Wasco Energy (pipe coating division)

The right coat

A globally integrated energy infrastructure group, Wasco Energy’s operations have been organised into three business divisions – Pipeline Services, Engineering and E&P Services.

Through these distinct products and service offerings, the Group serves clients across Asia and Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas. The Group is committed to serving its expanding pool of clients through a dedication to mutually beneficial partnerships, and the innovation, creativity and technological expertise of its people.

Wasco Energy’s pipe coating division is one of the global leaders in pipe coating solutions for the oil, gas and water industries, owning and operating pipe coating plants in Malaysia, China and Nigeria. Dr. Martyn Willmott, president of the pipeline services division, gave an overview of the facilities his operation has at its disposal: “Our primary regional pipe coating facility is located close to the Kuantan port in Malaysia. The plant offers a comprehensive range of pipe coating systems for pipe diameters ranging from four to 60 inches, and pipe lengths up to 24 metres,” he said.

“The Kuantan plant is also the only fully-integrated deepwater flow assurance pipe coating plant in the Asia Pacific region, enabling us to offer a full suite of deepwater insulation coatings and related services, including syntactic polyurethane flow assurance coating, multi-layer polypropylene (solid, foam and syntactic) flow assurance coating and low density foam pipe-in-pipe.”

Innovation is always at the top of the agenda for Wasco, and it has recently co-developed the award-winning DOW NEPTUNE Advanced Subsea Flow Assurance Insulation System with Dow Chemical. In recognition of the significance of this of this new product, it was given the Spotlight Technology Award at the Offshore Technology Conference, Houston in May 2013.

In addition to its activities in the Far East, Wasco is expanding to the Gulf of Mexico via a joint venture created between The Bayou Companies, part of the Aegion Group of companies and Wasco Energy’s coatings business unit.

“The joint venture, Bayou Wasco Insulation Technologies LLC (BWI), will be based in Louisiana in the US to provide offshore insulation services to customers in the US, the Gulf of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. With Wasco holding a 49 per cent interest, the venture will combine Wasco’s expertise in the insulation market, with the operational, sales and logistics capabilities of The Bayou Companies. BWI will provide clients full-thermal insulation coating services for offshore flow assurance including polyurethane foam and syntactic polypropylene. The facility is now fully operational,” explained Martyn.

Wasco has also signed another joint venture with Aegion, based in Singapore, known as WCU Corrosion Technologies. Its offerings include high-density polyethylene (HDPE) lining for new and existing pipelines in the Southeast Asian region.

Furthermore, with the recent award of the Polarled Pipeline Project by Statoil, Wasco has also expanded its global footprint to Norway to serve the European market. Valued $198m, the scope of work includes anti-corrosion and concrete weight coating covering 480km of pipelines. “This contract is a timely expansion of our wings into the North Sea region,” said Martyn. “The anti-corrosion works will be carried out in our plant in Kuantan; while the concrete weight coating will be performed in our newly mobilised CWC plant located in Mo-i-Rana, Northern Norway.”

This new plant is designed to service the North Sea, Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea, and is being set up in an existing building in the port, using the latest design and technology.

“The new facility in Mo-i-Rana, Norway is due for completion in September 2013 and is taking a significant amount of our attention,” said Martyn. “The successful execution of this mobilisation is a key priority for Wasco in 2013; while getting ready for the execution of the project at the beginning of 2014.”

The top-notch facilities and state-of-the-art technology that Martyn discussed are just two of the key strengths of Wasco Energy’s pipe coating division, and combine with several other factors to create a strong and reliable partner, with experience in international projects, strong technical capabilities and the ability to think-outside-the-box.

It also has strong financial stability and a backlog of work – the lean years of the 1990s in Asia resulted in many Asian companies being well positioned to withstand the more recent economic downturn. This is certainly true of Wasco, as Martyn highlighted: “We have a very strong focus on our balance sheet management, and to some extent the downturn of the economy presented us the opportunities to grow internationally.

“The huge opportunities in pipeline related projects have increased the demand for our products and services and the consolidation of industry players in the market has opened up opportunities for Wasco to tap into new territories.”

One of the major challenges for Wasco as well as the industry in general is the scarcity of experienced resources. “As part of our plan to address this challenge, Wasco has put in place a management development programme to develop talent in the industry,” said Martyn. “Despite our global presence, we are still a relatively small company and without our strong and dedicated employees we’d not be able to achieve the success that we’ve had in the last few years. Ultimately, our ability to build or to enter these new markets has been the result of the drive of our people.”

He concluded: “The first class facility and capability of our team in Kuantan, Malaysia is the platform that has allowed us to grow internationally and to give confidence to our key customers that we can deliver what we promise.”

Wasco Energy (pipe coating division)
Services: Pipe coating solutions