KTL Global Ltd.'s subsidiary KTL Offshore Pte Ltd., a Singapore-headquartered rigging equipment company serving the oil and gas industry, plans to hire more staff for its new manufacturing facility in Tanjung Langsat, Johor, Malaysia this year, a company executive said during a media briefing Tuesday.
"We expect to increase our manpower from 18 to 50 people by the end of 2015 as we move more and more facilities across (from Singapore) to Malaysia," according to Mark Beretta, chief operating officer and executive director at KTL Global.
KTL Offshore is a manufacturer of premium steel wire rope, synthetic rope and subsea rigging equipment to the oil and gas industry, with the company also providing related technical services.
The company's Tanjung Langsat operations, spread over 217,800 square feet of land, will be the largest dedicated facility in Malaysia, with a focus on the manufacture of steel wire rope slings and provide storage for rigging gears.
"(The Malaysian facility) will really helps us to reduce our operational costs. That's the reason why we do it," Beretta explained.
KTL Offshore's expects to complete relocation of its steel rope slings and rigging production to its Tanjung Langsat facility by June. The relocation to Malaysia came about as the firm tried to deal with high labor costs, government levies and utility charges as well as a shortage of workers in Singapore.
Still, KTL Offshore is aware of the opportunities in Malaysia's oil and gas sector.
"Of course, we are targeting the Malaysian oil and gas industry ... (which is) a growing industry ... (with) a need to increase oil and gas production," Beretta added.
Singapore, the group's headquarter, will continue to manufacture synthetic slings, lifting slings and mooring rope. The local facility will also handle the more high-tech development and serve as the servicing hub as most customers sent their vessels there. However, the relocation of part of its operations to Malaysia will result in a reduction of headcount over the next two years.
Looking ahead, KTL Offshore expects business opportunities in its segment to exist despite the current downtrend in oil prices, which had resulted in reduction in capital expenditure by several oil and gas companies.
"There is an increase in the market for specialized and strong equipment because ... the platforms they are lifting are heavier. There are fewer and fewer companies that can supply those kind of equipment," Beretta commented.
"The sea bed is becoming increasing crowded .... there are certain intricacies ... in handling the equipment above this crowded sea bed. This also give us opportunities for some special products that we can offer," he said.
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