Thuranthiran Nadarajah, the Country Manager for Sapiem Guyana has been working for 15 years with the Italian company, but he says that his work in Guyana over the past two years is a milestone in his career, simply because of the success that he foresees in the country’s future.
Saipem has been contracted by ExxonMobil Guyana for the Engineering, Procuring, Construction and Installation of the Subsea Umbilicals Risers Flowlines for the Liza Phase 1 and 2 Development projects, and has been operating in the South American country since winning the first contract in 2017.
Nadarajah has been involved in the company’s entrance in Guyana from the inception, and in a conversation with OilNOW, he shared that while the road has not been easy, he predicts that it will be worth every bump along the way.
“The road is very long. You’re going to come across some very bumpy roads, and we have been on some bumpy roads, especially there’s a lot of regulatory requirements which is not there yet but we’re working on it. Everyone is working on it,” he stated.
Enthusiastic and optimistic about the possibilities that Guyana has to offer, the Country Manager said that Guyana will be a milestone in his career. “I personally, see Guyana as something that will be a milestone in my career. Why? Because I can see where Guyana is heading in another 20 years’ time and being one of the pioneers in it…it’s exciting. Maybe everyone won’t be able to see it, but I could see it. It might take them another one, two years to realise what this impact is going to be, but I am excited for it,” he related.
The Country Manager went on to say that Guyana’s journey to a successful oil industry is a tale he shall regale his future generations with. “I have a great story for my grandchildren. I have a great story to say, Guyana’s oil industry…when it was nothing, I was there and look at Guyana now.” As a sentimental mark, and in full confidence of Guyana’s future, Mr. Nadarajah said he left a mark on one of the first subsea pipes that were laid in Guyana’s waters. “When we shifted the first pipes, I put my signature on there so there is one pipe in the bottom of the sea in Guyana with my signature on it. That’s a lifelong story that I can tell,” he disclosed.
However, his signature on a pipe is not the only mark he is looking to leave. Mr. Nadarajah said that in his succession planning, he is looking to equip young Guyanese with the skills needed to take control of the company’s operations in the country.
“We operate with around 120 to 180 Guyanese working for the project at any given time. I am training my staff to be able to take over. The first day; what I told my staff is you must be able to build yourself to take over my position. This is how I am training my staff so everyone should be able to take over,” he noted.
The Country Manager further stressed, “If I can double up in that structure, I am pretty sure I am going to be able to give to Guyana eight top engineers. And another eight as I go on…and that’s the idea of Stefano Porcari and Giorgio Martelli when they asked me to come here. ‘Go local, get local, organize the team locally and build from the bottom.” Stefano Porcari is the Chief Operating Officer of Saipem’s E&C Offshore Division and Giorgio Martelli is President & CEO of Saipem America.
Reflecting on his time and experience in Guyana over the last two years, Nadarajah said, “I am very happy, I like the people. They are very friendly, and I like the fact that they are eager to learn and I like that my team is fantastic the way they are; learning things.”