23/05/2006 - 22:00

Poyry to shake-up energy scene

23/05/2006 - 22:00

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A major new international energy player is coming to Perth following the $18.5 million acquisition of Aberdeen-based IGL Oil & Gas Consultants by Finnish global consulting and engineering group, Poyry.

Poyry to shake-up energy scene

A major new international energy player is coming to Perth following the $18.5 million acquisition of Aberdeen-based IGL Oil & Gas Consultants by Finnish global consulting and engineering group, Poyry.

The move may have reverberations across the local oil and gas sector.

Perth will become the regional hub for the nearly $1 billion dollar move by Poyry into the Australian and South-East Asian energy sector, which generates about $500 million a year in specialist consulting fees for operations including Halliburton, Technip, Worley Select and Wood Group.

In the next three years, the company plans to boost its professional staff in Perth from IGL’s current 20 to between 80 and 100, with a similar number in the rest of South-East Asia.

This expansion is part of the creation of up to 400 new jobs across the combined group’s global operations in the next two years, divided equally between IGL and Poyry Energy.

IGL’s Perth-based Asia Pacific director David Kennare told WA Business News the company’s Australian process engineering consultancy would be the driving force behind Poyry’s move into the Australian and South-East Asian energy sectors.

One of the new group’s first priorities will be to recruit 40 staff to meet the backlog of work for existing regional projects, including the near $17 million design engineering contract for Shell Petroleum’s on and offshore oil and gas project in Burnei.

The negotiations between Aberdeen-based IGL, established in 1989 to service the burgeoning North Sea oil and gas industry, and the almost 50-year-old publicly listed Poyry, began a year and a half ago.

IGL co-founder and group director Grant Innes told WA Business News the company, which has established a reputation for pre- and front-end engineering design, needed a major company to facilitate its expansion and realise the future aspirations of the shareholders in a wider energy market.

“Now we play the game at a much higher level. We now have the added credibility and financial muscle to chase the big projects,” Mr Innes said. “This is more a joining of forces with Poyry’s energy business, which has operations and projects in Europe, Middle East, South-East Asia and South America.”

IGL has offices in Aberdeen, Perth, Stavangar in Norway and Kuala Lumpur.

“There are no geographical overlaps and very little client overlap, so we believe this amalgamation will provide us with a significant competitive advantage in front-end, multi-disciplinary engineering services,” Mr Innes said.

IGL managers will take leading positions within Poyry Energy.

“We’ve got dream jobs, but we’ve got some mountains to climb,” Mr Innes said.

IGL’s links with WA go back to 1997, when the company established its first overseas venture here after canvassing the Middle East and Houston, Texas.

Messrs Innes and Kennare headed the office, and Mr Innes is returning to Perth in a senior role with the new company in August.

“We did a whole energy market review and Perth came out on top,” Mr Innes said. “The oil and gas business here is very similar to the way we do business in Aberdeen. WA had good existing infrastructure, such as the North West Shelf and plenty more projects on the horizon.

“There were also a lot of synergies between operations in the North Sea and the North West Shelf. People here knew us and that North Sea expertise was seen as valuable.”

IGL has since worked with all the major operators in WA and is involved in such current big energy projects as the Pluto, Gorgon and Browse Basin developments.

IGL has about 120 employees and last year turned over $18.3 million for a $2.5 million operating profit.

Poyry is a global consulting firm that has grown from agro-forestry to infrastructure and environment, and energy. It currently employs 5,600 people in 45 countries, is capitalised at over $890 million and had sales last year of around $872 million.

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