Sustainable and turnkey equipment solutions in the UAE
Pat Fallon, deputy CEO of Byrne Equipment Rental, talks to The Energy Year about how the company is responding to client demand for sustainable equipment and its involvement in facility shutdown and turnaround activities. Byrne Equipment Rental provides equipment rental in the areas of oil and gas, industry, construction and events.
What trends do you see in the energy market and how is Byrne embracing them?
Global demand for oil and gas is at its peak and they will continue to be essential in the short to medium term in the Middle East. However, in the long term, crude oil is no longer seen as the driver of the economy in this part of the world. Parallel to its use, we will see an increase of green energy initiatives such as those for renewables and hydrogen as Gulf nations are pledging to lower their emissions. The UAE, for instance, has committed to hit net zero by 2050 and is making laudable efforts to stick to this promise.
Oil and gas are key drivers of our business and will continue to be so in subsequent years, which means that we will continue to benefit from the support given to the value chain of the hydrocarbons industry. Looking beyond this, we are also exploring the hybrid energy sector, and the new trends gaining traction in the region’s energy mix: renewables, nuclear and hydrogen.
Given the uptick of oil and gas activities, all of our business units related to the energy sector are going full tilt. From upstream to downstream, we are witnessing a surge of activities and the demand for our rental equipment is at a high.
How are you adapting to demand for more sustainable equipment?
Over the last 30 years, we have grown to become one of the largest and most diverse equipment rental companies in the region. In order to reach this point, we have tried to focus on multiple industries and subsections within each industry. For example, within the oil and gas sector we have specific units covering the upstream, midstream and downstream.
Alongside this, we have always listened to our customers’ requirements and built our fleet according to market demand. Today, the demand for greener solutions is on the rise and this is prompting us to explore avenues such as solar, hybrid and battery storage options within our fleet. As of now, we use large fossil fuel burning generators, but we are looking into more sustainable processes, and are inclined to embrace cleaner technologies.
Something we have explored is battery storage and biofuels. However, the problem is that there is neither the demand nor any governmental drive for low-emission engines. Introducing them unilaterally would make no economic sense as they are more expensive; biofuel running your engines is 20-30% more expensive than conventional fuel. Thus, people buy into the idea of sustainability but are not willing to pay the price, which is a barrier of entry for us in this respect.
Despite these challenges, in 2022 we launched new energy-efficient lighting products and we are planning to launch another product that runs purely on solar energy this year. Additionally, we are seeing an increase in the demand for hybrid engines which is something we are exploring.
What value proposition do you offer when it comes to turnkey solutions?
There has been an increased demand for turnkey solutions in the oil and gas industry in the past few years as companies no longer want to deal with multiple equipment suppliers, which lends itself to our multi-disciplined model. For instance, field operators prefer to have only one point of contact when it comes to renting and setting up modular camps or executing a rig move. This increases efficiency in both economic and timespan terms.
Our mechanical and non-mechanical fleet includes more than 14,000 items of equipment including power generators, multi-use portable modular buildings, oil-free compressors, a range of steam boilers, welding equipment and more, which gives us the capacity to take on entire contracts rolled out by large oil and gas players. We also partner with other suppliers to provide wider and more enhanced packages under the Byrne brand.
In total we have 16 operational bases and offices across the GCC, which demonstrates our capacity and capability as a one-stop shop for rental equipment and the largest single source of plant and equipment rental in the region.
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