Piping hot

A member of the Valco Group*, the French company SNRI was founded in 1829 as a supplier of piping and industrial valve solutions to various markets within the oil and gas industry.

It became a subsidiary of the Technor Group in 2000, benefitting from the organisation’s global reach across a number of industries. Based in Norway and France, with production and maintenance sites in each, SNRI predominantly serves the European sector within the areas of cryogenics, energy, offshore oil and gas, petrochemicals, security and the food industry. Within these markets, SNRI develops, designs, produces and sells a complete range of industrial valves.

Senior manager at SNRI, Stanislas Longuet, further outlines the breakdown of the business’ market sectors: “As an incorporation of the five valve companies within the Valco group, we specifically support four different markets. The first is the oil and gas upstream sector, which covers all offshore platforms, and related components and equipment. The second market is the oil and gas downstream industry. These two markets are well served by products designed by the leading name of Malbranque. The main applications within this area are LNG plants, LNG import and export terminals, oil refineries and petrochemicals. The third area is the marine market, which encompasses the LNG and LPG shipping industry, and we additionally supply products for chemical and oil tankers. Our final market sector comes under other industries, where we work for nuclear power plants, and have also had significant market growth in the area of steam applications and the industries that use that energy source.”

SNRI offers a broad range of valves for industrial applications. Stanislas outlines the company’s main products and services: “Our main products are the globe, gate, check valves, which are mainly for LNG applications. We also provide vital valve solutions for general industry in steam applications, and we also have some ic products for the oil refinery process and oil storage. One of the main strengths of the business is that as a company we can provide a very large portfolio of products, and in addition to that, we are dedicated to finding the correct solution for each individual customer. We work very closely with the end users to try and propose very specific product solutions and customised items that suit their exact needs.

“We have a very strong position, through the brand names of SNRI and Westad, within the area of LNG and LPG shipping, which equates to more than 75 per cent of the market. This is mainly due to proposed specific products for the end users, who include the ship owners, such as specific marine actuators. In addition we have one division of the business that is completely committed to after sales services. Within this organisation, there are 40 technicians carrying out intervention work, so we have a very strong after sales support service.”

In terms of HSEQ, SNRI operates under strict quality guidelines and policies. As a result of the commitment of the management, represented by a clear quality policy, the company has achieved certification in accordance with ISO 9001 and is also committed to its environmental responsibility. Stanislas elaborates: “As we work for some of the major oil companies, such as Shell and BP, we have a very strong policy regarding the environment. We are in the process of becoming ISO 14000 certified and have made a lot of investments in this area over the past three years.”

As the industry struggles with the current economic crisis, SNRI has experienced some negatives, but still has a positive outlook, as Stanislas explains: “As with many other companies, of course we are suffering a little due to the postponement of some major projects, but we haven’t seen any significant order cancellations. We are still being cautious though, and we aim to extend our portfolio of customers to enable us be that little bit more independent.

“Despite the financial climate we hope to expand the business, both through acquisitions and internally. We have some new product developments that will extend our portfolio, and this will be one of our main areas of investment over the coming two years. Over the five valve companies within the Valco group we want to develop around five new products. We also want to focus a lot on niche markets and we are trying to be more involved from the design phases onwards in challenging projects, in areas such as Arctic conditions. These projects are particularly within the LNG market, so we are trying to develop products in this area.”

He concludes by outlining the company’s plans over the next five years: “We expect to be in the top ten valve makers in the world. There are a lot of independent players in the valve market, so it’s particularly important for us to attain this kind of ranking. We can also expect that in the coming five years there will be a lot of company concentration, especially due to the crisis, which will mean that some companies will disappear and others will merge, so it’s really important for us to be one of the leading companies in our industry.”


Services: Piping and valve solutions

* Valco Group (formerly Flowtech Division of Technor) produces and provides industrial valves for a wide range of industrial applications.