Socotherm Group secures Vietnam contract, expands Australian activities

Since APC Socotherm completed its 100th coating project in Australia in 2006, the company has embarked on providing coating systems which are new to Australia. In early 2007, APC Socotherm applied Trikoteâ„¢ 3LPP (polypropylene) to the 65 km long Basker Manta subsea gas pipeline project which APC Socotherm believes was the first time this coating had been applied in Australia.

The company has recently upgraded its internal coating plant to process large diameter pipe up to NB1,500 which now mirrors the process capability of its FBE, 2FBE and Trilaminate external coating lines. The upgrade affords the company’s clients the opportunity to import large diameter bare pipe (which can be difficult to source locally) and have it coated in Australia rather than importing pre-coated pipe from overseas. The principle benefit is eliminating the frequent occurrence of coating damage normally resulting from the multiple handling operations required during sea freight transportation.

APC Socotherm will be setting yet another new milestone in the Australian pipeline coating industry later this year as part of its participation in the coating of a subsea pipeline to be installed offshore Vietnam.

APC Socotherm is part of the Socotherm Group of companies which has recently secured the coating works for insulated and weight coated pipes. The pipes will be installed in the offshore field of Cuu Long on the Vietnamese coast of the Southern China Sea. This field is operated by the Haon Vu Joint Operating Company and forms part of a development with three other fields in the area which is expected to produce 700 million barrels of oil in 2010.

The main contract is valued at over $US11 million and includes coating of fittings, anode installation and field joint coating that will be performed on the vessel during pipelaying operations. APC Socotherm in Kembla Grange New South Wales will provide the external coatings for the main pipeline and production is expected to commence in late 2007 or early 2008. Part of the operations will see concrete weight coating and thermal insulation plants mobilised to Australia for the project.

“The award of the contract is of great strategic importance, giving us the opportunity to enter the Vietnam oil market,” said Zeno Soave, Chairman and CEO of Socotherm Group. “The area is one of the fastest growing oil producers in southeast Asia.”

The 25 km long, 273 mm water injection pipeline will be coated with 400 µm of single layer fusion bonded epoxy. The production pipeline will be a 26 km long 273 mm linepipe to be coated in a composite coating system of 3LPP/PUF/3LPP/CWC.

The first layer in the composite coating consists of 4,000 µm of 3-layer Trikote Polypropylene (3LPP) followed by a 26 mm thick secondary layer of polyurethane foam, required for its insulation properties. The third layer will be a 4,000 µm thick “jacket” of 3LPP which will be overcoated with a final outer layer of 25 mm thick concrete weight coating for subsea stability. The scope also includes the supply and installation of sacrificial bracelet anodes.

As part of the overall contract, the Socotherm Group will also control the inland transportation of pipe from and to Port Kembla harbour and APC Socotherm’s coating facility plus the sea freight of coated pipe from Australia to Asia. The project utilises personnel and machinery from Italy, Argentina and Australia and demonstrates the Socotherm Group’s ability to pool its world wide resources to meet its customers’ demanding project requirements.

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