Eckhard Hinrichsen
Mexico Country Manager
DNV GL
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View from the Top

United Front for Certification and Verification

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 16:22

Q: What were the main factors that led to the merger of DNV and GL Noble Denton, and how has it changed your client relationships?

A: Our services are highly complementary so it was a good match, GL is very strong in container ships and DNV is strong in offshore vessels. In Mexico, GL was much stronger on the oil and gas side than DNV in the last few years. On the energy side, GL had bought Garrad Hassan which was the biggest independent consultant on renewables while DNV bought KEMA, which also had major renewable energy and conventional energy segments. The other part of our business is systems certification, where we contributed similar capabilities. We are now among the top two leaders in most industry sectors where we operate. The fact that GL Noble Denton was already present in the Mexican oil and gas industry was also an important part of the strategy behind the merger. DNV’s attitude towards this merger has been very positive, especially because we have the contacts as well as the know-how when it comes to working with PEMEX. The merger opens up new opportunities and our client base has expanded. People come knocking on our doors to get these services. We organized a roadshow during February 2014 that took us to Mexico City, Villahermosa, and Ciudad del Carmen to present PEMEX and other clients with an overview of our services such as deepwater advisory, oil spill modeling and response planning, risk advisory, marine services, and software.

Q: What software solutions do you bring to the table that complement other software solutions in the market?

A: Both DNV and GL have a very complete portfolio of technical software. The GL side has Uptime and DNV has Safeti for pipelines and PHAST for consequence modeling. PHAST is the leading software for consequence analysis in Mexico and is widely used by PEMEX and its contractors. We are in the process of combining these tools as much as possible to merge the strengths of the two programs into one, and market it that way.

Q: How will the creation of new regulatory entities following the Energy Reform, such as ANSIPA and CENAGAS, change the attitude in Mexico about technical standards and certification?

A: It is a positive development as the same standards will now be applied to all pipelines. Beforehand, since PEMEX was the only one responsible, these standards depended on different PEMEX subsidiaries and their budget constraints. The new entities will increase the standards but will also have to deal with old infrastructure that exists in certain areas of the country, which will pose a challenge. We are definitely open to supporting those new entities with technical standards and our vast pipeline experience.

Q: How can DNV GL help these new entities to assume and assimilate their new responsibilities?

A: We have a number of services that we can offer. We have world-renowned experts in pipelines and a very big engineering center in Columbus, Ohio, dedicated to pipelines. We have extensive experience working on pipelines in Norway and Germany, while having worked for 20 years on PEMEX’s pipelines. We have certified most of PEMEX’s pipelines, which is one of group’s main areas of focus. DNV established a rule, F101, for subsea pipelines that is now the leading global standard, with the majority of the world’s pipelines adhering to it. We also came up with a rule for onshore pipelines, which was recently published. We can do a lot to support these new entities using our expertise in the segment.

Q: What is DNV GL’s development strategy for Mexico?

A: We are trying to maximize our participation in the opening of the market following the Energy Reform by working with the companies that will enter the market in 2014 and 2015. We will also strengthen our deepwater group in Mexico, we have about 30 engineers in Houston but we would like our Mexican group to grow more. We have been working with PEMEX in the Lakach project for about three years and we want to continue supporting it in that. We also expect strong activity through 2014, with the EPC contracts being awarded. Our global strategy is focused on pipelines, natural gas, and deepwater, which are areas that we are focusing on in Mexico. DNV GL sees the Mexican market as a very important one for both its Latin American and worldwide portfolios. It is actually our second biggest market in Latin America following Brazil, and we hope to generate a lot of growth here over the next few years.