Company Reports - SARKU Engineering Services Sdn Bhd
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SARKU Engineering Services Sdn Bhd
Engineering and construction specialists
Written by Jennifer Denby & Produced by Nicholas Davies
From its initial stages as an inspection and subsea services provider, SARKU ENGINEERING SERVICES has expanded and diversified over the years into services that include offshore topside maintenance, hook-up, commissioning, fabrication and construction; creating a well-rounded and extensive offering. Although headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, SARKU operates from Miri, a city on the island of Borneo, Malaysia, and has additional offices in Kemaman and Labuan with associate contacts in various parts of Asia. Currently, as the subsidiary of SAPURACREST PETROLEUM BERHAD, a listed Malaysian company on the main board, SARKU has further expanded its capabilities to complement SAPURACREST'S already existing oil and gas businesses.
"When we began in 1973, we were one of Malaysia's first companies in this line of work to be 141fully owned by Malaysian locals, and among the first to have our own engineering-work barges and workboats. Since then, we have built a consistent track-record for innovation, integrity and initiative, and constantly strive for ever-increasing standards of excellence," says Dr Zain Azri Mohd Razali, General Manager.
SARKU, like all the other subsidiaries of SAPURACREST, has been philosophical on four core goals and objectives. "Firstly, we set out to promote safety and safety awareness within and outside the office environment. We also strived to create flawless operations, making sure everything ran smoothly and the investors had good work. It was also equally important to effectively utilise resources," Khoo Hong Kng, Executive Director explains. "We wanted people to be well-trained and to strengthen their abilities, helping them reach their full potential; this is something SARKU is continuously promoting."
Over the past years, SARKU has been doing well and in the last two years, even better. This is down to people working more efficiently, and the firm's various capabilities and vast experience in vessel charters, underwater expertise and project management, leading it to secure several major contracts within Malaysia. "To give you some magnitude of that, last year we reached a high of over MYR 500 million (US$ 143 million) turnover, so there's some definite progression as to how we actually manage the company," Khoo says.
Currently, the firm owns/operates nine vessels, four of which are accommodation work barges, with the remaining five being a mixture of self propelled accommodation, multipurpose and diving support vessels. With its own assets, construction/diving/project management teams and diving equipment, SARKU ensures safe work execution, complete solutions, fast mobilisation and minimum interruptions.
As mentioned earlier, SARKU operates under SAPURACREST PETROLEUM, an integrated technology and services provider to the oil and gas industry with wide ranging competencies, from exploration to retail. In turn, SAPURACREST PETROLEUM, and therefore SARKU, operates under the SAPURA GROUP.
The SAPURA GROUP is a Malaysian-owned technology-based organisation. Since its inception, the group has developed across numerous business areas, namely secured communications, oil and gas, industrial and automotive, knowledge and education and premium automotive retail. The group's listed entities, aside from SAPURACREST PETROLEUM, are SAPURA INDUSTRIAL and SAPURA RESOURCES. And it is through this relationship with SAPURA that "SARKU is heavily involved in the oil, gas and petrochemical industry and has over 500 full-time personnel who provide the widest possible range of experience, skills and training in integrated services all over Asia".
The SAPURA GROUP has 30 years of experience and a "pioneering fortitude", creating a wealth of knowledge which it endeavours to share with partners such as SARKU and its other subsidiaries. "We want to continue to support our subsidiaries in terms of access and expand with them worldwide. They actually have a better network across the world, so we want to utilise this geographical reach, basing our business elsewhere," says Razali.
SARKU takes pride in its ability to offer engineering and construction solutions, encompassing the highest standards of safety, quality and on-time delivery. "The company's number one focus is safety; it is our main priority and we continually ensure safe operations and look to avoid accidents. Our previous record for safety was 14 million manhours accident free, over a span of five years. Currently, we are above 1.4 million manhours accident free for the past several months; safety is something that we will not compromise on.
"The next area that we focus on is our people. So the philosophy here is that the employees are the strength of the company and, therefore, we need to compensate them accordingly to ensure high morale, motivation and job satisfaction. So we promote, train and provide opportunities to take on more responsibility to boost their capabilities. In turn, we are seeing that in the past few years this strategy is contributing effectively to the company's goals and objectives.
"And finally, we work to address the specific needs of our clients. We provide specialised services that include project management, project material procurement and work-packing. Our wide range of available resources allows us to tailor and customise our project teams based on the clients' requirements."
Working around these key commitments, SARKU has established a reputation for timely work completion and having an excellent safety record. The needs of its customers and employees take priority at all times, and total customer satisfaction appears to shine through the firm's objectives.
In speaking with Khoo Hong Kng and Dr Zain Azri Mohd Razali, it is clear that their direct approach to management is setting the pace for others to follow, and it is this pioneering spirit which drives the company forwards. "Our work is predominantly in Malaysia, but we've got contracts currently in India and Indonesia. The next step is basically to look into the Middle Eastern operations and to target this region within the next two years," says Razali of its future expansion plans. "We also have plans to re-establish ourselves in Australia, Vietnam and Thailand, so our span basically includes anywhere between Australia and the Middle East. We have additional plans to support the Gulf of Mexico, where we recently received enquiries", he adds.
The company also plans to enter new business areas, potentially in ship building. However, as Khoo explains, expansion into a field such as this requires huge investments, so it is still on the drawing board. "We're also planning to acquire more vessels in the next four years, which will hopefully replace some of our older vessels," Khoo adds.
With an excellent safety record and a determination to deliver unrivalled services, the firm will continue to grow and strengthen its position as a dependable services provider in a vital global industry. Backed by its parent company and the SAPURA GROUP'S determination to be ahead of the curve, SARKU looks set to continue implementing these impressive philosophies long into the future.