Issue 12 2010
The right mix
Rescon Mapei is a developer and producer of admixtures for concrete structures within the oil and gas, construction and engineering industries.
Located in Sagstua, Norway, the company has made a name for itself by providing reliable and rapid services on a bespoke basis. It also has a heavy focus on research and development (R&D) to ensure that it remains at the cutting edge of the market.
Technical manager Trond Helgedagsrud discusses the company’s capabilities in greater detail: “Rescon Mapei is originally a Norwegian company founded in 1976 as a service-supply company to the construction business. In the mid 1980s we began supplying to the Norwegian oil industry and today we continue producing concrete and mortar products as well as resins, mainly epoxy and polyurethane products for civil works in this sector. Until 2000 we were an independent firm known simply as Rescon, but then the Mapei Group entered as an owner and we changed the name to Rescon Mapei.”
As a subsidiary of the Mapei Group, the company has gone from strength to strength. It can be difficult to compete as an independentcompany in the supply market, particularly on an worldwide scale; the Mapei Group has a presence in over 80 countries and by making use of this global network, along with the Group’s resources, Rescon Mapei has established itself as a successful name on the international market. The company has thus worked with many major name clients, including ConocoPhillips on its Ekofisk oil field platform. Becausenew technologies have allowed the ongoing extraction of oil in the region, maintenance needs to be carried out on the aging platforms to further their lifespan.
As Trond explains, Rescon Mapei was contracted to provide such services: “To increase the service lifetime of a platform in the Ekofisk field, we were hired to provide a specialised grouting to fill and support the structure’s legs. Within a short time we had outlined a system, carried out small-scale and full-scale tests, and completed environmental documentation. This would normally take a long time to do but because we have great competence, excellent equipment and a lot of knowledge on the subject it was finished in a very short time. Even though the project was started six months late, we nonetheless were able to meet the time schedule.”
One of the most important aspects of Rescon Mapei is its investment into R&D. The company has its own research laboratory located on site, but because the company’s central focus is to deliver products that satisfy clients’ requirements, research is usually prompted and driven by the customer. Trond illustrates the process: “In the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market for example, where structures are often exposed to very low temperatures, by being involved at an early stage you can pinpoint the problems areas and design products to meet the low temperature issues. Therefore, discussion with the clientele is an absolutely essential part of our R&D process, allowing us to tailor solutions to fit the exact requirements.”
As a further example, subsea epoxies are a very specialised field in which R&D needs to be carried out in close proximity with those who use the products; the divers. Because Rescon Mapei has, within its staff, product engineers with diving experience, it is able to provide an extra level of expertise during the ongoing development of the products.
Furthermore, it is also able to offer products backed up by field-tested long-term reliability. It has, for example, a number of products designed for underwater grouting repairs that it started producing in the 1980s. As it has been able to monitor the performance of these systems over the course of 25 years, adapting them along the way for best performance, Rescon Mapei understands their long-term reliability. Rather than offering just a two or three year assurance on products, it is therefore able to offer clients products with expectations for multi-decade life spans. With many structures in the industry today being designed for 150 years or upwards of function, being able to offer solutions with long life expectations is very important.
Looking toward the future, Trond explains that there is plenty of opportunities for a company like Rescon Mapei to continue growing its business: “There are new exploration techniques making it possible to extract more oil from ongoing fields meaning installations will have to stand for longer: the need for strengthening and maintenance therefore becomes increasingly important. With safety being so important in the industry, it looks likely that the market will continue being plentiful for the foreseeable future. Also, with discussions underway about oil and gas exploration in the Arctic, there is the potential of a whole new regional market opening up as well.”
He goes on to conclude with similar confidence about the next few years for Rescon Mapei: “We recognise that environmental issues and documentation is becoming increasingly import to fulfil in the oil and gas industry, so we will begin to look at strengthening our environmental position. We will continue creating solutions and systems that fit the technical requirements for our customers.”
Products: Admixtures for concrete, grouting materials and epoxies