Protected from the elements
When Energy, Oil and Gas last spoke with Shawcor back in October 2014, the company was known commonly as Bredero Shaw by the market. Over the time since, Shawcor, the world’s leading integrated energy services provider, has undergone a process of change under the leadership of a new CEO with many of its brands consolidating under one banner. In total over the last 18 months, four individual businesses: namely Bredero Shaw, Socotherm, Dhatec and Canusa have been brought together under Shawcor’s pipeline performance group.
“The integration of Bredero Shaw and Socotherm began in January 2015,” explains Fernando Ulecia, VP Marketing and Global Sales Operations for Shawcor’s pipeline performance group. “These were the two biggest coating companies in the market so it was a complex programme to bring them in line with each other. The introduction of the other two companies began at the start of 2016 and is still ongoing. Eventually the four businesses will fall under the same organisation and as a consequence we can provide a broader range of end-to-end coating solutions globally.”
The division now provides customers a variety of integrated coating targeted towards onshore and offshore applications. Bredero Shaw and Socotherm traditionally hold a leading position in thermal insulation coatings, anti-corrosion coatings, internal coatings and concrete weight coatings for on and offshore pipelines. Canusa-CPS brings years of developing fieldapplied coatings. Dhatec’s preservation and transportation protection solutions complete the line-up.
“We are the only company that can provide a real end-to-end coating solution,” Fernando says. “I think this is where our strength as a business lies. We have the technical knowledge from two of the biggest companies in the market, combined with the leading expertise of more niche segments. The other big strength is our operational excellence in executing big projects. We can provide solutions from different plants across the world.”
One such project that perfectly illustrates this capability is a recently completed contract to coat 140 miles of 44” carbon steel pipe for the Wheatstone project, one of Australia’s largest and most prolific LNG resource programmes. Using SureFlow internal coating and HeviCote concrete weight coating, Shawcor’s pipeline performance business was chosen to protect and optimise flow efficiency across the trunklines and flowlines needed for gas and condensate gathering, processing and exporting. To maximise offshore flow assurance and provide the required insulation necessary to maintain temperature on the infield flowlines, the company also coated 45 miles of 24” corrosionresistant alloy production lines, 14” CRA utility lines and 6” carbon mono ethylene glycol lines with a three-layer polypropylene anti-corrosion coating and Thermotite polypropylene insulation coating.
Shawcor was also able to employ its End Seal Tape solution, an innovative system designed to mitigate moisture absorption at the cutback areas, ensuring damage-free cutbacks during field application. Crucial to delivering the project on time and on budget, two of Shawcor’s worldclass manufacturing facilities based in Indonesia and Malaysia provided ideal local sites from which to deliver flexibility, rapid execution and minimal risk across the project’s lifetime.
Complementing this operational strength, Shawcor’s consistent approach to product development continues to maintain a strong lead in the industry. Fernando highlights that by forming strong customer relationships the pipeline performance group is always working to develop advanced coatings for new solutions and applications. For instance, at present the business is in the commercialisation stage of a thick finish coating solution for thermal insulation and is diligently working on the development of high temperature insulation coatings for offshore projects that are entering ever harsher conditions. “These are both great examples of how we engage with the market challenges to develop new products and come up with new solutions that meet market needs,” Fernando notes.
With global coverage, the need to maintain a committed focus towards product development is critical for Shawcor to stay ahead of the competition, particularly in today’s challenging market conditions. “We are not seeing much new activity out there at the moment,” Fernando explains. “Luckily, we are still executing on projects previously secured and look forward to winning bids on several large projects.”
Shawcor predicts that the market should start to show signs of picking back up by 2017, with the company’s activity rising accordingly shortly afterwards. “In the meantime it is important that we continue developing new solutions and over the coming months we will be looking at controlling our costs and consolidating our operations to improve overall performance in the market,” he says. “We are also looking to actively participate in more strategic partnerships with customers around the world, especially in relation to further product development – I think this is much the same across the rest of the Shawcor group.”
With the capacity to deliver a wide range of projects and services, Shawcor’s pipeline performance division is perfectly positioned to take advantage of any improving conditions in the oil and gas market as and when they come about. Like many companies however, using this downtime to consolidate operations, improve cost efficiencies and enhance performance, will likely prove key to emerging stronger than ever and taking on even more challenges well into the future.
Services: Global leader in the development and manufacture of pipe coating solutions