Gathering of maintenance and reliability professionals in Saudi Arabia a huge success

April 30, 2014 11:16 am

1st Annual Rotating Equipment Reliability and Maintenance Gathering which was recently held at the Sofitel Al Khobar – Saudi Arabia, was a huge success with global maintenance and reliability experts attending to discuss the latest and best industry practices. Organizations that presented at the gathering were Marafiq, Siemens, Petrofac, Maaden Phosphate Company, Saudi Aramco, Saudi Aramco Shell Re?nery Company, Howden and Petro Rabigh among others.

The middle eastern market for rotating equipment is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.2% between 2012 and 2017 with varied investments across different sectors. The gathering was an excellent chance for experts to come together and look at these developments, analyzing the opportunities for furthering the growth of companies.

Day one of the gathering consisted of three workshops, workshop leaders being Ziyad Mustafa Assad Owidah, Reliability and Asset Management Department – Mara?q, Swen Vandenberk, Application Engineer – Siemens and Preston Johnson, Global Program Manager; Asset Monitoring Systems – National Instruments. Day two of the gathering saw a lot of presentations, one of the most important being the one delivered by Ali M. Al-Shurafa, Sr. Rotating Equipment Engineer at Saudi Aramco on reliability challenges and solutions for steam turbine admission valves. He focussed on understanding the common designs of steam admission valves and the challenges faced in sustained operations. Heavily involved in rotating equipment troubleshooting and reliability improvements Al-Shurafa has a vast amount of experience.

Petrofac and Howden, sponsors at the gathering presented on day three of the gathering. Chris Walsh, Condition Based Maintenance, Strategic Business Manager at Petrofac spoke about critical equipment care. He stressed on the various monitoring techniques and how data gathered can be effectively analyzed for optimum performance. Catering to a wide range of oil and gas companies Petrofac provides services like training personnel, managing and maintaining equipments and help design and build infrastructure.

Howden, designer, engineer and supplier of air and gas handling equipment was represented by its Chief Engineer, Jim Cooper who provided insights on air preheater design features and fan selections to improve boiler plant performance and availability. The focus of the topic was on critical factors and design alternatives to be considered to improve availability and techniques to reduce the unit heat rate when specifying or reviewing the performance of both the air preheaters and associated draft equipment.

Delegates at the gathering were delighted with the sessions, helping them learn from the experience of their peers. The gathering will help them in implementing best industry practices in their own organizations. The gathering promises to be bigger next year exploring more topics and participation from more speakers globally.


Madhura Gaikwad
Admin Assistant – Marketing Department
Fleming Gulf
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