Alfredo Díaz
Duncan & Cossio

Quality Comes First In Offshore Rescue Equipment

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 12:01

Following an agreement established in Mexico with the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Duncan & Cossío began providing its life-saving and rescue business line to the Mexican oil and gas industry in 1978. The firm has been offering the lease and sale of its rescue equipment to PEMEX E&P for its offshore platforms as well as to PEMEX Refining for its vessels. Alfredo Sierra Díaz, President of Duncan & Cossío, explains that a variety of PEMEX’s oil regions have used his company´s services, including Cantarell, Ku-Maloob-Zaap, Abkatún-Pol-Chuc, and Litoral de Tabasco among others, while they are necessary throughout all offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Duncan & Cossío’s portfolio of rescue equipment includes self-inflatable life rafts, lifeboats, life jackets, EPIRBs, and fireworks that enable assistance signals to be emitted in case of an emergency. All of the company’s products are certified internationally by strict regulations of the IMO agreement. By adhering to these norms, Duncan & Cossío can provide its services in Mexico to PEMEX as well as private vessels charged with taking products or workers to the platforms, as well as private drilling rigs. The company is the sole provider of Survitec Group, supplying and inspecting self-inflatable life rafts of PEMEX, which are an integral component of the rescue equipment needed in offshore platforms and vessels. It also distributes life boats that are manufactured in Norway by Harding, the global market leader of marine life-saving systems, which is a key partner for the firm considering its broad capabilities to meet the global lifeboat requirements. The passenger capacity of lifeboats ranges from 32 up to 130 and are placed to be readily accessible in case of an emergency on offshore platforms as well as other vessels. To ensure the safety of its passengers in case of fires, explosions, gas leaks, or heavy storms, these lifeboats remain sealed and are equipped with a sprinkler system and a selfcontained compressed air system lasting 10 minutes, meant to be enough time to get away from the critical zone.

Working directly with Harding in Mexico gives Duncan & Cossío a significant competitive advantage. Besides the importance of this partnership, the firm is internationally certified by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance No. MQA 4001090 and Det Norske Veritas No. CDC-13-4602 and CDC-13-5172 for all maintenance and servicing of its lifeboats and liferafts. “This is a critical factor in ensuring the safety of the equipment. For this reason, Duncan & Cossío inspects the products using certified processes to deliver reliable solutions to its customers,” assures Sierra Díaz. “Furthermore, IMO international norms require the lifeboats’ components to have specific characteristics, and Harding’s quality standards go way beyond the demands commonly expected by clients.”

Duncan & Cossío is preparing for the challenges that other rescue equipment providers may pose as they enter the Mexican oil and gas industry. With the support of Harding, the firm has been able to be on top of market demands. “The Norwegian manufacturer is constantly improving its rescue products. For example, it strives to better the gliding mechanisms through the use of davits that are installed in the offshore platforms,” explains Sierra Díaz. Additionally, he is certain that his company is ready to meet the expected rise in demand as offshore operations increase. One of the firm’s strategies is to translate competition that comes from companies already operating in the Gulf of Mexico, such as US-based Survival Systems International as well as the Norwegian Norsafe, into an incentive for the improvement of Duncan & Cossío’s corporate strategy. The company also focuses its efforts on personnel training by sending its operators and supervisors every two years to Harding’s headquarters in Norway to undergo specific courses and keep their certifications up to date. By offering superior services and having the adequate infrastructure with qualified staff, the firm expects to remain firmly entrenched as a leading rescue equipment provider. Duncan & Cossío has been providing rescue equipment for the Mexican oil and gas market for the past 35 years. This makes Sierra Díaz believe that it now has a stable foundation to continue developing its industry experience and extend its services to other oil companies.