Riyadh is becoming a hub for the Arab world and with the level of investment and diversification into events and attractions such as Qiddiya entertainment hub and the redevelopment of Diriyah, it will undoubtedly become a global hub for travel and tourism, says a top official of a leading equipment rental firm in the region.
James Dodgson, Byrne Equipment Rental’s Regional General Manager – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain, believes this level of development and growth bodes well for the company as each development and project in the kingdom will require support in terms of equipment solutions and services.
“We are well positioned to accommodate this. Alongside our existing nine depots across Saudi Arabia, we are in the process of opening a large-scale local satellite branch and operational facility in Jubail,” he tells Gulf Construction, adding that further details will be announced shortly.
Byrne also intends to further expand its facilities in areas such as Neom in the north and has plans to deploy additional satellite rental depots across the kingdom.
Byrne’s operations in Saudi Arabia cover the entire kingdom, with nine operational depots in Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah, Yanbu, Jizan, Turaif and Jubail, where it is headquartered.
“We have an extensive reach and an ability to service our clients effectively and efficiently. We also have several satellite and on-site depots specifically positioned to support the operations of some of the more remote and large-scale projects,” he says.
Byrne has been operating in the kingdom for more than 20 years and in the Middle East for over 30, during which it has built a solid network of clients across multiple industries and achieved great success.
“The main thing we do and will continue to do is focus on applying this success to our future business, listening to our clients’ needs and ensuring we remain agile to be able to flex to the demands in the market. We strive to continue to be one of the leading equipment rental suppliers in the Middle East and a one-stop solution for our clients, existing and prospective,” he adds.
Byrne is involved in almost all major projects across the kingdom in some capacity.
“In some cases, we are supplying a full turnkey solution whereas on other projects, we are supporting with selected items of equipment from our fleet, for example, power generation or temporary buildings. We are seeing a huge trend towards Neom and the northwest region, aligned with the investments being made in the region,” he says.
Alongside its extensive fleet of mechanical equipment, Byrne has been focusing on growing its non-mechanical products and services, such as welfare facilities that are modular in design and applicable to many industries including but not limited to construction, oil and gas and events.
“We supply everything from stand-alone security huts to full-scale turnkey office complex and accommodation villages, all of which we manufacture in-house, so can be easily modified and adapted to align with the required applications and environments,” he says.
To further enhance this offering and provide a full turnkey solution, Byrne has a site services division. It supports the wider application of its facilities with fresh water supply and sewage collection, pest control, security services, facilities management, housekeeping, and catering supplies.
Finger on the pulse
Commenting on the kingdom’s market, he says: “The Saudi market is going from strength to strength; it is, no doubt, one of the strongest markets in the region right now and is continuing to grow at an exponential rate. What we are witnessing is a significant increase in the demand for turnkey solutions which reduce handoff and the dependency on internal resources and thus save time and money for clients.”
According to Dodgson, there has been an increase in the number of international organisations coming into the market – some of whom Byrne has worked with in other countries.
Also, clients are looking for an increased level of support on site to ensure immediate real-time response and servicing of equipment. “This is reflective of the market where time is money and downtime of equipment during construction activities has adverse effects on overall productivity. At Byrne, we know the importance this plays on a project’s profitability so we work with our clients on building the best and most efficient operational support, and service-level agreements (SLAs) to suit their needs. Some clients will opt for 24/7 on-site operations and support, while others might want the flexibility of standby equipment. Whatever the case, we work with our clients to make sure that we are optimising their operations while providing the most cost-effective solution.”
Given the fast pace of construction projects, where time is money, Byrne can provide a bespoke on-site depot to service all of the contractors’ needs by providing immediate access to rental equipment and consumables from one convenient location to enable them to deliver an on-time and on-budget project, he says.
These on-site depots are built using Byrne’s own temporary buildings and are tailored to the contractor’s exact requirements and the company ensures that the necessary equipment is ready and available for hire, fit for purpose and tested in accordance with stringent HSE regulations.
The use of an on-site depot not only facilitates a rapid response to any site issues, it also reduces traffic to and from site, resulting in low carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the project as well as downtime waiting for deliveries of equipment, Dodgson points out.
Highlighting its capability to manufacture modular buildings, he says: “We are very proud of our inhouse manufactured modular buildings. Through years of working with our sister company Spacemaker (UAE)/Byrne Technical Services (KSA) and gaining valuable feedback from our clients and partners in the market, we have been able to establish ourselves as one of the leading suppliers of modular buildings in the Middle East. While we have a standard product and off-the-shelf solution for most applications, we have further developed this through offering more varied and tailored designs and builds for our clients, allowing them to be involved in the design process while providing the most cost-effective solution that comes with temporary rental.”
Byrne’s fleet is designed, manufactured, and certified in accordance with the highest industry standards and includes Cummins, JCB, Hyster, Toyota, Komatsu, Spacemaker (UAE)/Byrne Technical Services and many others.
Dodgson points out that the company has historically always maintained a relatively young fleet, ensuring that it keeps its products fresh and up to date with the latest technologies in the market.
Commenting on the utilisation of its rental fleet, Dodgson remarks: “We have a balanced utilisation when it comes to our product portfolio, and have managed to build up a good stock portfolio over the years that moves with the seasonal trends of equipment requirements. For example, in the summer, the demand for cooling equipment and lighting towers increases in line with the rise of night time working and the warmer climate, while in the winter we find more construction activities taking place outdoors so the demand for welfare facilities increases. We find a good balance of managing our equipment utilisation as all of these industries have seasonal activities, and we find that when one chapter and project closes another one opens.”