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Tuesday, 21 Nov 2017

FT.com Company Profile : Niche Player Bridges Continents

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Company profile: niche player bridges continents
By Kerin Hope | Published: November 9 2009

From small beginnings as a stand-in for US companies in the Middle East, a Nicosia-based systems integrator for the oil, gas and metals industry is acquiring a global reach.

Symeon Kassianides, a Greek Cypriot chemical engineer trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Imperial College, London, launched Hyperion Systems Engineering in the aftermath of the first Gulf War.  Hyperion moved into a niche created by US companies’ unwillingness to send experts to the region because of a perceived security risk.

“They looked for alternatives and we were there,” Mr Kassianides says.

After a decade of working alongside AspenTech of the US, Hyperion took off on its own in 2005. Turnover has since doubled to €20m. Hyperion has set up subsidiaries in the UK, Russia, Greece, Saudi Arabia, India, China and Singapore. It maintains onsite project teams in the US and Kuwait, and has sales offices in Brazil, South Africa and Australia.

“We’re independent in that we can deliver solutions to customers regardless of hardware or software constraints,” Mr Kassianides says. “We work in the mode that suits the customer rather than imposing the working practices of vendors.”

But customers also benefit from partner relationships that give Hyperion access to selected technologies from big suppliers such as AspenTech, Invensys and Thermo Scientific, he says.

The company’s focus is on emerging markets with strong greenfield investment or large-scale modernisation and extensions of existing processing plants.
It is also carrying out several different projects for large international players in processing industries. Hyperion expects to complete in December its involvement in the largest supply chain project ever attempted in the Middle East: integrating three large refineries controlled by the Kuwait National Petroleum company into one hub for production, supply and distribution.

Its subsidiary, Broner Metals, is systems integrator for a $3.7bn carbon and stainless steel processing plant being built by ThyssenKrupp, the German steel maker, in Mobile, Alabama. The project covers strategic and production planning, production scheduling, logistics, real-time production and quality tracking and reporting.

Another complex project, undertaken for Royal Dutch Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil group, involves setting up one of the largest plant simulators worldwide. Hyperion will deliver four simulators on a turnkey basis for a petrochemical project under construction in Singapore.

However, the global slowdown has affected business this year, especially in the metals sector, Mr Kassianides says.  Russia, where Hyperion has carried out a series of projects for gas and oil operators, including Gazprom and Lukoil, has been badly hit but “we’re starting to see things moving again,” he says.

Looking ahead, Hyperion wants to become “a trusted ally rather than simply a solution provider”. That would allow it to help clients choose and implement the right technology. “We realise that we have to get bigger because we’re being pushed by the market to deliver larger projects, “Mr Kassianides says. One important step will be to set up a US subsidiary, perhaps next year. But Cyprus will remain the company’s headquarters for its good communications and infrastructure, he says – and because of its location: “You can get to Europe easily, but it’s only two and a half hours to Kuwait.“

FT.com : Hyperion Company Profile - Niche Player Bridges Continents
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