Entering the growth path

The Process Engineering Business Line was created at Bilfinger Tebodin in June 2018 as a self-sufficient line in the company's diverse organisation. The current set-up provides complete service for investors, starting with consultancy in the early phases of projects, through engineering in both civil aspects and technology that drives a client's business. Finally, when the investment is defined and the client decides to go ahead with the actual construction, we provide construction management services, converting plans into reality. Making process technology a prominent element of our business, Bilfinger Tebodin got closer to our industrial partners, speaking the same language and understanding their daily challenges.

In January 2019, I had the pleasure and privilege of being appointed as a leader of Process Engineering in Poland, with the task of making it a strong business unit there with its own project pipeline, necessary workforce, and the competencies matching the current market demand.

Dynamic technology landscape creates new opportunities

Our primary service is to be an integrator of proprietary technology owned by the clients or solutions from licensers on the market. Our expertise lies in optimising the overall plant set-up, seamlessly integrating various technical solutions and managing interfaces to ensure no part of the plant is left unplanned or forgotten.

One of the projects we executed in 2020 was an excellent example of this type of service. Our client owns the production technology of components for hygienic products. Their existing plant operates in Asia, providing a reference for investment in Poland. However, due to differences in design standards and practice, regulatory regime, environmental conditions, and latest technology development, our task was to prepare the design documentation reflecting the new set of constraints. We started from careful digitisation of the existing plant, restoring the original documentation, selecting new equipment and instrumentation based on local conditions and availability, up to fitting the updated set-up in a building. Our team will proceed with contracting the delivery service and starting execution.

Another service results from the pressure put on business to limit the environmental impact. It is constantly growing, creating opportunities we already used last year in the relatively conventional project. We used our gas treatment competencies to design an installation for limiting hydrochloric acid vapour emissions from the production process. Here the critical difficulty was in the challenging operating conditions for equipment with the very corrosive medium. Selecting the right supplier for the equipment on the local market was not trivial. Using our expertise and smart design choices, we successfully delivered results achieving client's high satisfaction.

There is a need to electrify more and more industry branches, which traditionally utilised fossil fuels, creates new demand for our service. Our industrial clients being a part of the e-mobility value chain, are placing their Li-Ion batteries and components production facilities in Poland. Thanks to contracts we won recently and back in 2020, we are gaining experience in those new areas and will have a strong position in similar ventures in the future.

An exceptional opportunity is green hydrogen economy, which is very high on the European and national priority list in the current recovery plans. We already executed the first assignment for a feasibility study at the end of 2020 and hope for continuation this year. Other clients come to us with similar requests, making this topic very attractive and worth investing in.

Entering the growth path

Taking up those new challenges led to significant growth of the team. We started in 2019 with a headcount of around 10 full-time employees in Poland, and our group grew to 20 colleagues in early 2021. I expect to increase our workforce even more in the coming months in both design capacity and project management force. The team is structured around three design disciplines: process technology, mechanical & piping, and instrumentation & control.

Such dynamic growth also calls for increased management attention. Therefore, I am now searching for a leader who would take responsibility for further developing the design team. It needs to be someone willing to engage in projects' daily execution, assure a high-quality level of work, be involved in the standardisation of internal design procedures, connect with the team. Most importantly, this person should follow servant leadership principles, empowering the teammates to do great things in the future, putting the needs of employees first and helping people develop and perform as highly as possible since our team is our most important asset.

Many possibilities are opening on the market for companies offering unique services at high quality and efficiency. I feel a tremendous responsibility to seize these opportunities and push our team into new territory, but nothing is impossible with the right people by your side.

Аuthor: Radoslaw Gnutek