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Q&A: McDermott's Qatar head on growth plans in the country

Tell me about your current presence in Qatar.

McDermott currently has the oldest and most established offshore EPCI execution presence in Qatar, where we have been executing projects since 1993. We opened our full EPCI office in 2017 and have been executing our Qatari projects from this office since that time. In addition to our Project Management, Engineering and Supply Chain capability in the Doha office, we also have our QFAB fabrication joint venture with Nakilat located in Ras Laffan Industrial City. Finally, we also regularly have installation barges in and out of Qatar and are often seen at Ras Laffan Industrial City between mobilizations. We have all the major components to execute large, complex offshore projects here in Qatar.

Tell me about the QFAB joint venture and its impact on your operations.

We are extremely proud of our joint venture yard with Nakilat – QFAB. We believe this yard brings a strategic advantage to McDermott and our EPC toolkit. QFAB is the most modern yard in the region and with our vast fabrication experience, this brings together two key ingredients to allow us to offer something to the Qatar market that didn’t previously exist. We have been looking hard at ensuring that the yard is as productive and competitive as any yard with the clear benefits of being located here in Qatar.

Why is Qatar a major focus for McDermott right now?

Qatar has always been very important to McDermott and over the years we have designed, fabricated and installed a large proportion of the offshore infrastructure, like platforms and pipelines, which supports the Qatari energy industry. Looking forward, McDermott views Qatar as strategically important as it launches a significant wave of future investment to support it development plans. McDermott—with the competencies and capabilities that I have touched on—is ideally placed to support Qatar through this strategic investment program.

Tell me about adding execution and cost certainty.

Our vast experience of working and delivering projects in Qatar affords us a level of knowledge that supports both execution and cost certainty—we understand how to deliver these types of projects. As these projects become larger, more complex and develop more interfaces with existing assets, this knowledge and experience is priceless in ensuring that we deliver on schedule and on budget. In addition to our general experience, we have moved further into the Pre-FEED and FEED stages which allows us to bring expertise and knowledge into the early design phase of a project. This helps ‘design out’ some risk and take the right decisions sooner, to ultimately deliver improved cost and schedule performance for our clients.

How do digital twins improve EPC projects?

Through using truly integrated end-to-end systems we are able to better control, visualize and plan the execution of EPC projects. McDermott is unique in this domain; we use our internal capabilities throughout the EPC chain including fabrication which allows us to better control the outcome of our projects. By starting the engineering process with fabrication and installation in mind, we understand how to create and fully use the potential of 3D modeling software to unlock productivity and efficiencies in fabrication and offshore. A fortuitous by-product from this integrated 3-D model is the digital twin – a digital representation of the physical asset. McDermott will use these tools to improve design, better manage supply chain and materials management, and unlock fabrication and marine productivity improvements through visualization, change management improvement and using today’s digital tools to improve our execution certainty.

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