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News Article

Crisis Management Crucial for Company Survival

By Cas Biekmann | Thu, 03/11/2021 - 13:20

You can watch the video of this presentation here.

In a short presentation, Jan Frowijn, Vice President USA, Mexico & Central America of ROSEN, outlined some of the challenges all companies are currently facing and the specific hurdles and opportunities the pipeline sector has dealt with during these uncertain times. Crisis management is crucial in this regard but new technologies also broaden the horizon for the pipeline sector, Frowijn said during Mexico Energy Forum on Thursday, Mar. 11.

ROSEN is a worldwide provider of integrity process chain solutions for various industries, mainly the energy sector. The company develops in-house engineering tools and software. In Mexico, ROSEN focuses mostly on pipeline inspection and integrity management, which includes monitoring and measurements within these pipelines. “We are present in more than 120 countries worldwide but Mexico remains one of our biggest commitments. We have been here for the past 30 years,” said Frowijn.

In Mexico, as in other countries, one obvious challenge dominates the discussion. “COVID-19 has generated both a health and an economic crisis,” Frowijn said. “Nobody expected we would have virtual events one year later,” he added. But this is not the only challenge. Especially for pipeline operators, environmental conditions leading to a freeze in Texas blocking gas supply for multiple days posed another unexpected issue to deal with.

The uncertainty and the struggles people have had to confront clearly bring the need for adequate crisis management to the foreground. “Crisis management is about finding the right actions, following up on training and preparation to get the company through tough times,” Frowijn outlined. “Any approach to leadership and crisis management must begin with risk assessment and subsequent preparedness." Planning and preparedness thus come first, followed by gathering the right information and making important decisions.

“Making critical decisions in times of crisis can be very difficult,” emphasizes Frowijn, adding that during the current crisis, many companies had to make difficult choices regarding the size of their workforce. But dealing with remote work has also been a challenge. The existing company culture proved to be a major factor in the survival of companies. “Under pressure, both the best and worst in an organization will come to surface,” he said. In dealing with a crisis, external factors and stakeholders are equally important. Good relationships built over time can make all the difference and by being in touch with the market, companies can take on new opportunities. At the end of the day, a crisis is also a chance to work better. “Never waste a good crisis, Churchill once said. This is still true,” notes Frowijn.

These approaches to crisis management are applicable to any company or organization. Nevertheless, Frowijn also took some time to address issues specific to the pipeline sector. Even though having ‘boots on the ground’ was complicated, technologies are a major opportunity for companies looking to monitor flows and assess integrity of infrastructure. Furthermore, Frowijn addressed one of the biggest future opportunities in the area of energy: hydrogen. “Globally, green and blue hydrogen will, almost without a doubt, be part of the future’s clean energy mix,” Frowijn noted.

One of the biggest benefits of hydrogen is that it resembles gas, in a way. It can therefore be transported through gas pipelines and used for fuel in certain natural gas power plants. Nevertheless, the infrastructure needs to be adapted and long-term effects of hydrogen instead of gas flowing through structures need to be examined. Due to the high hydrogen content, pipelines could be more susceptible to cracking. Furthermore, inspection tools and components that move through pipelines could also be affected. Much work therefore remains to be done, Frowijn concluded.

Cas Biekmann Cas Biekmann Journalist and Industry Analyst