International Businessmen Visit VMI
VMI, Inc. of Cushing hosted a group of international businessmen who traveled from London to Stillwater in 24 hours, arriving in Cushing in time for a late lunch and tour of the VMI operation Wednesday. The group hosted by VMI owner and CEO Gene Maitlen, was here "confirming what we already knew," according to Alastair J. Morris with Balfour Engineering Consultants headquartered in Karachi, Pakistan. (Morris is originally from London, England.) The group has purchased three dredges for an enormous civil works project in Karachi, Pakistan. The projected cost is $30 million and the project is funded by the Asian Development Bank and the government of Pakistan is providing local funding.
Alauddin Babar, Chief Executive of Pak Massif International, PVT. Ltd., explained the project is one of the biggest ever in Karachi and consists of designing and constructing a water and sewage treatment plant, replacing old water mains, and involves pollution networks, all which will accomodate "roughly 150 million gallons of water a day. Before the project is completed, we will need the capacity to treat 300 million gallons a day," he said. He spoke on the population of Karachi, saying, "in 1947 there were studies on population growth and in 1952 the projection was for a population of three million people by 1980. But in 1980 there were already five million. Today, 30 million people live there."
Morris said, "this project has priority because of the condition in Pakistan." The engineer and Deputy Project Manager Imran Asif was part of the group, and his wife traveled with him. He said, "the dredges are just what we need, specifically for waste water sludge. We need a specialized form of dredging."
VMI dredges will be shipped by ocean freight in one shipment, completely assembled. Each dredge is approximately nine feet wide and 40 feet long, or as Babar said, "2.7 meters wide and 9.5 meters long. They weigh nine metric tons."
Robert Wagoner from the United Kingdom is the international sales consultant who connected everyone together on the purchase of the dredges. Maitlen said, "he sells all over the world. Last time I talked to him he was getting ready for a flight to South Africa."
John G. Robin, Jr. President of International Trade Consultants of Oklahoma City was instrumental in working with VMI, Inc. and the foreign parties. Syed Iftikhar Hussain of Karachi, is the Project Coordinator with China Petroleum Engineering Construction Corporation (CPECC) which is very active in Pakistan. Liu Chen Lin of Beijing, China is the contractor with CPECC working on the project.
All members of the group complimented VMI for having the equipment that would meet their specifications in the construction of Karachi project. They plan to return in about six months.