A leader in asset integrity management solutions

Mr. Ijaz Social mediaIjaz Ul Karim Rao, managing director, Velosi Asset Integrity Ltd, explains how the company is playing a vital role in helping companies to maximise efficiency, reduce costs and maintain the integrity of existing assets

With more than 37 years of worldwide experience, Velosi is a leading global consulting firm that provides asset integrity management, HSE, engineering services and software solutions to clients in the energy industry around the world.

Giving some background to the company’s foundation, Rao said, “I was brought up in a small village in Lahore, Pakistan and was the only family member and one of the few from my town who made it to university. After I completed my Bachelors in Chemical Engineering, I joined Descon as process design engineer, and worked as head of design in Olayan Descon for many years. This helped me to strengthen my core process design concepts, which enables me to solve complex problems to this day. I also gained good industrial facilities experience which allowed me to visualise all aspects of petrochemical and power plants.”

As a result of this experience, Rao was soon leading large teams in various multinational firms, heading up Asset Integrity Management Services (AIMS) and TPC services at DNV GL for the Middle East region prior to founding Velosi Asset Integrity Ltd.

“Our business model is very simple,” he explained. “Velosi mostly focuses on competitive bidding for internationally published tenders, and since we have both onshore and offshore execution centres, we are able to give a competitive and reasonable offer to our customers, which is one of the crucial factors for getting new business.”

Vital role

In the current low oil price environment, maximising efficiency, reducing costs and maintaining the integrity of existing assets are priorities – and here Velosi can play a vital role. “Major oil and gas players are being pushed to operate assets beyond the planned design and operation life,” Rao commented.

“With aging equipment and facilities, operators face increasing challenges in improving asset reliability, integrity and operational safety. We help our clients by engaging our team of experts who perform a series of tasks starting with data analysis, identifying the problems and gaps, meeting the plant operators and proposing solutions based on the best industrial practices and standards.

We support these companies by providing a full range of AIMS, HSE, engineering and in-house developed software solutions which play a vital role in maximising efficiency, reliability and cost savings. “Helping clients to maintain the integrity of existing assets is a challenge that we have faced head on since the beginning,” he continued. “In the current environment, there will be an increased demand, as operating companies will be looking to optimise their operations and maintenance activities while reducing expenditures.

Companies should be focusing on improving asset reliability to stay competitive, maximise cost efficiency and production. This will also ensure long term profitability for aging assets. “Velosi can play a vital role with VAIL-Plant, a holistic asset integrity software solution that tackles these challenges.”

Health, safety and environment is a growing focus for the company, reflecting the global trend. “We have our own HSE department where we deal with all types of HSEIA & SIL studies for petrochemical plants,” explained Rao. “Over the past few years, there has been more awareness, and companies have adopted and implemented many measures towards environment protection and sustainability. Thus, nowadays most of the projects have a HSE & SIL component.

We have been playing a vital role in assisting these companies to undergo this transition by providing vital services in the areas of HSE, SIL and environment protection. We have also developed our own software, VAIL-PHA which is being utilised in HSE & SIL projects to visualise and manage risks and maximise efficiency.

While business has been impacted by low oil prices, Velosi is on the lookout for exciting new opportunities, said Rao. “We have recently expanded our technology department where we are constantly researching and developing new software, to help clients reduce expenses and increase efficiency.”

Important market

The Middle East is a major market for the company, Rao stressed. “We have been generating good business in the field of AIMS, HSE, engineering and software solutions all over the world, but at least 70% comes from the MENA region. In the Middle East, we are pursuing more engineering opportunities in the oil and gas industries in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar. In North Africa, we have established a good position in Algeria and Sudan for AIMS and HSE services, and are also aiming to strengthen our position for the same in Tunisia and Morocco. For any project that we undertake, we establish relationships with our clients to understand their needs and offer tailor-made solutions to cater to the problems. One of the biggest factors in our recent growth has been word of mouth from satisfied clients.

“There have been some major wins for us over the past few years. Currently we are completing a very prestigious project in which we are developing the operating manuals and procedures for all facilities of a major oil and gas company. As a part of the same project, we are also developing 3D modules-based e-learning solutions for training purposes, so that any individual with no prior experience can get a good walkthrough on how to operate the different equipment present in a plant and understand operational safety measures.”

So what does Rao see as the secret of Velosi’s success? “There are several things that we bring to the table,” he said. “Our team of multidisciplinary experts, commitment to integrity, high quality and a drive to always go the extra mile. We are continuously improving our services to adapt to innovation driven changes in the oil and gas industry. Our increased investment in intelligent software solutions, focus on internal training and mentoring, and customer focus-based approaches are factors that have been playing an important role for us recently.

“I am very proud of everything we do here at Velosi,” Rao concluded. “Every day, we are faced with new challenges and tackle them together as a team. The unique Velosi approach that we have perfected over the past 37 years is something that truly sets us apart. Through constant hard work and determination, we have been able to establish a good name in the region for providing complete solutions in the field of AIMS, HSE, engineering and software services.”

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