Saudi Arabia’s RGS is driving forward KSA’s scaffolding industry

With health and safety, planning and scaffolding performance at the forefront of its operations, Saudi Arabia’s Resa Gulf Scaffolding  (RGS) has worked towards increasing business revenues by 18.7% over the past 12 months, driven by a ‘Fit For Growth’ programme to increase market shares and generate higher revenue, Ash T. Arshad, the company’s general manager tells Construction Week.

RGS has been part of major oil and gas construction projects in Saudi Arabia. Its onshore projects include multiple areas such as Wasit Gas Program, Jazan Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Project, and Manifa Plant.

Offshore, the company has worked on Karan gas field and Abu Safa project, as well as Marjan facilities, in the Eastern province. In terms of petro-chemical projects, the company has been involved in Sadara chemical complex’s construction and maintenance and has contributed works towards Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) affliates.

Among the challenges the company faces, a major obstruction is EPC contractors’ preference for larger scaffolding companies, Arshad notes.

“They are shortlisted without a check being conducted on their current performance. We often see large companies collapse or witness substantial declines in revenues. To overcome this ongoing challenge, the business is relying on building its reputation through performance.”

Speaking about the company’s scaffolding performance, as well as its health and safety record, Arshad adds: “We have attained the highest number of certified Aramco supervisors in the kingdom per number of scaffolders. In addition, we have been awarded twice by Saudi Aramco; once for health and safety, and the second time for scaffolding performance.”

In order to “aim for zero scaffolding accidents”, RGS crew members receive technical and safety training, he notes.

“RGS’s robust engineering and design capabilities ensure all scaffolding built is in compliance with the best industry requirements. In addition, stringent quality and safety control helps ensure all residual risk is eliminated.”

Acknowledging the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak on the company’s operations, Arshad notes that RGS felt the effects as well, with limited mobility of employees. This, in turn, he says, has hampered regular operational schedules as well as certain projects.

“However, we developed a crisis management plan early on. Where possible, we camped our scaffolders in locations near work sites. In addition, we continually supply masks, carry out regular temperature and health checks of our personnel. We are taking steps to make sure that the scaffolders maintain social distancing in the buses as well. We also had arranged for our scaffolders to be located to different cities before the government-imposed travel bans were put in effect.

“To date we have not had to lay off any scaffolders,” he adds.

Speaking about the outlook for the company, Arshad says: “Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, the business set itself a challenging target for 2020 by increasing its year-on-year revenue growth by 45%. This has not been revised downwards as Q1 results have surpassed Q1 budget expectations.  The backlog remains strong for Q2. The challenge will occur if the government cuts back on planned works. We have carried out a scenario analysis, but remain optimistic that works will continue to be awarded going forward. 

The outlook beyond 2020 remains positive, as the pipeline for upcoming projects remains strong.

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