quality International Co. Ltd. FZC, a leading process equipment manufacturer and module builder in the UAE accomplished the successful execution of a mega project in August when it shipped out the last of the 22 modules for Total’s new $1.7 billion ethane steam cracker project in Port Arthur, Texas.

Commenting on the project, Shashi Ramakrishnan, Managing Director of Quality International, says, “This is a milestone accomplishment not just for Quality International but for the UAE’s manufacturing industry as a whole. We are proud to be the first UAE-based equipment manufacturer to win a mega project in the US, showcasing our industry’s efficiency and innovation.”

The joint venture project between Total, Borealis and NOVA Chemicals was announced in March 2017, with the $1.3 billion engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract being awarded by Total to McDermott International, formerly the Chicago Bridge & Iron Company (CB&I). A multinational engineering, procurement, construction and installation firm, McDermott International is headquartered in the US with operations in the Americas, Middle East and the Pacific Rim.

Quality International received the contract in November 2017 from McDermott International on behalf of Total to manufacture the 22 modules in the UAE at their facility at the Hamriyah Free Zone in Sharjah. With stringent deadlines in place, work on the project commenced the same month as Quality International worked against the clock with its stakeholders to successfully meet the deadline, with the last of the 22 modules packed and shipped from the UAE on August 22 this year for its final destination at Port Arthur, Texas.

While various factors contributed towards Quality International being considered for the job, Vilas Ekale, Director, Projects and Business Development, believes two critical factors helped clinch the deal.

“Our dedication and our flexibility and willingness to adapt to change were recognised by the teams at Total and McDermott, helping us partner with them for their mega project.”

Supporting sentiment with statistics, Aneesh P. V., Director at Quality International commends the Quality International team by saying, “Upon commencement of the field activities we were able to complete assembly of all modules in less than 16 months with zero lost time incidence with the help of our highly skilled multinational workforce involving 1,300 personnel at peak period and close to 3 million man hours.”

Seconding Aneesh’s views, Shashi says, “The blue-collar workforce toiled hand in hand with the management in extreme weather conditions to meet the stringent deadlines. I am really proud of what my team has succeeded in making right here in the UAE.”

Through interviews, testimonials, infographics and pictorials, this special report encapsulates the sheer size and scale of the Total project that Quality International undertook and accomplished, a proud testament to the Made in the UAE creed.