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Synergy determined to excel under Petronas VDP
Published on: Friday, August 11, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: Firm Synergy Sdn Bhd is determined to excel and develop its full potential as a service provider for the oil and gas industry following its appointment under the Petronas Vendor Development Programme (VDP) in November 2014.

"We have eight years to prove ourselves," its Managing Director Rudy Lawrence Sipayang said.

"By the time we graduate from the programme in 2022, we envision that Firm Synergy would have carved a niche for ourselves in the industry."

The VDP is a programme implemented by Petronas to develop capable, competitive and resilient Bumiputera business outfits in the oil-and-gas-related manufacturing and technical services sector.

This aim is to help small and medium enterprises progress from base work scopes to more complex ones, and eventually undertake specialised scopes, as well as have the capacity to expand beyond Sabah into other regions and other service sectors.

Firm Synergy was appointed under the programme to provide a specific scope, namely conditioned-based monitoring (CBM) services for Petronas and its petroleum arrangement contractors (PACs) in Sabah and Labuan.

Its clientele includes Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd, Shell, Murphy, and Repsol.

CBM deals with monitoring the actual condition of plants, assets and their components to determine whether maintenance is required. "In summary, we are 'doctors' in maintenance. CBM deals with proactive and predictive maintenance; we find fault in a component before failure happens and recommend the kind of maintenance that needs to be done," said Rudy, the 36-year-old entrepreneur from Penampang.

He described the experience so far under the Petronas VDP as priceless. "I would say we've been performing quite well," he said. "We scored an 'A' rating in our first year and continued to achieve that rating in the following years."

Looking back, Rudy said he developed an interest in all things mechanical since he was a child.

"I liked to fix things, and that passion has remained with me till today; I would fix all kinds of stuff—broken refrigerators, machines, and things around the house."

Later on while studying Mechanical Engineering at Universiti Teknologi Mara in Shah Alam, Selangor, Rudy had the opportunity to visit Petronas' operations in Kerteh, Terengganu. He recalled being overwhelmed with amazement upon seeing the facilities there.

"It was mesmerising. There was a whole ecosystem of plants and supporting services there; and I said to myself at that time, this is what I want to go into. I want to contribute to the oil and gas development in Sabah and the whole country."

Firm Synergy was incorporated in Kota Kinabalu on 2 June 2008, and has been providing industrial equipment supply and services for the oil and gas as well as general industries. "I started the company with two employees – myself, and an account personnel. Since then, our staff strength has grown to 35 currently.

We are still small but our hearts are big."

Prior to its appointment under the Petronas VDP, Firm Synergy had provided a number of services to Petronas and its subsidiaries. In 2011 it received the Outstanding Vendor Award from Petronas Carigali.

Firm Synergy also has experience in civil and structural works such as in office renovation, mechanical and electrical engineering, site preparation, building maintenance, onshore and offshore construction and fabrication works as well as supply of safety equipment and other products.

Finding Sabahans skilled in CBM was among the challenges faced by the company. He said, "At the time when we were first appointed under the VDP, the number of Sabahans who were experts in this field was almost none.

We had to train many of them through formal and informal coaching, and attachments at plants for them to gain experience," he added.

Thanks to these efforts, there are now many Sabahans who are certified and have successfully performed CBM tasks at Petronas terminals and platforms as well as at facilities operated by other PACs.

He described the appointment under the VDP as the company's key achievement so far.

"We are thankful to Petronas for giving us this opportunity. Being appointed under the VDP is an honour and a responsibility which we cannot take lightly. We must strive to be the best and grow to be internationally competitive."

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