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The procurement department has a very important responsibility because it is at the middle position of EPC. EPC stands for engineering, procurement and construction. These three are main components of plant engineering. The procurement department connects engineering and construction by cooperating closely on projects.
The main task of this department includes the following jobs: procurement of materials within the Working Budget of projects, production progress control after order, and quality control of inspections and transportations to sites according to a project schedule. The people who are in this department need to have skills such as sensitivities for market trends, correct understanding of international regulations, calm judgment for prices, strength to negotiate with makers, and strong will power for tough quality requirements.
Therefore, we feel a surge of pleasure when transportation and constructions are successful. There are 190 of us working in the department, sharing this pride.
Procurement of plant engineering is on a much larger scale than usual industries in terms of their size of materials, price, and number of working people - though it depends on the kind of plants. In one of the biggest LNG plants in the world, for example, there were over 4,000 purchase orders to makers in over 20 countries. We are sensitive to makers all over the world that show us reasonable price materials. Some procurement operations may last more than a year and involve quotation, negotiation, order, and quality control.
In procurement work, we translate engineering requirements, which are drawn on blueprints, into tangible items that are needed for construction of Oil and LNG factories. Our procurement is a key role of EPC and the most important part of our task is quality control. Ordered materials will be inspected through every stage of the manufacturing process, until they meet the requested quality level. Inspections are done with Chiyoda, makers, third-party organizations, and sometimes with clients based on precise, efficient and effective inspection plan.
Delivered materials and equipment from vendor are usually transported to sites by ship, and the logistic process is reviewed in a timely manner. The process is influenced by the changing schedule of material production or weather over the ocean. Being organized throughout its schedule, mode or route of transport is very important. The materials are sometimes extremely heavy and/or large, and the schedule takes into consideration transport conditions such as roads and bridges, the route to the site, and special custom clearance in the site countries. Once all materials are settled in the construction sites, the person in charge of procurement can be filled with a feeling of accomplishment and pride.