KGAL under new ownership

6 June 2016

Whessoe Sdn Bhd (WSB) of Malaysia has acquired consulting engineers KGAL in the UK-based company's 25th anniversary year.

This acquisition - which will see KGAL work autonomously as engineering consultants - is expected to provide a platform from which to launch the next phase in the company's growth. It in a statement, it said it will continue with strategic additions of complimentary expertise in the fields of large moving structures, water control and hydropower.

With origins in the North of England stretching back over 200 years, WSB has become one of the largest, privately owned engineering and construction companies in SE Asia, Asia Pacific and Africa . Originally part of a UK group of companies, predominantly involved in the Oil & Gas, LNG and nuclear industries, WSB was established as a completely separate company in Malaysia and the Philippines in 1999 (with no connection to Whessoe Engineering Ltd in the UK). Operating from its Head Office in Malaysia, WSB is an EPC Contractor for hydro-mechanical equipment, supported by KGAL for design work.

With experience in international construction contracting, WSB employs its own workforce and, in addition to its permanent fabrication facilities in Malaysia, the Philippines and Lao PDR, it presently has four fully-equipped mobile workshops operating on construction sites in remote and hazardous locations where road transportation is both difficult and expensive. It has recently invested in a steel fabrication and machine shop on the outskirts of Vientiane in Lao PDR. This workshop is capable of producing all manner of hydraulic steel structures including gates, stoplogs, trashracks, penstocks, steel tunnel linings, bifurcations, spiral casings and draft tubes for hydroelectric power projects.

The two companies have recently collaborated on the Xayaburi hydroelectric project in Lao PDR. Together, WSB and KGAL have designed, built and installed some of the largest spillway gates in the world and continue to work towards completion of what has been a very successful project for both companies, paving the way for the successful acquisition of KGAL.

Having considered a number of options, the company decided to accept the WSB proposal since it offered the unique opportunity of a new owner that introduces no conflict of interests or services to existing clients and partners; WSB does not offer any consulting services, it does not operate within the UK and it is currently the only engineering construction company that KGAL supports in SE Asia.

Operating as a division of WSB, KGAL will offer feasibility studies, design and project management services to prospective hydropower project developers. Together, WSB and KGAL offer a design-and-build package for the complete project (including civils, hydro mechanical and electro mechanical equipment) up to around 30MW, along with complete inspection/condition assessment services for existing hydropower plant and gates of any size and scale.

"The acquisition of KGAL was strategic to the development of Whessoe's presence in the hydro market," commented WSB Managing Director, John Tate." It substantially enhances our design and project management capabilities and will provide a more balanced EPC contracting capability. In addition to benefiting from Asian offices, this new partnership will facilitate a firm base for KGAL to be marketed as "water to wire" consulting engineers in this part of the world."

KGAL's Regional Managing Director, Dave Griffiths, welcomed the new partnership: "As a UK SME it is difficult to conduct a sustained marketing effort in an international marketplace. Having already broken the mould and successfully delivered substantial design services on the Xayaburi Project, we are excited by the opportunities now presented to us from an established SE Asian Client network. We remain committed to providing the same level of service and personal attention to our clients as we look forward to the next 25 years."

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