Local investment Brazil key for Frames safety equipment and flow control

December 3, 2014

After Marketing & Sales Director Léon van Bossum's appearence on Petronoticias online, this time it is General Manager Flow Control & Safeguarding Denny van Hoof to be interviewed by the Brazilian newspaper. He talks about the plans of his division in Brazil, "local content", the challenge of pre-salt, service and more.

This article was originally posted in Portuguese on petronoticias.com.br.

The Dutch company Frames is currently busy with several contracts in Brazil, participating in several projects based on local fabrication and development of equipment for Petrobras' rigs, but they are also seeking to expand their horizons in another direction. The manager of the business unit responsible for flow control and safety equipment, Denny Van Hoof, tells us that the country is already an important part on Frames businesses; however, they still want to enlarge the After-Sales Service Area. Denny is based in the Netherlands, but constantly flies to Rio de Janeiro where the Brazilian unit is located. Moreover, aiming at fostering the local activities, since June Frames has a new Operation Manager – Aline Motta Araujo. “Our basis is enlarging and the systems demand maintenance and good services to keep on functioning properly. Besides that, in case of any problems it is important to offer support. We are focusing on this for the near future" says Denny.

What is your position at Frames and how does that relate to Brazil?
I am the director of the business unit of Frames concerned about safety equipment and flow control. I work in The Netherlands, but I often come to Brazil to support our local team. Since June we have a new operations manager in Brazil – Aline Motta – who stays in Rio de Janeiro to continue the relationship with our local clients and offer them a better support. She is very experienced in this area. Our focus is to further develop our activities here, improve our services and be able to support our final client, which is Petrobras.

What are the main activities in Brazil for the business unit that you lead?
Our main activities involve the supply of all kinds of flow control systems for rigs and FPSOs, as well as safety equipment, mainly utilitary facilities. We are supplying for the FPSOs of the Replicates project as well as for the units of Cessão Onerosa. All the supplies have got a high index of local content, and that is due to partnerships we have with a local companies as Metroval.

Is the Pre-Salt area an important factor for the orders?
We are also supplying other equipment for all the companies that will do the integration of the Replicates' FPSOs, as well as hydraulic systems for the wet Christmas trees operations. Those systems have very complex specifications for meeting the extremely challenging conditions of the Pre-Salt. All the design and the engineering are done in the Netherlands with the follow-up of our local team that gives support and supply maintenance services to the clients.

What is your opinion about the current moment of the Brazilian market?
We see some opportunities on the horizon. We are extremely busy with the ongoing contracts and we keep an eye on the next contracts that might come out either operated by Petrobras or its sub-suppliers, so, we are following-up this process.

What is the representativeness of the Brazilian market on Frames business?
Nowadays Brazil has a very important participation in our business. So, our interest is to have an active participation here and to keep on investing in the country. We started to work in Brazil more than 15 years ago and we were very successful in our partnership with Petrobras.

Are you making new plans for Brazil?
Our next step is to strenghten our post-sales service in the country. We want to develop this area in Brazil and there are possibilities that are still being discussed concerning the support to the base of clients to whom we have already supplied our systems, as well as the support for the new supplies for the Replicates and Cessão Onerosa Projects. This base is enlarging and the systems demand maintenance to keep on working properly. Moreover, the support in case of any trouble is important. In the near future we will be looking at this. We have already hired new personnel, trained them in the Netherlands according to our specifications, so they can come back to Brazil to follow these operations safely.

Is the focus to increase local content?
This is one of the focuses. The other one is that we need local presence for this kind of support. Our presence here is fundamental for this and aiming at this we are making new investments.

Many companies have invested in units and partnerships here, betting on local content, and now, Petrobras has started to take some projects abroad. Are you feeling any impact due to that?
Yes and no. If you consider the units being made abroad such as some FPSOs, there are still some being made here. Thus, our investment being made here in order to improve the local content index still being very important because we can also use those  for other clients that are in the market here and have a commitment concerning local content.

What are the perspectives of Frames do Brasil for the next years?
For the next years we see a lot of opportunities. We will continue investing in the training of local people and in the technology and knowledge transfer. Our company has acquired a lot of knowledge on the last 30 years being active in the upstream oil & gas industry and we want to pass it on for our local team. We want to grow here. The systems we supply here shall operate for a period between 20 to 30 years, therefore, the service, maintenance and support area are very important. It is something we want to develop more here.