Combined strength powers EIG
Strength in numbers, collaboration, and the support of like-minded peers are helping a group of energy and industry-related companies navigate challenging times in the energy sector.
The Energy and Industrial Group (EIG) is a multi-disciplined group of New Zealand companies who provide a range of technical specialist and support services to the energy and industrial sectors.
Established by regional development agency Venture Taranaki in 2003, it was set up to increase the profile of Taranaki companies operating in New Zealand’s oil and gas sector through collaborative marketing, business development and operational solutions.
Originally called Oil and Gas Specialist Technologies, it has since changed its name and widened its focus to include other types of energy, such as geothermal, wind, hydro, and wave, and industrial sectors, including dairy, infrastructure, transport and water.
Having started out with three companies at the table, there are now 20 EIG members, with the group using the power of many to advocate for and promote their businesses at trade shows, conferences and expos across New Zealand. The EIG has even attended events in Perth and Brisbane in the past.
EIG chair Brian Crockett, who is Taranaki branch manager of pipe, valve and fitting products and services company MRC Global, says the group’s strength lies in the ability to network, share ideas and knowledge, and build relationships that often lead to securing work.
“We meet monthly where there is an open forum to discuss business opportunities around the region and beyond,” he says.
“We like to stick closely as a group and advocate for each other – it’s strength in numbers. Our members have a great range of skills that are recognised nationally, including extremely high levels of health and safety, so we knit nicely together and complement each other.”
These attributes have become increasingly important following the Government’s announcement in April last year that no new offshore oil and gas exploration permits would be issued as it targets a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.
“It was a kick in the guts, and the decision hurt some of our businesses,” Brian says. “But the fact we had already changed our focus and name has meant we have formed relationships across a more diverse range of energy and industrial sectors.”
EIG has also been proactive in being informed about the changes to the energy sector. It has had a substantial contribution to the Taranaki 2050 Roadmap – the region’s vision for the shape of Taranaki in a low-emissions environment – with members attending workshops and adding their thoughts during the collaborative design process.
“There is a lot going in Taranaki in terms of changing to renewable energy and it’s important we as a group stay informed and involved,” says EIG deputy chair Guy Heaysman, managing director of Engineering Control Limited (ECL), which provides open systems integration services to heavy industry.
“Venture Taranaki has been great introducing the EIG to people who operate at that governance and regulatory level, so our members have been able to be well-informed.”
Guy says the EIG is confident of being successful and sustainable in a low-emissions environment.
“Within the group there’s not really anything we can’t do – other than maybe drill a hole in the ground,” he laughs. “As we have grown we’ve brought in other expertise and all the companies are good companies. We form strong relationships and use others within the group for work almost by default, so we’re positive about the future.
“If New Zealand is to continue to be energy self-sufficient, while trying to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, the EIG demonstrates that collaboration and the sharing of resources between companies will be vital to meet this goal.”
The group will have a display stand at the Water New Zealand Conference and Expo, in Hamilton on 17-20 September, and attend the annual Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards at the end of August.
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How can we help
For more information on how the Energy and Industrial Group members can help you, or if you would like more information on becoming a member of the Energy and Industrial Group, please contact the manager using the below contact details.