Multidisciplinary firm Hatch redefines "total solutions" when it comes to providing technical and strategic services to the mining, metallurgical, power, oil and gas and infrastructure industries. From consulting to information technology, engineering, process development, and project and construction management, Hatch-member companies bring 80 years of experience to more than 150 countries.
Hatch is recognised for its capabilities in all aspects of engineering - feasibility and design, from first principles to executing a project through its entire life cycle in any location. "There is no construction challenge for which a Hatch engineer cannot design and build a solution," says Joe Lombard, Hatch global managing director, light metals. "Our clients pull us into many exciting environments, driving us to remain an innovative company."
Hatch's presence on the mainland moved to a new level when the company received several qualification licences to deliver engineering services to the country's metallurgical industry. The licences give Hatch the same status as other design institutes in the country and will enable the company to deliver a broad range of engineering, technical and equipment supply services.
The company's performance is reflected in clients' lower operating costs, more efficient utilisation of capital assets, higher standards for safety, environmental responsibility and risk management, faster start-ups and continuous performance improvements. This has made Hatch a trusted partner of key industry players worldwide, handling more than HK$274 billion worth of programmes and projects.
Hatch has projects under way for 15 of the world's largest metals companies, including Vale, BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Rio Tinto. Its major global activities include the Gorgon liquefied natural gas project in Australia, uranium and gold studies in Russia, and the Transnet rail and port infrastructure programme in South Africa.
"We built the whole upgrade of all the ports and industrial rail facilities in South Africa over the last five years. In Australia, we're heavily involved in gateway logistics for coal export terminals that are being built there," Lombard says. "This is the kind of one-stop-shop services we want to bring to emerging markets such as China."
Key mainland players have taken note of Hatch's innovative spirit and its keen focus on project success as a result of globally acquired expertise and in-house systems and technologies. Qinghai Salt Lake Group Industrial Company (QSLIC), Chalco, Galaxy Resources, Zhongcai Petroleum, China Non-ferrous Metals Mining, POSCO-China and Angang Steel are among Hatch's anchor clients.
With cumulative experience on the mainland exceeding 20 years, Hatch has aligned its long-term growth strategy with its clients and the country's 12th five-year development plan. It is investing in its local workforce to ensure that the mainland becomes a strong Hatch hub, especially as it plays an increasing role as the company's major procurement centre.
Hatch participated in two key projects on the mainland last year. QSLIC has commissioned Hatch to provide engineering, equipment custom design and project implementation support for a greenfield magnesium smelter in Golmud, Qinghai. The magnesium smelter will be the world's largest, with an annual production capacity of 100,000 tonnes.
Another high-impact project is Galaxy Resources' Jiangsu lithium carbonate plant, where Hatch provides full engineering, procurement and construction management services. It will produce 17,000 tonnes of electric vehicle-grade lithium carbonate annually, making it China's largest and the world's only significant supplier ready to meet the growing demand for smaller, higher-power and energy-density electric vehicle batteries.
Crucial to strengthening Hatch's Chinese presence is creating a solid local foundation through relationships. The company works closely with CISDI Engineering, the State Administration of Metallurgical Industry and critical component and large module suppliers to help them enhance their design and detail engineering expertise.
Hatch is also exploring opportunities in local oil sands development, and is working with Zhongcai Petroleum using Hatch's patented N-Solv technology, which uses 90 per cent less energy than other oil recovery techniques. It looks forward to providing the technology to more Chinese companies, especially amid increasing environmental and energy concerns, which are highlighted in China's 12th five-year plan.
"We are drawing up our own Hatch China five-year plan to align our strategies with the country's development and bring value where we can," Lombard says. "We also want to help Chinese companies venture into countries where we are present, leveraging our reach through our 65 offices and more than 11,000 employees worldwide. The exciting part is when some of our clients are willing to push the limits - and that's what we like."