United States’ based firm, Pipe Wraps Engineering Manufactur-ing Limited, has entered into a partnership with Engineering Automation Technology Ltd to address the challenges arising from aging pipelines, Risers and associated Oil/ Gas production facilities in Nigeria in order to eliminate oil spills and the negative consequences of environmental degradation.
Mr. Steve Siever, Director, Sales, Pipewrap LLC USA , who was in Nigeria to conduct training for Engineering Automation Technology Ltd Local Engineers for Technology Transfer, expressed concerns over the age of majority of the pipeline networks in the country and the amount lost by operators during shut down for the repair of pipes or corrosion mitigation.
According to Steve Siever, any corroded line or structure within 80 per cent wall thickness can be repaired to a full structural strength by the use of composites, adding that these repairs can be done without shutting down production.
He said “All associated risk of mobilization of welding and lifting machineries are all eliminated by the use of only the Pipe Wrap Installers and the composite. If the corrosion is detected before the leaks, all associated environmental issues will be averted as the product has the capacity to restore the pipe line to its full structural strength. The repair without shutting down production will save the operator a huge amount of money, implying that the product and the technology have value gain.”
According to him, it intends to share with Engineering Automation, the next advancement in composite technology.
“Pipe Wrap is less than 30 years, the industry is moving forward. We are moving forward in our technology, we are always developing something new. We have brought to Nigeria, one of our strongest products, which is carbon fibre. We design our products based on aerospace technology,” he explained.
He said the advanced technology will fare better for operators in Nigeria, saying it will mean less material on the pipes that is stronger and it takes less time to fix the repairs, so that the timeline back to operation will be faster.
“At the same time, it will give them stronger repair. It will take them less material and it will be stronger. It will take less amount of time and it will save the operator a whole lot of downtime, they will be back up and running faster by the use of these products,” Siever noted.
He, however, disclosed that the company has no plans to produce its products in Nigeria, in the long run. He said, “Manufacturing in a low humidity area in Colorado, keeps our production cost low. Our goal is to be cost effective. I don’t see us producing our products necessarily in Nigeria, due to the climate. The weather is not conducive to manufacture some of the components in our products.”
He noted that Engineering Automations was chosen as the distributor in Nigeria due to their level of integrity and commitment to their staff amongst others.
He said “Engineering Automation has the distribution rights to our products, and they will be warehousing our products here in Nigeria. They will have a distribution point here in various locations in Nigeria. Engineering Automations will be our African hub.
“It’s more cost effective to move it from here than from the United States at every order and placement. The key factor in the relationship we have with them is the fact that they are trustworthy.
“What’s paramount is to be with a partner that we are comfortable with. They have the same core-values which we have in our company, the qualities we’ve seen is far superior than anything we’ve ever seen coupled with the fact that their engineers are good.”
Citing what differentiates them from their competitors he said, “The key philosophy is that we are engineers first, we believe that in order to have a competent repair, there’s need to have an engineered solution to it, because at the end of the day , when all the wraps need to be put on the pipes, we all need to know what is there and many of our competitors cannot do this; if they can’t show you an engineering document to what you’ve just repaired, then I’m not comfortable.
The business /Commercial Manager of Engineering Automation Technology Ltd, Ugochi Amugo, confirmed the partnership and that presently, nine Nigerian Pipe Wraps Installers have been certified by Pipe Wrap LLC, USA in line with the NCD directive of the technology transfer and Engineering Automation vision of local capacity building.
Information from Vanguard was used in this report.