Five Minutes With: Thomas Arakal, managing director, Hydro Middle East

"What sets us apart is our versatility of operations in handling multiple business segments under one roof," says Thomas Arakal, managing director, Hydro Middle East, in an interview.  

Thomas Arakal, managing director, Hydro Middle East.
Thomas Arakal, managing director, Hydro Middle East.

"What sets us apart is our versatility of operations in handling multiple business segments under one roof," says Thomas Arakal, managing director, Hydro Middle East, in an interview.

What are the core competencies of Hydro Middle East as a pump service company?

Hydro Middle East is part of a global group, Hydro Inc., which is in the business of rebuilding pumps for nearly 50 years. We are one of the largest independent pump rebuilders in the world. With access to our global engineering database and knowledge of critical information in the after-market business, we deliver timely and cost-effective response to the needs of the market.

We have a very efficient ERP system, which has been custom-designed and tested for the diverse and complex after-market business and manufacturing capabilities. Our business is very complex because we are into manufacturing, after-market services, and also provide field services. It was a real challenge for us to make an efficient ERP system. The ERP system, which we designed and tested is one of our core competencies as it is very adaptable and helps us respond to the customers more efficiently and supports the supply chain for the manufacturing, after-market services, and field services. This is key to our success.

What are your facilities and resources in the Middle East?

We have a pool of very strong experienced and technical professionals at the local level. We have invested in a robust facility, consisting of machinery from CNC manufacturing to custom manufacturing, using manual machines. It is a state-of-the-art facility fulfilling our requirements for the drilling, oil and gas upstream, midstream and downstream, desalination, utilities, power and energy sectors. We cater to a wide range of industries.

Please elaborate on your operations in the Middle East…

What sets us apart is our versatility of operations in handling multiple business segments under one roof.

Although we manufacture, our primary focus is after-market services. We cater to the highest quality requirements across the board, thanks to our global engineering support, and the technical database at the global and local levels. This gives us the unique differentiation to provide quick delivery and cost-effective solutions.

Hydro Group’s core business in the Middle East is pumps rebuilding. We also provide products and services to onshore and offshore oilfield companies supporting drilling and well management service related activities. For this, we have licences at our local facility. We are conformed and licensed to put the API monogram stamp on the products we manufacture for the drilling rigs, which keeps us at par with OEMs, who manufacture and supply for the drilling rigs. We undergo stringent periodic audits, for our technical capabilities by globally recognised agencies such as API and other audit institutions.

Please elaborate on your involvement with the refining and petrochemical industry in the Middle East…

We have worked with several successful improvement projects like pump design improvements, performance upgrades and hydraulic modifications within the region’s refining and petrochemical industries.

Recently we have been awarded a performance rerate on a critical pumping application. Hydro successfully convinced (by providing empirical evidence) a customer to consider hydraulic modification on the existing pump to alter the pumping capacity of the pump, thereby saving not only the cost of the new pump replacement but also costs of the pump modifications and alterations on the footprint and the piping configurations of the pump. A huge amount was saved by our proposal to modify the pump hydraulically rather than replace the whole unit. Our proposal saved the customer significant savings on costs with minimum interruptions to their operations.

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