Whittaker design, build, supply, fit, maintain and repair components and equipment for the marine and offshore industries. Based out of Aberdeen, Whittaker set up operations in Mexico in 2009. Murray Whittaker kindly answered some questions about the company’s experience in Mexico.
When did your operations in Mexico start?
We started in Mexico in Q1 2009, opening as Whittaker Mexicana, a wholly registered Mexican company, at our current location Whittaker Mexicana SA de CV Carretera Carmen Puerto Real, Ciudad Del Carmen, Campeche 24110 Mexico.
What made you choose Mexico?
We chose Mexico as, like many international service companies, we followed our clients who had come here. We also saw that Mexico was under supported in country with many of the specialist Oil & Gas services, like pressure vessel manufacture/pipework and high integrity welding.
What are the opportunities for UK companies at your offices?
We are offering to help set up bases for international companies at our site, both industry unit space and office space if required. We also would encourage the international supply chain to set up in Mexico as we need them and their products as well as the International oil companies who are now heading to Mexico en masse.
What advice do you have for UK companies looking to set up in Mexico in the oil and gas sector?
We would suggest that learning the culture is a key part of business in Mexico, getting trusted partners and setting up as a Mexican entity (not that complicated). Being on the ground is a key step, face to face meetings are very important, also be very patient – this is the most important attribute.
Have you carried out any work with Pemex?
We have worked with PEMEX directly, we are registered on the PEMEX system, and have been audited and passed as a PEMEX contractor.
What impact will the energy reforms have on your operations? Have they already affected business?
The energy reforms have been transformational to the entire sector, we are encouraged by the changes and the arrival of our existing international client base, Mexico is the place to be!!!!!!!
We have had more interest in the last 12months than in the past 4 years, things look and feel very positive.
How does Mexico compare with Aberdeen?
We are based in Ciudad del Carmen, which is often described as the Aberdeen of Mexico. It feels very much like Aberdeen but it is clearly a lot warmer. They have a busy airport and heliport. They have an active harbour and a lot of the companies in Aberdeen are also based in Carmen. It is very safe and secure, largely due to the international community and the fact that it is a bridge linked island. The people are friendly and relaxed and there is a good supply of local skilled labour on the island and from the surrounding states.