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Entec a one-stop shop for industry

Entec Services Managing Director Bob Weston
Entec Services Managing Director Bob Weston

Entec Services is hard to miss.

With 60 staff in the region and the company a key cog in the Taranaki energy and industrial sectors, Entec’s bright red oval logo has become a common sight emblazoned on work vehicles and overalls throughout Taranaki.

Entec provides specialist products and services for the rotating equipment, gas detection, and instrumentation and electrical fields – offering a “one-stop shop” for project build, installation, commissioning and servicing.

“We have structured the company to spread across all disciplines,” says Entec Services managing director Bob Weston. “We have a projects division that builds instrumentation and electrical systems, a services division that maintains both instrumentation and electrical systems and mechanical plant, and a gas detection division for portable and fixed point systems.

“So, for example, our gas detection team may specify and design a system for a client. We can then source and supply the equipment, use our hazardous area electrical projects team to install it, commission it using our instrumentation team, complete all the handover documentation, and then set up and carry out a long-term routine service plan.

“This means a client only has one contractor to deal with – from the build and installation, through to the commissioning and ongoing servicing, which enables us to create a long-term relationship. We get to know senior management well, understand how the client operates, and understand how to work most effectively within their health and safety systems,” Bob says.

As well as servicing and gas detection, and executing installation projects on site, Entec builds and installs switchboards, control panels, junction boxes, and mobile plant rooms across a range of industries, including oil and gas, food and beverage, dairying, mining, and chemical production.

Founded in Auckland in the early 1980s by Bob’s father David, Entec’s business was initially focused on the distributorship of the Waukesha engine, which is used for industrial applications such as power generation and gas compression and was favoured in the oil and gas industry.

With Taranaki becoming the centre of oil and gas and petrochemical production in New Zealand, Entec saw an opportunity to have a presence in the region.

“We started out with one person here, in 2001, who rented a house, and his office was his ute. He then bought some land on the outskirts of Hawera and we built a garage on that, which was our first workshop in Taranaki,” Bob says.

Entec grew to have a small workshop in Stratford, and then a second premises in New Plymouth.

In 2010, it had 15 staff – 10 in Auckland and five in Taranaki – before a busy period of acquisition, kick-started by a connection made through the Energy and Industrial Group (EIG), saw the company diversify and grow dramatically in Taranaki.

“We joined the EIG in about 2007, which is where I met the owner of a well-established instrumentation, electrical and gas detection business,” Bob says.

“When we were looking to diversify into electrical and instrumentation, his was the first door I knocked on and we acquired the business in 2010, which led to us doubling the business overnight. So that relationship from the EIG was of great value to us.

“The EIG has been very good for networking and providing market intelligence, and the capabilities and offerings around the EIG table are broad, which is a real strength of the group.”

In 2012, Entec consolidated its workshops to a single, 1800sqm projects, manufacturing, and servicing site in New Plymouth, and went on to buy two other instrumentation and electrical businesses in 2013 and 2018.

“Our strategy has been acquisition to establish a toehold and then organic growth from there,” Bob says. “When we’ve acquired businesses, we’ve acquired the staff and the skillsets, and also the customers.

“We’re very Taranaki-centric, with 60 people in Taranaki and 20 people in Auckland. Our New Plymouth staff includes rotating equipment techs, registered electricians, instrumentation technicians, and apprentices.”

Bob says despite the changing energy environment business remains buoyant.

“In my view, the industry here is busier now than it has been since 2013 and the work programme ahead looks really encouraging. Projects take a long time to evolve so the things being built now were conceived several years ago, and there is a lot of investment occurring from big industry in Taranaki.”

He says there are opportunities for Entec in emerging new energy solutions, such as hydrogen.

“Like no other business, we fit that application because hydrogen is gas that needs compression, it needs gas detection, and it needs hazardous area instrumentation and electrical. So if, and when, New Zealand migrates from hydrocarbon-based gas to hydrogen we will still be very much alive servicing that industry.”

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