Monday, May 20

Naim eyes more contracts in Fiji

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KUCHING: Naim Holdings Bhd (Naim) will be eyeing more contracts in Fiji to add up to its current operations in the small Pacific nation.

“We are looking at doing some more jobs in Fiji,” said Naim’s chief executive officer Datuk Hasmi Hasnan yesterday, but added that the group had to respect certain constraints namely funding and operational issues with regards to the project.

Naim’s venture in Fiji began last year in June when it undertook the country’s road rehabilitation project, funded by Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Bhd (EXIM Bank). The Fijian job, comprising both construction and road rehabilitation works, was worth RM210 million.

“Fiji operations posted a slight loss in 2010 due to operational start-up cost, but we hope to see profit coming from it this year,” noted Hasmi. “We are also eyeing RM200 million worth of additional contracts there.”

Speaking on its high-profile local project, namely the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal (SOGT) job – a RM2.44-billion mega infrastructure task by national petroleum company Petronas – Hasmi disclosed that it was Naim’s maiden entry in the Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) area.

“We have limited expertise and experience in O&G (oil and gas). Suffice to say, due to the technical nature of the subject and the job being our first EPCC contract, Naim is carrying a supporting role to our partner, Samsung Engineering,” he stated.

Analysts was relatively cautious on Naim’s procurement of the SOGT contract last year, citing its lack of experience could cost a downplay on the group’s stocks at the time.

Hasmi, however, dismissed such notions.

“We see the SOGT contract as our possible entry into EPCC works, strengthened by the alliance concept of the project. Currently, our O&G associate Dayang (Enterprise Holdings Bhd) is doing minor fabrication, hook-up commissioning and topside maintenance; whereas the SOGT is undertaking the highly-technical EPCC works where not many Malaysian companies have expertise in.

“As we ride on Samsung Engineering’s reputation, hopefully and slowly we would develop our skills and expertise on EPCC – in five years’ time, perhaps,” he projected.

“It is a learning process for us. Besides, Rome wasn’t build in one day, was it?” he remarked.