The launch of Wood on 9 October 2017 represented a significant occasion for all who have been part of the legacy organisations.
Both Wood Group and Amec Foster Wheeler have been evolving for a number of years. For Wood Group, this journey gained momentum in 2015 following the decision to restructure the company around its service offering in July 2016. Amec’s acquisition of Foster Wheeler in November 2014 and subsequent transformation programme were key stages in Amec Foster Wheeler’s development.
The need for the Wood Group’s fundamental change was brought into sharp focus with the deteriorating market conditions within the oil and gas sector that started in 2014. The services industry has been forced to respond to greatly reduced levels of activity in some of the most mature basins, and ways to reduce volatility caused by commodity price fluctuations have come into focus.
In March 2017, the Wood Group approached Amec Foster Wheeler to combine the two world-class organisations. “It was an opportunity to execute a broader strategy by greatly increasing the company’s exposure to non-oil and gas end markets and adding new capabilities,” says Martin Smith, Senior Vice-President: Mining & Minerals, EMEA region and country manager for Wood South Africa.
“For Amec Foster Wheeler, it was the opportunity to increase its size and scale in a tough market. The possibilities of creating something new that is more competitive and compelling than either legacy organisation alone was what led to the decision to form Wood from the combination of both companies.”
In South Africa, the new entity will see the legacy MDM Engineering and Amec GRD, already combined in 2016 under the Amec Foster Wheeler banner, grow from strength to strength with support and access to high value technical expertise – specifically in automation and control and digital solutions which can be applied to mines of the future.
Wood has the capability to deliver projects from concept to closure in a broad range of commodities, to support some of the most logistical and technically challenging mining projects in the world. The business has many global offices with main execution centres in Vancouver, Santiago, Johannesburg and Perth, providing front-end geology, process and environmental design through conceptual and detail design, project management, construction, operations and mine closure.
In the EMEA region, Mining & Minerals are led from the Johannesburg office. Following on from the Husab uranium project in Namibia, the office is now getting ready to start the execution of another uranium project, Berkeley’s Salamanca, in Spain.
Gold and diamonds are two other commodities that feature heavily in Wood’s Africa portfolio with the recently completed Petra Diamonds Cullinan project (plant expansion and upgrade) in South Africa and the Tasiast Phase 2 project (EPCM) for Kinross Gold in Mauritania.
Although the commodity market remains under pressure, some signs of recovery are noticeable. Mining & Minerals, under the new Wood brand, intends to increase market share in 2018 onwards and expand its capabilities with global support and skills.
By harnessing the “power of three” – being the inherent strength of the Wood Group, Amec and Foster Wheeler – Wood aims to be the new global leader in technical, engineering and project services, operating in more than 60 countries, with a revenue of over US$11 billion and over 160 years’ experience. In Africa, Mining & Minerals will continue through its unique “fit-for-client” approach to service both larger and smaller clients.