US firm Epic Piping to open Abu Dhabi plant

Epic Piping, a US firm that makes products mainly for the oil and chemicals industry, plans to open a large plant in Abu Dhabi, its first outside North America.

The Abu Dhabi facility will serve the Middle East region and, at 400,000 square feet, will be the company’s largest single facility, according to a local report in Epic’s homebase in southern Louisiana.

Epic Piping was created only last spring, just as oil prices were collapsing, with the backing of a private equity consortium led by Bernhard Capital Partners, a firm started by Jim Berhnard, the founder of the energy services conglomerate The Shaw Group, which was sold to CB&I in 2013.

The new Abu Dhabi plant will have production capacity of about 6,000 spools used for steel cabling a month, which will bring Epic’s total production to 20,000 spools from plant space that will exceed 1 million sq ft.

The company’s other plants are located at Livingston and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, San Marcos, Texas and a joint venture plant – Falcon Fabricators and Modular Builders – in Canada.

The company did not say what the investment would be in the Abu Dhabi plant nor how many jobs would be created, but the Texas facility that has the same capacity cost about US$45 million and employed about 300 when it opened last October.

“This [Abu Dhabi] expansion allows us to better meet our clients’ growing global needs by increasing our production capabilities and enabling us to take on larger projects,” said Remi Bonnecaze, Epic’s international president, according to Louisiana’s Baton Rouge Business Report.

The Abu Dhabi business will be managed by Mazen Azizieh, currently the Dubai-based vice president of international operations at Epic. Mr Azizieh previously was an executive of CB&I.

Mr Bernhard, via Bernhard Capital Partners, has been building up another energy services conglomerate in the past three years via investments in companies such as Epic Piping, Brown and Root (which absorbed most of KBR, while another part of KBR formed Epic’s Canadian joint venture), and ATC Group Services.

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