Engineering consultant RSK has been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade for its role in helping to rebuild Iraq.
The award recognised the company’s success abroad in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. However, in 2013 the company established a team in Iraq which primarily led to the honour.
RSK said that it had undertaken previous environmental clean-up operations, environmental impact assessments and geotechnical analysis on major infrastructure projects and oil and gas sites. Using this experience, it said that part of its work had been to conduct hundreds of geotechnical investigations across the Majnoon oilfield, a ‘super-giant’ oil field located 60km from the Iraqi town of Basra, and is also working on cleaning up a 4.5km2 area of Iraq’s largest oilfield, Rumaila.
The company said that the growth in demand for geo-environmental services locally had led to the setting up of the fully accredited RSK Group Iraq laboratory in Iraq Energy City, Basra in May 2014. Since then, the team on-site had grown rapidly, with an emphasis on employing both international and local talent.
RSK has also formed a partnership with the University of Basra to increase skills in geotechnical services which, it said, would prepare graduates for careers in the Iraqi oil industry. Fifty technicians have already been trained in key engineering skills and safety.
“We are deeply honoured to have been granted a Queen’s Award,” said RSK Group founder and chief executive Alan Ryder. “At a time when others were reluctant to work in the Middle East, we saw an exciting opportunity. Our long-term commitment to working in the region is bearing fruit. With recent advances in our technical capability and investment in new partnerships, we continue to see potential to achieve more.”
RSK Group director and Iraq country manager Sean Gamble added: “This award recognises the skill, dedication and integrity of our excellent team, and the contribution we are making to Iraq. We are proud of our laboratory, which is the first laboratory accredited to ISO standards in Iraq, and of what we have achieved in the region. This inspires us to continue to rise to the challenges and opportunities offered there.”
The Queen’s Awards were instituted by Royal Warrant in 1965. The award is formally conferred by a Royal representative and winners also receive an invitation to a reception hosted by The Queen at Buckingham Palace. Winners of the award in the international trade category have demonstrated that their businesses have achieved outstanding growth in overseas earnings and commercial success.