A.P.I. Pipeline Construction Co. Ltd.

Feroze Hosein spent his career working all over the world on the construction of pipelines, first as a welder and then in more supervisory roles, recounts his son, Salim N. Hosein. Eventually, with so much experience in the pipeline construction industry, Feroze Hosein returned home to Trinidad and Tobago with a dream of owning his own pipeline construction business. In 1989, he founded the company with a goal to handle cross-country pipeline construction, of any magnitude or dimension.

“The company started very small – my father started it out of our home,” Salim Hosein explains. “I was still in school, so I grew up in this business. I’ve been here since it started, and I saw my father achieve his goal for this company.”

Today, A.P.I. Pipeline is the largest operation of its kind in Trinidad and Tobago, and was a key part of the largest pipeline project in the country to date: the Cross Island Pipeline, which required the construction of 77 kilometers of 56-inch-diameter pipeline from Point Fortin to Beachfield, Guayaguayare. A.P.I. Pipeline was the local partner for the foreign contract on this project, and it supplied approximately 3,000 of the workers and approximately 55 percent of the equipment and site offices.

Based in Fyzabad, the company also has locations in La Brea and Point Lisas. A.P.I. Pipeline has 80,000 square feet of fabrication and mechanical shop space, as well as a fully outfitted sandblasting facility, a large fleet of site equipment and the only fully computerized directional underground boring machine in the country, Hosein says.

In addition to growing the size of its business, A.P.I. Pipeline has diversified its services. Cross-country pipeline construction remains the company’s core strength, but it also provides horizontal directional drilling, tank construction, structural steel erection, process piping, plant maintenance and turnaround, and civil and infrastructure construction.

A.P.I. worked with other firms to build all the onshore pipelines to Atlantic LNG and the liquid line from Atlantic LNG to Phoenix Park Gas Processors Ltd., Hosein says. The company is involved only in on-shore piping projects and does not work any offshore projects.

“I took over the business from my father in 2000, and I realized we needed to diversify,” Hosein says. “We already had civil construction capabilities, and about four years ago we started to produce our own oil and gas. For some smaller fields, it was not economically viable for Petrotrin – the Petroleum Co. of Trinidad and Tobago – to operate them, so they awarded contracts out.

“This is a historical step and a big part of how our company will grow,” he notes. “In the last four years, we increased our production by 500 percent, and I know we can increase it by a lot more.”

A Quality Focus
A.P.I. Pipeline recently completed the construction of five kilometers of a 24-inch gas pipeline for Trinidad Generation Unlimited. The pipeline connected to the main network of the new 720-megawatt Union Estate Power Station. This project also required A.P.I. to construct pressure regulation, pig receiver, slug catcher and gas metering facilities; 1.2 kilometers of 16-inch pipeline; a custody transfer meter station; and polypropylene distribution pipelines.

Additionally, A.P.I. Pipeline is bringing wells into production on land that it is leasing from one of the local oil companies. “We recently were awarded two more blocks,” he says. Ony Oropouche Farmout Field is 8,500 acres, and the other two will be additional acreage we can exploit for resources.”

On all of the company’s projects, he notes, the key is to maintain quality. A.P.I. has a large department dedicated to ensuring it meets or exceeds industry standards, and it uses state-of-the-art technology in its operations.

“Quality is something we do not compromise,” he says. “We have a good human resources department and we spend a lot of time developing our people and training them. From engineers to laborers, we offer continuous in-house and external training. Just this week, everyone received advanced first-aid training. Quality and safety are extremely important to us.”

Opening Opportunities
In the global pipeline construction industry, A.P.I. is a small- to medium-sized firm, so when larger contractors come to work on the island, they often partner with A.P.I. because of its local expertise.

“In addition to our knowledge of the local community, we have the experience that attracts partners,” Hosein says. “We also have well-kept facilities, a massive fabrication shop and multiple facilities throughout the country.”

Going forward, A.P.I. plans to continue working in Trinidad and Tobago, but in the next 10 years Hosein hopes for the company also to be working more throughout the Caribbean as well as in South America, Latin America and Africa. He has been on a number of trade missions to establish partnerships and open up opportunities for A.P.I.

“We are doing some work in other Caribbean islands and we are developing some really strong relationships,” Hosein says. “Our partners know that any problem big or small, they can call us. We went from being a really small operation to now being recognized as one of the top pipeline companies in the world, and I am confident that we can keep building on that strength.”