Petrocouncil continues a series of articles about large foreign oil companies in Kazakhstan and this article presents information on SICIM S.p.A.

History of the company

The Italian EPC company SICIM, founded in 1962, is a world leader in the design, procurement and construction of the oil and gas sector and diversified interests like water treatment and civil infrastructure domains. They cite their efficiency, punctuality and competitiveness as the main keys to success.

For the last 58 years, the company has laid over 13,000 kilometers of oil and gas pipelines and completed large-sized plant projects and associated infrastructure works in challenging conditions spread across the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia.

With a presence in 25 countries including countries like Kazakhstan, Iraq, Canada, Congo, Peru, Mexico, etc., SICIM and its affiliate companies employ approximately 10000 personnel and own a large fleet of own construction equipment for plant and pipelines which complement its workforce capabilities. SICIM currently features among the top international contractors (source ENR) and its financial stability ratings are at the strongest.

The Kazakhstan branch of SICIM S.P.A. has been working in the oil and gas sector of the country for over 20 years. At the moment, it has 5,500 skilled workers and more than 1,000 special machineries and equipment and specializes in construction in the oil and gas industry, including the installation of oil and gas product pipelines, technological and control equipment according to international standards. In connection with the receipt of contracts for the performance of construction and installation works in the Atyrau region, the branch “SICIM S.p.A.” Kazakhstan opened a representative office in the city of Atyrau in September 2003.

SICIM Projects in Kazakhstan

The company works with all major oil operators in Kazakhstan, and it is one of the main direct contractors for such customers as Tengizchevroil LLP in the Tengiz field, NCOC NV on the Kashagan project in the Atyrau region, Maersk Oil Kazakhstan ( Maersk Oil Kazakhstan GmbH) at the Dunga field in Mangistau Oblast and KPO BV at the Karachaganak project in the West Kazakhstan Oblast. One of the main objectives of the company is to increase the local content in all areas of the company’s activities and contribute to the development of local personnel.

SICIM has been engaged in the Tengiz Field as a construction contractor since 2003. Recently, the company built a cargo transportation route for facilities in the northeastern part of the Caspian Sea to deliver modules and other cargo for the Future Growth Project (FGP).

The cargo route includes a sea canal ending in a turnaround pond, a cargo offloading facility (COF), and an access road to transport modules connecting, among others, and a cargo storage facility (CSF) in Prorva. SICIM also completed the priority oil pipelines project for FGP in 2016-2018 and continues to be engaged in various works for FGP under TCO.

SICIM and its local joint venture, KKS-SICIM LLP have completed important projects in Kazakhstan in their recent history. In the period 2018-2020, KKS-SICIM has completed the Karachaganak Debottlenecking Project for KPO where it employed over 3000 local personnel to deliver the project in a record time despite the COVID pandemic.

The agility of the company in completing this project has been unprecedented in this sector given the current market conditions. The company is further expected to be the main general EPC contractor for the Karachaganak Expansion Project.

Under NCOC (and previously under Agip KCO), SICIM was involved in various construction works in the onshore plant including pre-commissioning and commissioning support, providing support services for pipeline inspection and repair works as well as the construction of temporary facilities for the eventual relaying project for the Kashagan pipelines that were executed by other companies. Currently, KKS-SICIM is working as the main mechanical contractor for the turnaround and maintenance projects for NCOC.

Support for Kazakhstani Content

SICIM has been at the forefront among its peers for supporting the development of Kazakhstani content. The company works with over 95% of local employees; however, the company has also ensured that the localization of resources takes place not only quantitatively but also qualitatively.

The company has made efforts to promote local talent in top positions and provided them with opportunities for growth within the company in all spheres. SICIM is the only EPC company of its size among its peers in Kazakhstan to have developed a fully independent management and leadership team strictly comprising of Kazakhstani managers and executives for all its projects in Kazakhstan. All of the important functional leaders of SICIM’s projects as well as general operations in Kazakhstan are Kazakhstani nationals.

For the development of Kazakhstani content, the SICIM S.p.A.periodically organizes job fairs in the Atyrau and West Kazakhstan regions, including recruiting qualified workers, administrative personnel, engineering personnel, as well as management personnel. SICIM remains one of the top employers in the Atyrau and WKO regions.

Over the years, SICIM has invested heavily in the Kazakhstani operations and owns and operates 3 large industrial bases in Aksai, Karabatan, and Tengiz to support its projects and reflects its stated long term commitment to the Kazakhstani market.

SICIM also engages actively in social projects in the regions where it operates namely in Atyrau and WKO. During the fight against the coronavirus, SICIM S.p.A purchased oxygen concentrator and medical equipment for the West Kazakhstan region.

In addition, the company is actively participating in improving the ecology of the region – it periodically allocates equipment for garbage collection and also participates in educational and training sessions.

SICIM S.p.A. is one of the largest taxpayers in Kazakhstan – in 2018 in the rating of the main taxpayers to the state budget, the company was in 65th place with 13.8 billion tenges.

Among the taxpayers of the oilfield services industry, the company is in 7th place with payment of 13.9 billion tenges.