Trelleborg Singapore: A Journey from Hercules Roots in 1967 to Global Industry Leader Since 2001

Making an impact

Although the name Trelleborg Singapore Pte Ltd was first incorporated in 2001, the company’s roots extend back to 1967 as the former Hercules Rubber & Chemical Industries Pte Ltd.

The business became part of the Trelleborg Group through the acquisition of Hercules Rubber and its associated companies, including the Fentek Group, which principally manufactures and markets the marine fender system. Today Trelleborg Singapore operates as part of the Trelleborg Engineered Products business unit, which in turn is part of the Engineering Systems division within the Group.

Trelleborg Singapore’s activities are primarily focused on the manufacture of engineered elastomeric bearing products within its Singapore facility, which are then sold to more than 60 countries worldwide for use in offshore projects and other specialist industry markets. Each product is designed to perform to the client’s specified operating criteria. As a result, Trelleborg Singapore has gained many customers within the EPC sector including Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, Sime Darby Engineering Sdn Bhd, and Swiber Offshore Construction. The majority of these clients are located within the Asia-Pacific region, although the business continues to expand its presence within the global market with its latest product developments.

Vincent Tan, sales and marketing manager of Trelleborg Singapore, highlights some of the company’s core offerings to the oil and gas industry: “We offer a wide range of products that are suitable for application on topsides, jacket structures, pipelines and floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) units. This includes corrosion protection, passive fire protection, float-over hardware, jacket load transfer, FPSO bearing, and jacket leg can systems. We have always worked closely with our clients during the FEED stage of a project, where we support them with our engineering know-how in order to provide engineered solutions to meet their requirements.”

This close co-operation is the key to Trelleborg Singapore’s continuous expansion of its product range for the oil and gas market. The business regularly attends or participates in relevant exhibitions, and is also approached directly by clients to undertake a solution study. “Our proven developments are within our float-over product range – Leg Mating Units (LMU), Deck Support Units (DSU) and Sway and Surge fenders, which have been successfully installed in three float-over projects,” notes Vincent. “Traditionally topsides are lifted onto the support structure or jacket by a floating crane. As the hire rates for such cranes are high, the float-over process offers a much less costly solution. The crucial challenge lies in transferring the load from the barge to the jacket in a controlled manner without causing damage to either structure, even though waves, currents and winds may cause the barge to move.

“LMUs are placed inside steel cans known as transition pieces, which are installed on top of the jacket legs, while sway and surge fenders absorb the impact of the barge on the jacket as it moves forward or sideways during the operation. Once the topsides have been safely transferred onto the jacket, the two structures are welded together. DSUs come into play in the fabrication yard, where they are positioned on the deck support frame to provide dampening and sliding effects of the topside as it is transferred onto the barge.”

As a result of the successful completion of these three installation projects, Trelleborg Singapore has received three new orders for the supply of its float-over products, with installation due to take place in early 2012. With one of these orders incorporating the heaviest topside currently ever built, the client has requested that the LMUs are tested to design factored load of 12,000MT, which Trelleborg Singapore is able to fulfil using its in-house capabilities.

“Trelleborg has inaugurated the world’s largest test press at 18,300 tonnes, to meet the increased market demand as the size of topsides on production platforms vary substantially in size from less than 1000 tonnes to in excess of 40,000 tonnes,” elaborates Vincent.

“All float-over products have to be fully tested in order to verify the load deformation behaviour of the LMU pads before use. With our fabrication facility and test press located in Singapore, we are able to manufacture and test the products in a shorter time frame, as we don’t have to rely on a third-party test facility. As the majority of the platforms which require float-over installations are currently being constructed within EPC yards close to our location, we are able to offer clients a much faster delivery time, which can result in additional cost-saving.”

With Trelleborg Singapore’s location expected to be a key commercial benefit in securing upcoming projects, Vincent describes how the business fared in the more challenging months of the economic downturn: “Due to the financial crisis in 2009, the oil and gas market was subsequently affected approximately six months later, leading to a delay in new project launches made by operators and contractors. However, we remained active during this period and were fortunate enough that none of our customers cancelled their orders at this time. As recovery continues, we see substantial growth opportunities ahead in the Asia-Pacific region as EPCs are set to expand their facilities and bidding projects from international owners, which gives us the advantage of being locally located in the region.”

In order to take the best possible advantage of these opportunities, alongside the general progression of the business, Vincent concludes with his focus for Trelleborg Singapore over the next few years: “We are now looking into new product development, which in turn will help to determine our investment into new equipment, in order to support these activities. Beyond this, we would like to see our full range of oil and gas products being supplied on an international basis within the next two to three years. We would also like to see an increase in our overall market share for the Asia-Pacific region to approximately 70 per cent.”

Trelleborg Singapore Pte Ltd
Products: Structural protection