With a presence in the most important countries for the industry such as Australia, United States or Chile, Ferrovial Services is preparing to make the most of any growth opportunities that arise in the Natural Resources business.
The acquisition of Broadspectrum in May 2016 represented for Ferrovial a notable increase in its activity in the Natural Resources market. Hitherto it had only been present in the business of mining services through Steel Ferrovial Services. Currently the company provides a broad variety of services for companies in the sectors of Oil & Gas, mining and industry in Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada, Chile, Spain and United Kingdom.
In Australia, the country of origin of Broadspectrum, the client portfolio includes the world’s major energy companies such as Shell QGC, Chevron and ExxonMobil. “We have built up more than sixty years’ experience in the industry, making us one of the major companies in maintenance and support services”, says Tom Quinn, Chief Executive Resources at Broadspectrum. The Australian subsidiary of Ferrovial Services has become a prominent actor in markets as important as gas extraction in Queensland, iron ore extraction in the Pilbara region and liquefied natural gas production in North Australia.
Ferrovial Services works for companies like Shell, Chevron, or Exxon Mobile in markets like Australia, the US and Chile.
The company has been able to attain this leadership position thanks to its ability in managing costs efficiently. “We overcame this challenge by working closely with our customers, suppliers and employees, setting ourselves a common target: to increase production”, explains Quinn. This good relationship will be key in taking full advantage of any opportunities that may arise in the country. The Australian natural resources market is currently among the most interesting ones for Ferrovial, since the sites are in full operational phase after an expansion that carried an associated investment of more than 200 billion Australian dollars.
Another market on which Ferrovial is focusing is United States. Among the company’s North American clients is Valero, for which it performs maintenance tasks in its refineries since 2003, and Lyondell Basell. “The oil and gas industry in North America offers an unlimited opportunity with the increase in crude oil prices, the mega-projects throughout the country and the maintenance and recovery projects”, says David Mathews, Director of Ferrovial Services in the United States. The company’s trump cards for growing
in the country are the experience and capabilities of its teams, which can cover the entire supply chain from locating and extracting raw material to processing and transformation into finished product. “We have a highly experienced team. Most of our employees have been in the company for many years and provide a safe, productive, high-quality working culture for the needs of our customers”, says Mathews.
Mario Aguirre, Business Development and Transversal Services Manager at Ferrovial Services Chile, also emphasizes these qualities. “No other mining services provider has the capability to offer services that contribute value to every one of the stages in the production chain”, he points out. A good example of this is the contract with Codelco, Chile’s state-owned mining company and the world’s largest copper producer. “We are present in all of its divisions: integral asset management, industrial cleaning services and heavy machinery, environmental engineering and facility management”, adds Aguirre. The company is also present in the private sector, with agreements such as those it maintains with BHP Billiton-Minera Escondida for transporting concentrate and the integral maintenance of the Coloso copper concentrator plants.
The future in the Chilean market requires us to diversify customers. “Our strategic plan within the natural resources sector is to gear ourselves towards mining industries that are not copper and to focus on lithium, as well as crossing our borders towards Peru in the years to come”, explains Aguirre.
"We have built up more than sixty years' experience in the industry, making us one the major companies in maintenance and support services"
CHALLENGES AND INNOVATION
Managing human resources and logistics are the major challenges companies offering these types of services have to face. “Generally, the sites are located in remote areas very far from cities and from each other, so we have to be extensive and rigorous to have processes and logistics to keep our people safe on their journey, and care for their wellbeing”, says Quinn.
One of the initiatives delivered by Easternwell, a subsiadiry specialized in drilling and well servicing, has been the implementation of an integrated vehicle management system (IVMS). This has dramatically reduced the number of driving incidents in the camps accomodating well workers.
Innovation will play a crucial role in overcoming logistic and safety challenges. Ferrovial Services has created the Centre of Excellence for Natural Resources to develop solutions that provide added value for its customers by optimizing operations, technical advice and consultancy and technological application.
Noteworthy among the innovations already being implemented in some contracts is the use of drones which, by capturing data through laser scanning, allows us to create a three-dimensional model of the assets. This technology means that workers do not have to devote time to collecting this information in situ, and this translates into improvements in their safety and into operational efficiency. We are also testing the benefits of virtual reality in training employees in risk prevention.