In 1972, Rotary Electrical was founded as a partnership with Chia Kim Piow as the Managing Director with a total strength of sixty employees. Its main activity was electrical installation sub-contracting, catering to oil refineries and petrochemical plants located in Singapore.
By 1973, the partnership was admitted to the panels of resident contractors of Mobil Oil (Singapore), Singapore Refining Company and Esso (Singapore) for instrumentation and electrical maintenance works in recognition for its ability to meet the standards imposed by the major oil refineries.
Rotary Electrical was converted into a private limited company in 1975 which led to the expansion of the company and its workforce.
With increasing business activities, Rotary Engineering was incorporated in 1980 as a private limited company to cater for the fast growing company. Its activities also began to expand into other engineering disciplines.
In an amalgamation exercise carried out in 1983, Rotary Electrical was acquired by Rotary Engineering. With this acquisition, Rotary’s core business activities expanded into storage tanks, civil and structure/building, mechanical equipment installation, and piping including procurement while Rotary Electrical continued to focus on electrical and instrumentation engineering and installation.
Evolving into an EPC Turnkey Contractor
In 1985, Rotary set itself off on a path to becoming a major turnkey for bulk storage terminal and other facilities. The company began to seek independency from main contractors and seek to secure contracts directly from owners. This prompted the company to invest approximately $1.0 million in computerized designing systems. Subsequently, the company secured its first direct contract with Van Ommeren Tank Terminal (VOTTS), a multinational product storage facility operator. This followed up with a series of other turnkey projects with VOTTS including Pit 6 in 1988, Pit 7 in 1989, and Pit 18 in 1990.
With its ability to meet the multinational product storage facility operators’ standards and specifications, the company was able to secure more turnkey projects from the likes of Oiltanking and Tankstore as well as take on the construction works for projects by Mobil Oil (Singapore), Glaxo, and Petronas.
Stepping into Asia, Going Regional
In the interest of further expanding its operations, Rotary went public in 1993 forming Rotary Engineering Limited and was listed on the main board of the stock exchange of Singapore. After which, Rotary extended its operations to cover overseas markets in India and Thailand.
In 1995, Rotary was among the first local construction company to have achieved ISO 9001 certification from the International Organisation for Standarisation. Its electrical, mechanical, and civil divisions were incorporated as subsidiaries. And by 1996, Rotary reported its first $100 million turnover since its inception encouraging further regional expansion efforts to Indonesia and India.
With the trust and support of her clients, Rotary was awarded its first $100 million single contract from Oiltanking for its Chem 1 & 2 and Phase VI expansion in 2000.
Rotary once again entered a period of growth and expansion between 2000 to 2005. In 2001, it had extended its services to include integrated maintenance with its integrated maintenance centre set up and fully operational on Jurong Island. Representative offices were set up in China. And by 2003, the wholly owned foreign enterprise, Rotary Engineering Shanghai Co. Ltd was established.
Growth, Expansion, and Take Off
The company achieved its next milestone in 2006 when it secured its largest contract to date worth $535 million for the EPC of Universal Terminal in Jurong Island. That same year, the company won the award for being the most transparent company at the SIAS Investors Choice Awards 2006 and would continue to do so until 2011.
In 2006, as part of Rotary’s efforts to extend its reach to the Middle East, the formation of two joint venture companies; Rotary Arabia Co. Ltd and Petrol Steel Co. Ltd were established in Saudi Arabia. With its fast increasing global outreach, Rotary saw the need to boost its human capital. The innovative Global Work Force scheme was launched with the opening of an Overseas Training and Test Centre in collaboration with Dalian Jiaotong University in China.
In 2009, Rotary signed its largest EPC contract worth US$750 million for SATORP JERP package 6. For the company’s achievements, Chia Kim Piow was awarded the CEO of the year in 2009 at the Singapore Corporate Awards and Businessman of the year in 2011 at the Singapore Business Awards.
2013 saw the completion of the SATORP JERP Package 6 project in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Since establishing presence back in 2006, Rotary's portfolio in the Middle East has continued to expand: work is currently well underway for a US$250 million Fujairah Oil Terminal project in the United Arab Emirates. The company has also continued to strengthen its presence in Singapore, clinching and executing a number of EPC projects - an 800,000 cubic metre storage facility at Pulau Busing, a shared lubricant storage facility and lubricant oil blending plant at Tuas South, Singapore.
Rotary continues to look forward to deliver with excellence in the years to come.