Equipment made by Unisco for the Duqm Drydock  gates project

Equipment made by Unisco for the Duqm Drydock gates project

Unisco engaged in Canadian project

The company has extensive facilities, won approvals from leading firms and gained expertise that has been requisitioned by a smelter in faraway Canada

01 July 2014

Oman’s Unisco, the United Industrial Services Company, is currently engaged in supplying a large number of superstructures to Rio Tinto Alcan’s Kitimat modernisation project in British Columbia, Canada, Unisco has said.

Unisco’s role involves fabrication, assembly of components, testing and supplying 385 superstructures to the project which aims to increase the Kitimat smelter’s current production capacity by more than 48 per cent to approximately 420,000 tonnes annually.

The company is also working on a project in Oman where its scope is to engineer, fabricate and install car park structures for the Bechtel-Enka joint venture in the Muscat International Airport project.

Unisco is a joint venture between WJ Towell, Oman; Al Ghaith Holding of the UAE, ITSS of Bahrain and India’s Bhilai Engineering Group. The company has three fabrication units in Sohar, Northern Oman, covering a total area of 78,200 sq m.

It reported a 16 per cent increase in sales revenues in 2013 compared with the previous year, but the first half of 2014 was sluggish in terms of new products awarded in the market, said Krishnan Balaji, head of business development and strategic planning at Towell Engineering “However, many projects are expected to be finalised in Q3 and Q4 and we expect to meet or surpass 2013 sales,” he added.



Balaji is optimistic of strong business growth in the medium term, saying: “Many prospective and mega projects are coming up in the next three to four years in Oman in the oil and gas and metals and minerals sectors. They include the Orpic expansion, Rabab Harweek Field Improvement, BP Khazzan Gasfield Development, ferro chrome plants and Duqum Refinery where Unisco can play a major role in steel fabrication and installation.”

Balaji indicated the company has a clear-cut vision to achieve growth. “Unisco will continue to focus on maintaining its leadership position in aluminium smelter equipment. Other areas of focus include oil and gas equipment such as pressure vessels, boilers, heat exchangers and process piping to contribute towards ICV growth. Unisco will also target major infrastructure projects coming up in Oman,” he pointed out. 

The company fabricated stacks for Vale

The company fabricated stacks for Vale

Exports accounted for a substantial portion of sales, 40 per cent, in 2013 with overseas destinations being the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Canada.

The category contributing most to sales is industrial equipment comprising structures for the metals, minerals and oil and gas sectors. Next in importance is infrastructure for airports and power facilities.



Unisco had a busy 2013 supplying 721 superstructures to Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) for the Ras Al Khair aluminium smelter project in Saudi Arabia.

It also fabricated and supplied 6,000 tonnes of steel structures to Hyundai Engineering for the Musandam gas plant project in Oman. For the Emal smelter project in Abu Dhabi, Unisco fabricated and supplied 4,125 aisle removable slabs.

During the year it commenced work on the fabrication and supply of the superstuctures that Rio Tinto required for the Kitimat modernisation project in Canada.



The company has a CNC beam drilling and cutting line, robotic welding machines and CNC drill and robotic thermal coping machines. There are also CNC plate processing and profile cutting machines. Welding work involves aluminium, carbon steel, stainless steel, duplex, super duplex and Inconel and all processes such as MIG, TIG, SMAW and SAW. There are separate blasting and painting facilities. The company also has capability to perform shot blasting work at its yards and on site.

Total fabrication capacity is 4,000 tonnes per month on average. The company has capability to design, fabricate, supply and erect the following: 

• Equipment for aluminium smelters such as pot shells and superstructures

• Pressure vessels, process plant skids and filter separators, heat exchangers, process piping

• Silos, tanks, hoppers, ducts, chutes, chimneys, stacks and cyclones

• Structural steel, heavy equipment support structures, pipe supports and pipe racks

• Melting and holding furnaces.

Balaji stresses that Unisco is the only company in Oman to have built AP35, AP37 and AP 40 technology pot superstructures. The company is approved by Bechtel to serve as a quality supplier of superstructures and other equipment for aluminium smelters. It also has the approval of Petroleum Development Oman for manufacturing oil and gas equipment and industrial steel structures.

The company’s facilities have been accredited by ISO 9001:2008, ASME (U, U2, S & PP), National board (R & NB) and API (5CT, 6A, 6D & 7.1).

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