Interview: Focussing on higher efficiency, automation and digitalisation

The main focus of S.A. TALKE is to provide high-quality logistic services for the chemical and petrochemical manufacturers in Saudi Arabia, with safety as top priority, says Oliver Klingbeil, managing director, S.A. TALKE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Oliver Klingbeil, managing director, S.A. TALKE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Oliver Klingbeil, managing director, S.A. TALKE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The main focus of S.A. TALKE is to provide high-quality logistic services for the chemical and petrochemical manufacturers in Saudi Arabia, with safety as top priority, says Oliver Klingbeil, managing director, S.A. TALKE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Please elaborate on the core offerings of S.A. TALKE for the refining and petrochemical manufacturing industry.

S.A. TALKE Ltd is a joint venture company between TALKE Group from Germany, SISCO Group from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Al-Jabr group from the Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. In 2003, S.A. TALKE made a pioneering move when entering into the first on-site outsourcing relationship in the region in this sector. The core offerings of S.A. TALKE, as part of TALKE Group, are transport, logistics, logistic solutions and consulting.

All of our transport services can be combined with our various value-added services. Numerous complementary services are available, ranging from warehousing and container change services to the checking of documentation and product quality assurance.

S.A. TALKE can handle all logistical processes for companies in the chemical and petrochemical industries – both onsite and offsite. We also offer a wide range of value-added services.

With our comprehensive logistical services, we can support our manufacturing customers along the entire length of the supply chain. Companies can rely on a wide range of storage options suited to a large diversity of materials, including silos, racked warehouses, hazardous goods storage facilities, bonded warehouses and facilities for chemical storage.

Upon request of the customers, we can also handle the sampling and refining of their products. Meanwhile, our bagging and filling facilities will guarantee the safe and efficient handling of the clients’ consignments, whether non-hazardous or hazardous goods.

We can store virtually all materials and products found in the chemical logistics supply chain. Our storage sites are designed to facilitate the most efficient flow of materials possible and are equipped with state-of-the-art safety systems.

Whether commodities or fine chemicals, our multi-user facilities offer the basis of efficient logistic solutions designed for products manufactured by the chemical and petrochemical industries.

We offer responsible and comprehensive storage solutions, including liquid and dry bulk non-hazardous materials, as well as all hazardous materials typically found in chemical logistics. Storage is in all of the usual packaging types, from the 25-kilogram bag to storage silos via big-bags – and can also be temperature-controlled, if required.

The sheer variety of our storage sites reflects our customers’ multifaceted products and requirements, meaning that our silos, racked warehouses and hazardous goods storage facilities can unquestionably support the requirements of the supply chain. Furthermore, S.A. TALKE is assessed according to Gulf SQAS for all of our warehouses in Saudi Arabia.

Each of these locations meets the very highest safety standards and access to all our sites is restricted. On top of this, each of our sites is equipped with automated fire alarm and extinguishing systems. We also offer storage and handling services for containers.

We analyse logistic processes, advise on its optimisation, and plan and build turnkey logistics plants on behalf of manufacturers. This means that, from the very beginning, our customers can benefit from our expertise in chemical logistics, with comprehensive services available from a single source.

Safe and efficient material flows are a prerequisite for the stable development of a company. As specialists in all areas of chemical logistics, we can support our customers at every stage of the planning and design phases with our analytical, advisory and project management services.

We can also help our customers to plan and optimise their logistics processes, roll out best practice solutions and implement customised supply chain concepts. If desired, we can also extend and modernise existing logistics facilities, handle the selection and procurement of packaging and materials handling technology, and construct turnkey logistics plants. With our in-depth understanding of logistic processes, our logistic solutions business unit supports chemical and petrochemical companies as they venture into new markets and territories.

Drawing on our years of experience in various areas of chemical logistics, we analyse our customers’ logistic structures and processes and then put forward well-conceived recommendations on how to optimise their operations. Our logistic solutions business unit develops modern and efficient supply chain concepts tailored to the specific requirements of each customer and site. With extensive knowledge of logistics and years of experience in the industry, we implement proven best practice solutions to improve our customers’ processes.

Can you please explain your operations/activities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? 

Presently, we have a total of 12 on-going projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, handling total volumes of approximately eight million tonnes in 2017. TALKE Group also has projects in Oman, UAE and Bahrain, handling a total of 10 million tonnes annually.

What are the key changes you have witnessed in the downstream sector till now, after the last Annual GPCA Forum?

Since the last Annual GPCA Forum, we have observed a slight decline in the number of new enquiries. Nonetheless, we are fully aware that the chemical and petrochemical industry is a crucial part of Saudi Arabia’s new economic vision. Therefore, the Kingdom will continue to expand its petrochemical industry further downstream to produce specialty chemicals that will create new opportunities for its growing markets.

What prompted you to participate in this year’s Annual GPCA Forum?

S.A. TALKE has been actively participating in the Annual GPCA Forums under the flagship of ALFRED TALKE Logistic Services. TALKE Group has been a valuable member of the GPCA since its formation and has taken part in all of its Supply Chain Conferences and Annual GPCA Forums.

Based on the positive experience of previous events, the GPCA Annual Forum provides an ideal platform for knowledge exchange between the producers, traders and service providers on an international level.

The Forum also provides an excellent opportunity for networking and gathering insight from industry leaders from around the globe. Over the last few years, the number of members have increased significantly, and the organisers are developing more compelling conference programmes.

What are your expectations from the participation in this year’s event?

Our expectations for the upcoming Annual GPCA Forum are to use it as a platform to promote our services; meet delegates from a diverse range of industry segments; further enhance our brand awareness to our target market; branch out to business-to-business trading; create a customer database from the visitors; generate new leads; gain industry specific knowledge; and utilise the available interactive networking opportunities.

What products/services are you planning to showcase at the Annual GPCA Forum?

TALKE Group and its GCC partners, including S.A. TALKE will continue to showcase our full range of specialised logistics services for the chemical and petrochemical industries at the 12th Annual GPCA Forum.

What are your major achievements in the last three years?

Some of our major achievements in the last three years are the Best Contractor EHS Performance Award for Ibn Zahr project for SABIC in 2016; GPCA Supply Chain Excellence Award for land category; S.A. TALKE successfully implementing the Blue Room concept at all its project sites; continuously serving our key client – TASNEE – for 13 years; awarded the Petro Rabigh project phase II in the Western Region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; awarded the NATPET project in Yanbu; enhancement of operations and creating a strong safety culture; training and development for our employees; consistent increase in Saudisation by offering dynamic career paths; and strong corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Is there any major development in the pipeline as far as S.A. TALKE is concerned?

Some of the exciting developments in the pipeline for S.A. TALKE are continuous enhancement of our safety standards and initiatives; maintaining support in the GPCA Dangerous Goods Taskforce and further support in the development of the Gulf SQAS; a new multi-user facility in Jubail; further expansion in the Western Region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; more enhanced training and development programmes for employees; and increased corporate social responsibility initiatives.

How do you foresee the status of the Middle East refining and petrochemical industry in 2018?

After a period of strong growth, we see the Middle East petrochemical industry as maturing and having to compete with other growing markets. The region will remain a very strong global player and as an important location for the global supply chain.

Within our specific sector, we see a further increase in the concept of outsourcing of site logistics, albeit with more existing plants now recognising the benefits of outsourcing.

What would be the role of S.A. TALKE in the Middle East downstream industry in 2020?

We see further development in our present services, but with more focus on higher efficiency, automation and digitalisation. We see the potential for more value-added services such as control tower management and railway terminal operations.

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