By Catherine Watkins, Contributing Editor
Karl Trauner, outgoing president of the International Pipeline and Offshore Contractors Association (IPLOCA) and Managing Director of HABAU, welcomed over 600 delegates to Beijing, China, for the 45th annual convention. This first IPLOCA convention ever to be held in China was an opportunity to develop business relationships not only with other members but also with clients and partners in the region. Participants were also invited to attend the China International Pipeline Expo which followed the convention.
Although Trauner was already involved in the pipeline industry working on the Trans-Austria-Gas pipeline as a university student, he began his career at HABAU and spent the next 32 years working on civil engineering projects before becoming more involved in the pipeline sector again and becoming the managing director of the Austrian company. Trauner largely credits the contacts and friendships he developed at IPLOCA meetings and conventions for the company’s recent industry acquisitions.
Trauner told P&GJ that his goal as president of IPLOCA was to elevate the “IPLOCA brand” in the industry through its members’ efforts in H&S, training and technology. Although optimistic about the coming years, particularly in light of increased projections of gas industry investments, Trauner regrets the lack of active participation from a number of IPLOCA’s members. “The association’s success depends on the commitment of our members,” Trauner stated. In an effort to encourage more member participation, the board has decided that all member companies will be required to submit their H&S statistics as a condition to attending next year’s convention in Istanbul.
The Open General Meeting started with a presentation about a sixteenth century construction project. David Spindler, an independent historian presented the history and dispelled some of the myths concerning the Great Wall. Other presentations included Professor Michael Economides, the author of “The Color of Oil,” who discussed his views on geopolitics and its impact on the industry; and Torstein Indrebo, the Secretary General of the International Gas Union, looked towards natural gas as part of the future energy solution.
Qingxun Chen, vice president of China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CPP), pointed out that China’s pipeline construction is expected to peak in the next 10 years, with 54,000-km of pipeline expected within the next five years, specifically large diameter and high grade steel pipes, LNG and offshore projects. Chen said that offshore pipeline pipelines installed in China currently measures only 300-km but will increase to 1,500-km when three current deepwater projects are completed.
Over $20,000 was raised for charity by the lottery for a car sponsored by Volvo Construction Equipment and Renault Trucks to benefit HOPE’87, Trauner’s chosen charity this year.
The IPLOCA Health and Safety Award sponsored by Chevron was presented in recognition of a significant achievement in this area. Adam Wynne Hughes, IPLOCA HSE committee chairman, made a presentation on Health and Safety statistics and the committee presented the award to SNC-Lavalin, represented by Melody Kratsios, in recognition of their FOCUS Task Cards. IPLOCA named three runners-up: Land & Marine with National Grid (jointly) for Targeting Zero Accidents through World Class Safety Leadership, Max Streicher for their Water – Principle of the All Things program and McDermott International for their Zero Hand Injury program.
The first IPLOCA Corporate Social Responsibility Award was presented in recognition of an initiative aimed at improving the living conditions of the people in communities impacted by the pipeline industry. The Committee presented the Award to GDK S.A., represented by Samuel Barbosa, in recognition of their assistance in refurbishing and maintaining a bakery to support people with special needs. IPLOCA named two runners-up: Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd., for their Save the Tiger campaign and McDermott International, for their Batam Social Investments and Activities.
The 2011 IPLOCA New Technologies Award sponsored by BP was presented in recognition of a significant achievement in the development of new pipeline technologies. Osman Birgili, chairman of the committee, presented the Award to Laurini Officine Meccaniche S.r.l., represented by Marco Laurini, in recognition of their Seam Aligner Clamp. Three runners-up were recognized: Bredero Shaw for the Thermolite ULTRA Subsea Insulation System, CRC-Evans Pipeline International for its High Unround Line-Pipe Corrector Series: Internal Welding Machines and Copper Back-Up Clamps and New Generation Welding & Inspection Systems; and SPIECAPAG and Laurini Officine Meccaniche (jointly) for their Swamp Muletrax, Ultimate Multi-Purpose Tractor for Remote Swampy Areas.
During the Convention the Association elected the following as its 2011-12 Board of Directors:
President and Director for Europe Eastern: Osman Birgili (Tekfen Construction); 1st Vice President and Director for America North: Douglas Evans (Gulf Interstate Engineering); 2nd Vice President and Director for Middle East & Africa: Najib Khoury (CCC); Treasurer and Director for Europe Central: Harald Dresp (Max Streicher); Immediate Past President: Karl Trauner (HABAU); Director for Europe Eastern: Iosif Panchak (Stroygazmontazh); Directors for Europe Mediterranean: Bruno Maerten (GEOCEAN) and Leonardo Gravina (Sicim); Director for Europe Northwest: Adam Wynne Hughes (CRC-Evans); Director for Latin America: Daniel Fernandez (Techint); Director for Middle East & Africa: Nasser Issa (The C.A.T. Group); Directors for East & Far East: Andy Lukas (A.J. Lucas) and Rajen Kilachand (Dodsal Group); Directors for Associate Members: Gerry Grothe (Pipeline Machinery International) and Pierluigi Zanin (Goriziane Group). Appointed as Directors at Large were Roberto Castelli (Bonatti), Marco Jannuzzi (Caterpillar), John Tikkanen (Bredero Shaw), Jerrit Coward (Willbros) and Wilhelm Maats (Maats Pipeline Equipment).