After earning his Diploma in Chemical Engineering, Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and attaining a degree (Hons) specializing in Marine and Offshore from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Vin Bala has been actively working in the offshore construction sector for the last 13 years. He has since served a variety of roles, such as a field engineer at Caldive and Kreuz Subsea, as well as project and package engineer at EMAS AMC. Working his way up, he is now the Regional Project Manager at InterMoor APAC, responsible for the acquisition and execution of various renowned large scale international projects and the management of project teams across the APAC regional offices.
- What is your role at InterMoor?
I take a lead role in developing the company’s capabilities and resources to sustainably position the company as a recognized project contractor, Management of the Project teams and accountable for the overall performance and profitability of all regional projects. At the same time, I hone the talents of the younger engineers and coach them both onshore and offshore through the day to day work, T&I project work, mobilization operation and offshore execution. I am also part of the management team sharing the load on a corporate level.
- What does your group do?
Our Projects team work on all phases throughout a project, right from the tendering stage through to the preparation of PMT documents and installation engineering onshore, all the way to mobilization and offshore execution. The types of projects taken on would include FPSO transportation and installation, full mooring system replacement, pre-set mooring installation, FSOU upgrade and relocation, pre-set engineering and installation, as well as decommissioning and SURF Jobs
To handle such arduous tasks, our team is made up of engineers with strong background knowledge and experiences in their various fields of work such as naval architects, project engineers, QHSE, tendering and project controls. With our engineers’ high level of offshore and project experiences, they are able to bring their valuable insights into our project expertise.
- What is your most interesting project so far?
One of the most interesting projects I have been involved in so far would be a field development project in Russia, Arkutun-Dagi. Just the massive scale and size of the project proved to be a very exciting challenge. It is by far the world largest topside installed of 48,000 tons with the gravity base structure weighing 110,000 ton and hence every lift on the job was a heavy lift. It involved a lot of planning, engineering and execution work during the very complex and intricate installation process. We also had to do saturation diving in very shallow waters. There were also contingencies to consider, given the harsh weather conditions. Proper planning was required to plan a critical path in ensuring the project could be completed within the time schedule. It was tough, but extremely satisfying when the project was completed impeccably, and all our hard work paid off.
- How do you ensure each project is successful?
Every project comes with its own unique set of challenges, be it technicalities or the type of management it requires. There are no projects without at least a few minor hiccups. Problems may arise when working along with client delays or handling specific deliverables. At trying times, I always work with this principle of the 4Ps in mind. Poor Planning = Poor Performance. I strongly believe that planning ahead provides you with a proper structure and flow to abide to and fall back on. With good planning, I can safely say that key milestones and deliverables of a project can be delivered on task and on time.
- What do you like the most at InterMoor?
Unlike the other larger offshore companies, we work with a smaller team here in InterMoor APAC. Due to this, everyone multitasks and are knowledgeable in more than one aspect of the job. We wear many hats, sometimes all at once. For example, we could be doing analysis and engineering work at one time, and be sent off for offshore work the next. This dynamic and vibrant aspect of the job ensures that nothing is routine. We face different challenges each day and learn to adjust and adapt accordingly. It keeps us on our toes. Every day is a surprise and it never gets boring! We work hard to learn and help one another along the way, and have thus built a strong team of engineers to cater to every client’s unique needs. Although our work is very diverse, we all share and work towards the one main end goal in our minds, the successful execution of every project.