Maintenance and shutdown contractor, Prommac, has undergone something of a transformation in the past three years having grown from a R30 million turnover business in 2011 to R200 million in 2015.

The private company’s growth strategy has seen peak employee levels rise from 200 to in excess of 1,500 over the past three years fuelled not only by acquisition and expansion, but also the determination of its owner-manager team to be the very best in its field.

With an enviable safety record and a rubber stamp of approval from global clients such as Chevron and Sasol, Prommac boasts vast experience in the petrochemical, Oil & Gas, and Power sectors, and now has its eye firmly set on the mining industry as a prospective and lucrative market for its top-notch services.

Earlier this year South Africa-based Prommac acquired a Rustenburg mining company as part of its drive towards persuading the sector’s leaders that outsourcing maintenance is an efficient and productive step to take.

Mining for new business

Prommac’s Chief Executive Officer, Jason English, said: “The oil and gas industry transitioned to outsourcers many years ago as they realised it was not only cost effective, but allowed them to concentrate on the core business of making petrol.

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“We recently did a case study which showed a coal mine substantially increased its productivity and plant availability by outsourcing.

“At the start of the case study in 2012, productivity was at 28 percent and the mine was using 88 people to perform maintenance. After 2 years, a snap shot was taken and we were doing exactly the same job with 44 people and the plants availability was up to 78 percent.”

Prommac founded in 2005 offers complete solutions for plant maintenance, shutdown execution, commissioning and small project execution. 

Sweeping changes

English, who has extensive experience in Oil & Gas, joined Prommac in 2012. Since his arrival, some sweeping changes have been made including new company branding and the appointment of several high profiled key individuals including an internationally experienced shutdown specialist and a very qualified and experienced Chief Operating Officer.

In 2013, the board was restructured and Prommac won its first major contract in South Africa. The following year the Prommac Electrical and Instrumentation division was established as a 51 percent black-owned business and this was swiftly followed with a welcome shareholding investment made by CG Energy who is owned by the founders of South Africa’s leading community-based investment house, Royal Bafokeng Holdings.

Prommac’s reputation further soared in 2014 when it secured its first major international deal with global player Chevron. “The deal with Chevron was a significant milestone for us as it is one of the major players in the world and thus quite an achievement,” said English.

Success fuelled success with Johannesburg-based, integrated energy and chemical company, Sasol, awarding Prommac a five-year contract. Thus the maintenance and shut down specialist continued on its expansion trail with the acquisition of a manpower resources division and enabled its overseas growth by establishing operations in Abu Dhabi, in the Middle East.

Putting people first

Looking after its people first and foremost is evident in the time and investment Prommac has made both in its training schemes and its outstanding safety record.

“We are currently investing in building new head offices in South Africa where we will have our own training unit,” explained English. “One of the most significant things we have done is invest in state-of-the-art, online training materials, which are way ahead of what most other companies have and will assist us in creating a more skilled workforce.”

On the safety side, Prommac has in excess of 10 million lost time-free work hours and has been recognised by NOSA, a global leader in health, safety, environmental and quality risk management, as the second best performing contractor in Mpumalanga in the construction sector.

“We have received 3 consecutive special NOSCAR ratings for reaching 95 percent in our safety audits for the past successive three years,” said English.

Going nuclear

Attaining such a strong safety record has benchmarked Prommac as a contractor able to service the nuclear power industry after it was selected to carry out valve maintenance works for one of two nuclear power stations in South Africa.

“Working in the nuclear arena is really the pinnacle of the power space in terms of safety and quality regulation,” said English. “We have an outstanding safety record. As a private entity we are effective at keeping our overheads to a minimum.  Our slogan is ‘we are big enough to deliver and small enough to care’”.

Prommac is a Black Economic Empowerment employer and has established education and key persons’ trusts to support its efforts and it also supports local communities through a variety of ways including using suppliers local to its operations.

“We are involved in various sponsorships and are currently backing a young female athlete who has broken South African records and is set to run in the Olympics. We help to raise funds and have set up employee schemes where our workers get benefits from the profits of the business,” he said.

Shoulder to the wheel

English believes the company’s success has also been inspired by its owner-manager shareholders, who not only run the show but continue to work alongside employees.

“We believe in giving clients access to us 365 days of the year. If you look at the back of our business cards the number given is the CEOs, which just goes to show to what extent we will go to resolve clients’ problems,” said English.

Prommac is most certainly primed for a prosperous and rosy future as it aims to take its growth strategy further on in the years to come.

English concluded: “We are a technically-strong business with a client centric approach along with robust planning and development systems in place. We have never lost a term contract and that must say something about the overall culture and performance of our business.”

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