Multimetaal On – and Offshore Services

Standing strong

With a well-earned reputation for expertise, quality and ability in offshore engineering, Multimetaal has won the trust of leading companies by ensuring the quality of its products and services is always a cut above the competition.

The business, which was established in 1975, operates in Den Helder in the Netherlands, and is optimally positioned adjacently to an open water route directly to the North Sea.

Commercial director, Arthur Hulsebos, outlines the organisation’s expertise: “Multimetaal works in construction and offshore, particularly with regards to mechanical maintenance and installation works. We provide construction, design, prefabrication, in-house testing and certification of pressure safety for mechanical work, as well as offshore installation of high pressure piping – in general, mechanical work offshore. We’re a total package provider; undertaking project management, engineering, prefabrication, installation and maintenance.

“Our products are mostly one offs, such as high-pressure piping in carbon steel duplex, high-grade steel or stainless steel. We fabricate protection covers, pressure vessels, deck extensions, crane boom rests and generator exhausts for offshore oil companies – oil and gas is our principal concern. We work on the Dutch continental shelf for companies including GDF SUEZ, Chevron, Wintershall and Shell, as well as big engineering companies, such as Bluewater, ECN, IV Oil & Gas and KCI.”

Discussing Multimetaal’s recent activities and contracts, Arthur reveals: “Last year we built protection covers for the P9 block in the Dutch sector of the North Sea for Wintershall. This year one of our biggest projects was producing an enormous amount of piping for a company called TAQA. We have carried out a lot of projects for different companies in 2009, mostly on the maintenance side, such as platform refurbishment. One of our smaller projects is producing high-pressure duplex piping for Shell.”

Also in 2009, Multimetaal set about creating more modern and efficient fabrication facilities. “We wanted to be more attractive for younger employees, which is what we have tried to express in our new 3000 square metre building,” Arthur reports, explaining the reasons behind this investment. “We have a basic, modern building that has all the newest technology, with benefits including energy savings, and there’s an enormous amount of daylight in the workshops now.”

Arthur feels that Multimetaal’s efficient, no-nonsense performance is one of its key strengths and, accordingly, has quality and efficiency policies in place. “No matter how market conditions fluctuate, what remains constant is our aim to do what we say we will,” he notes. “If you have an agreement with someone, then it has to be fulfilled to the letter – delivery dates should not move due to inefficiency.

“We have a deserved reputation for uncompromising HSE standards and high quality as well, which I feel is our unique selling point. We work year round – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – and we have a highly flexible crew, with a lot of potential. Our multiskilled workforce is very experienced, used to offshore work and recognises the importance of acting immediately in this industry.”

Continuing to reflect on the organisation’s strengths, Arthur adds: “We see the value in investing in training. Most of our engineers are practically trained, so they have been through our whole company receiving guidance and experience. Many have undertaken theoretical work at evening classes as well. Most of our engineers have rounded experience – offshore, international and in the workshop – so they grow into the company. That’s our most valuable strength.”

Such a strong team has stood Multimetaal in good stead this year, particularly when most industries have reported adverse effects owing to the global recession. When asked about the company’s approach to safeguarding the business, Arthur explains: “Direct action is the reaction we have – responding immediately to clients and not changing our attitudes from years gone by when the market was booming. In other words, we’re always there for our clients.

“They can rely on us and even though there are fewer projects, and more rivals lowering prices, quality has to stay high. Safety standards must be high and equipment has to be kept up-to-date, despite the global financial crisis. Long lasting relationships mean clients know what they’re getting, and some of our alliances have lasted 35 years so far.”

In terms of where the company wants to be in the coming years, Arthur believes there will be more opportunities in some areas than others, and that quality must never be compromised. He concludes: “We are looking at new areas; for 2011 and 2012, maintenance is still going to provide opportunities but there’ll probably be less new projects, although we can see that oil companies are building, or are going to build, new platforms. We see a market in alternative energy forms, so that’s an area we’re focusing on for the future. It’s hard to predict where we’ll be in five years – our vision is to expand step-by-step and retain the high quality of our workforce, while still working on innovative fabrication possibilities.”

Multimetaal On – and Offshore Services
Services: Offshore maintenance and installation