Anticorrosion Solutions to Coat new PipelinesWed, 01/22/2014 - 16:25
The Mexican pipeline construction market has seen constant demand in various regions of Mexico over the past years. Martha Salas, Vice President of Business Development Latin America of Bredero Shaw, points to new infrastructure being built for the gas sector over the last three years as a lynchpin of this demand. This push will see major new pipelines wind their way across Mexico’s northern, central, and Pacific regions, such as Los Ramones I and II, Sásabe-Guaymas, and Encino. “More than 2,000km of new gas pipelines have been constructed for PEMEX and CFE over the last three years,” says Salas. One of ShawCor’s seven business units, Bredero Shaw, has been in Mexico for 20 years and ensured the company’s strong presence in recent gas pipeline construction developments. “ShawCor and Bredero Shaw are placing a lot of faith in the Mexican market, and we have a long history of providing PEMEX with customized technical solutions,” says Salas. Bredero Shaw has introduced many of the coating varieties that are used today in the Mexican market, including the three layer system and thermal insulation. The type of coating Bredero Shaw uses depends on specifics of the project, such as the location of the ducts and the environmental conditions. Bredero Shaw offers two main types of product, anticorrosion and thermal insulation coatings, and determines the most appropriate coating from a technical and economic perspective for each project. “Anticorrosion coating may last 15 to 20 years without showing any signs of corrosion. Thermal coatings, which are more intricate, are used to isolate pipelines and keep temperature constant, reducing the number of compression stations required and eliminating the need to inject solutions to maintain the flow of the line. These advantages result in huge OPEX savings,” explains Salas.
Bredero Shaw is undergoing a re-evaluation of its product development strategy, as its advanced linings now require even more tailoring to match specific requirements, posing fresh challenges for the company in areas such as coating pipelines for deepwater projects. “We need to create linings that are able to withstand temperatures higher than 150°C and coatings that can tolerate deepwater conditions at depths greater than 2,000m,” says Salas. Fortunately, Bredero Shaw has already developed similar products for clients in countries such as Nigeria, Angola, and Norway. The latter is a global pioneer in deepwater exploration, and Bredero Shaw is importing technologies to Mexico that were used in this country with successful results over the past ten years. “Bredero Shaw has designed solutions for new conditions that may arise and others for situations that have already been encountered in Mexico,” Salas comments. This is a technological advantage that can be offered to PEMEX, which will benefit from products that have yielded results in other countries. Bredero Shaw is concentrating its efforts on its traditional niche of anticorrosion coating for onshore pipeline projects, and is seeking to grow its activities in the offshore segment. In the offshore market, deepwater projects will require its most specialized and resilient coatings.
Bredero Shaw has begun working with PEMEX on thermal coating projects where the fluid running through the pipeline must be kept at a high temperature for the crude’s viscosity to stay low. The Ixtal offshore project, which was developed between 2010 and 2011, provides a good example of collaborations with the Mexican oil company. “Having to customize products for PEMEX has seen Bredero Shaw work in all phases of a project and with all the contractors involved,” says Salas. “The main purpose of an anticorrosion coating is to protect the pipelines. Corrosion will occur if a poor coating solution that does not fit the line’s conditions and operational requirements is applied. In these cases, leaks and even explosions are likely.” Bredero Shaw’s products are designed to prevent these accidents, which means that the company must apply the most meticulous safety and quality assessments. “We can assure our Mexican customers of the results they expect, just as we do to the different oil companies that are our clients at the international level,” affirms Salas.