A new power offering from GCC market leader

Byrne Equipment Rental are adding a complete tower power vertical to their extensive equipment hire business

Read this article to learn:

  • About Byrne Rental’s pedigree and footprint in the GCC region
  • How their new complete power solution will work
  • How the tower power business fits into Byrne’s wider organisation
  • The importance of power for network resilience in the GCC region
  • Developments in Byrne’s ownership structure and how this will help them grow

Having operated across the GCC for almost 30 years, Byrne Equipment Rental understand the regions climate issues and ensure their extensive fleet of equipment can support their client’s requirements in the Oil & Gas, Medical and Telecommunication’s sector. 

After identifying an opportunity to leverage their skills and capital to work more closely with mobile network operators in the region, they’ve spent the last 18 months developing an OPEX-led, complete tower power solution which will dramatically simplify a problem which has caused GCC tower owners a headache for many years. TowerXchange caught up with Steve Caygill, Regional General Manager and one of the experts spearheading the new model, to find out more about Byrne Equipment Rental’s new offering. 

TowerXchange: Please introduce Byrne Rental, your history and footprint.

Steve Caygill, Regional General Manager, Byrne Equipment Rental:

Byrne Equipment Rental was established in the early 90s and for almost 30 years we have evolved to having 19 offices and depots across the GCC region. We have formed the ‘Byrne Group’ of companies which includes our traditional rental business alongside other entities we own including Spacemaker (UAE) and Byrne Technical Service (KSA), which manufactures high quality temporary and permanent structures; Byrne Gulf Oilfield Rental Solutions, which is our main operation in oil and gas; Yas Petroleum, our fuel management and distribution service in the UAE and our most recent launch; Byrne Medical Equipment Rental, offering operating lease options for specialist equipment to the medical sector. All in all, we have about 1,500 people working across our operations & 10,000 assets in our rental and lease fleets. 

TowerXchange: You work across multiple industries. Can you tell us about your work in telecoms infrastructure and how important the sector is to your larger organisation?

Steve Caygill, Regional General Manager, Byrne Equipment Rental:

Over the last 18 months we’ve been trialling a new product in the market by working with mobile network operators to find out where they have issues powering their tower assets in both standard and remote locations. There are a lot of mobile network operators looking to reduce CAPEX and replace with an OPEX option. The challenge is in maximising the useful life of power assets – many tower owners aren’t quite getting the mix right in the form of battery type and rectifier and the amalgamation of the two, which means their equipment isn’t realising its full life potential and the additional OPEX needed to manage them is becoming costly, particularly for a non-core element of their business. 

Power generation is over 40% of our Capital Investment profile which amounts to 488,000Kva of managed power in our fleet. Over the last 18 months we’ve been building our proof of concept, integrating world class products to create a single hybrid product for the market, with specialised lead crystal batteries, bespoke rectifiers coupled with a 1,000-hour service interval engine which requires less maintenance. We underpin this with a dedicated management system to get the most out of the solution. We are tailoring this to the market, to provide a single source for mobile network operators to reduce their operating overheads, remove capex and de-risk their business with a single source product which we own, operate and manage. This hybrid product reduces fuel consumption by up to 75%, we marry this product with the fuel delivery service which we currently offer in the UAE and hope to develop across the GCC countries where we are represented, and it’s a very compelling offering. 

Our plan is to launch the solution at TowerXchange Meetup MENA, where we can demonstrate the value of the solution to tower owners across the region and beyond. 

TowerXchange: Can you talk us through the model for your new solution?  

Steve Caygill, Regional General Manager, Byrne Equipment Rental:

We have no interest in owning towers at this juncture, but the power is our fundamental aim as we can finance and manage that as a core efficiency. We don’t want to tread on the  core business of our customers, we want to power their asset and take away operational risk. We have a 20 unit trial pending in the GCC alongside significant interest in the UAE, and certain MNOs are holding off on tender releases until we can get this product to market. We’ve tested this solution in isolation and as a unified product: it works in this climate and we’re confident we can launch at TowerXchange MENA with a strong commitment. We think this will become the ‘new normal’ for the telco market. 

TowerXchange: Tell us about how this fits into your existing business? 

Steve Caygill, Regional General Manager, Byrne Equipment Rental:

This is an expansion of what we already do. We are a plant generalist, we own and rent assets, provide a one stop solution to our clients, and we can provide anything from a portaloo to operating accommodation O&G camps offshore. This managed power solution is effectively an extension of what we’re already doing, just with a new product vertical already complementing our core functionality. 

TowerXchange: Resilience is becoming increasingly key for telecoms networks across the world. What do you see as the main threats to uptime in MENA, and how can this be combatted? 

Steve Caygill, Regional General Manager, Byrne Equipment Rental:

It’s a collection of everything. Mobile network operators find themselves executing elements which are not in their core focus. It’s a core focus for us, and the challenge is acquiring and depreciating assets not delivering full useful life. They must be suited for the GCC market where you have a lot of Heat/Humidity & dust, of which have a massive impact on how well rectifiers perform, which knocks on to battery life, meaning assets are carrying cost and overhead beyond useful life. We see this solution as taking away all that headache and hassle. We’re offering a fixed fee, which is a big “risk off” position for our clients but we are very confident of what we have developed, we’ve sourced key supply change partners from Europe and Asia to ensure we are offering the very best solution. 

TowerXchange: How do you differentiate yourselves from other ESCOs entering the MENA region? 

Steve Caygill, Regional General Manager, Byrne Equipment Rental:

They’re new to the region and we’ve been here for almost 30 years. We have a 19 office footprint and 1,500 staff, so we know the market and the risk profile. We are an established brand with over 10,000 assets supporting clients in the market. We’ve built up a reputation for quality and reliability, and if we are willing to put our name behind a certain product, it’s our reputation on the line, so we know we must always deliver quality. 

TowerXchange: Can you tell us more about your plans for the future and where you see the business going? 

Steve Caygill, Regional General Manager, Byrne Equipment Rental:

We recently had a restructure in our ownership, with new investors Citic Pacific and Vpower joining Itqan as our shareholders. Citic Pacific are a HKD 9trn company, listed in Hong Kong and the private investment arm of the Chinese Government, while VPower is one of the largest power manufacturers globally. We’re proud that Byrne Equipment Rental is their first investment in the Middle Eastern Region. A natural progression for us would therefore be to expand our geographical reach, and offer our services into the Asian market. The product line of our mobile network operator offering with a managed power solution would naturally follow into that territory. We have what we believe is the required scale, size and financial strength to  allow us to roll out at scale when it comes to deployment in the GCC and into new geographies    it’s a matter of penetrating those markets and creating the awareness of what we can offer with our solutions to the Telco sector.

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