Willtéco BV

Mission possible

For nearly two decades Willtéco has combined technical enthusiasm with Dutch common sense to deliver components, innovative solutions and mechanical maintenance.

The mainstay of the company’s service package is the supply of technical components and spare parts for industries that operate 24/7. Subsequently, Willtéco works around the clock on design, production, engineering and installation of technically durable solutions. The organisation prides itself on the fact its specialists and Willtéco mobile workshops can be at a job within 24 hours, both onshore and offshore, to put innovative solutions into practice – it is always in the right place to attend to clients’ technical and mechanical problems.

“We started 19 years ago with the delivery of competence and tools to the industry 24 hours a day, such as food, energy and petro-chemical plants,” explains managing director Willem Wille. “Over the past ten years we have increasingly developed into a global problem solving company in the mechanical sector, so we are a one stop shop and if companies have a mechanical problem, whatever it may be, we try to solve it. Increasingly the technical departments of those 24-hour industries are losing their know-how as those departments onshore are becoming too small; they have instant problems when a shutdown occurs and qualified personnel are harder to come by. On the rigs its more or less the same situation.”

Willtéco solves these issues by meeting oil and gas organisations’ needs with regards to repair and maintenance of equipment, with customers such as Noble Drilling, Transocean, Ensco, Seadrill, Northern Offshore and Exxon Mobil. Outlining Willtéco’s remit, Willem states: “We’re offshore mostly working for drilling contractors and the work varies. For example, we can solve the delivery of a component that is not available anymore because the rig is over 25 years old by engineering those parts ourselves. When we recruit a new customer they realise that, whatever the mechanical problem, we are the company to call. We will try our best to help them, whether it’s transporting a rig from A to B or sending welding machines, a welding team and generators to fix a broken rack in a rack & pinion system of a jack-up rig on location. We work a lot on jacking systems, and undertake a wide range of drilling equipment overhauls and recertification in our shop.”

The company works with a wide range of suppliers to receive the API approved parts it needs to undertake such work and it adheres to its own quality assurance system. Making a quality book, containing all the specific requests of the customer, the recertification and what has to be done, follows the whole process of finished particular job. “That is how a job walks through the workshop,” comments Willem. “At the end when it’s finished it comes back to the warehouse and a quality-focused worker checks all the paperwork before it goes out fully completed. Similarly, during the process various checks are carried out by third parties like DNV, ABS, Lloyds and Moduspec.

Discussing recent projects, Willem explains how Willtéco has applied its expertise in problem solving. “In the past couple of years we have carried out several rig moves, securing quite a few rigs for Transocean and Northern Offshore, which is a new company that acquired them from Maersk. The specific rigs are a series that were built in the 1980s and have very long legs that can move around if not properly secured when moving, which can result in the entire rig breaking up. To address this we developed a system to solve the issue and we were able to send a team on-board to quickly weld the rig to the ship and secure the legs, because obviously as soon as you’re loading a rig, it constitutes downtime.”

With the oil and gas market consistently growing, despite the current economic downturn, there is ongoing demand for repair services and Willtéco is well placed to take advantage of this. Willem reveals what keeps the company busy: “The most important drilling equipment has to be recertified every five years, so this forms our day-to-day activity. Besides that, the 1980s rigs – which should have been replaced by now – are still drilling because in the current market companies are wary of buying new rigs, and these may have to continue drilling for another ten years yet.”

Willem firmly believes that regular upkeep for those rigs is very important and advises rig owners as such, despite this not be entirely conducive to surviving a recession: “Maintenance on those rigs is imperative but in this climate drilling contracts are run by the accountants who tell them what to do and when to do it – budget is sacred. Maintenance will have to be carried out at some point though and that expense cannot be postponed forever. Luckily for us, we’re occupied with undertaking maintenance for companies who take the decision to find the resources for it and with companies that are just requiring corrective maintenance, so they purely call us when something breaks down. And we try to convince those clients that with important items like jacking units preventative maintenance has to be carried out.”

Willtéco has many factors working in its favour to ensure longevity; deeply rooted activities in the offshore industry and in shopping, expertise in engine rooms and drilling rigs, flexible manpower, a well-equipped workshop, and a responsive workforce that is able to be on the job quickly using the company’s mobile work units. These strengths, combined with the ever-growing trust between Willtéco and its clients, indicate that the company can look forward to a prosperous future characterised by development of its reputation as a leading partner for maintenance, engineering and troubleshooting.

Revealing his plan for the coming years, Willem concludes: “We’re a company that is increasingly ready with containers and personnel to move to the rig, solve the problem, return, and go out to the next rig. I would like to see us work not only from a base close to the North Sea, but also in the Mediterranean and the Far East, and to ensure this happens we are making strategic contacts in these areas to find the right partners for Willtéco.”

Willtéco BV

Services: Maintenance and repair