An increase in maintenance and conversion projects at tank terminals and refineries, changing customer specifications and a growing demand for fast delivery and secured storage sites. That summarizes the most noteworthy developments in the Pipelines segment. No matter the challenge, our globally operating teams always find the best solution for our customers and intensively work together for this purpose.

In recent years, Van Leeuwen has supplied large volumes of materials for maintenance and renovation projects in the Pipelines segment. ‘There is growth in this kind of projects, compared to new development’, says Mark Bouwman, Team Leader and Account Manager at Van Leeuwen Zwijndrecht in the Netherlands. In addition, we are seeing that tank terminals are increasingly more often converted to make them suitable for the storage of other liquids; for example conversion from gasoline tanks to oil tanks. Van Leeuwen continuously aligns its stocks with these developments. This enables us to constantly supply our customers with the right materials in the right quantities, within agreed upon schedules, because this is and stays the most important customer requirement.

The technical requirements (specifications) put out by the end-customer’s engineers are becoming increasingly more strict. Van Leeuwen always has access to the latest knowledge and information about specifications, and is able to provide customers with advice and take work off their hands.

Innovative customer solutions

We are constantly working together with customers on solutions that respond to the continuously changing needs in the pipeline segment. A special project in which Van Leeuwen was involved last year was the creation of a 24-hour guarded storage facility. Van Leeuwen managed the site for six months before it was handed over to the customer. The storage site was located in the port of a large city, near the construction site, where space was extremely limited. Van Leeuwen was able to receive 20 to 25 trucks with coated pipes and tubes per day here in a 4-hectare secured and fenced-in storage site. Graham Watts, General Manager at Van Leeuwen Canada: ‘The key thing is that we managed to implement this job safely and on time for the customer, despite the snow, rain and freezing cold we were confronted with.’

Another development in this segment is the growing demand for fast delivery. We are able to meet this demand with our modern stock management systems, custom services and logistics services.

Always a solution

‘We always find a solution, no matter what the challenge may be. Customers know this and that is our strength,’ says Lindsey Legg. As Project Logistics Manager, she manages the large-scale Pipeline Improvement Initiative (PII) project from Houston, under contract to ExxonMobil. ‘If the past year has shown us anything, it is that at Van Leeuwen we never give up’, she says. For example, in April the governors of some states surrounding the State of Texas temporarily closed their borders due to COVID-19. But following intensive negotiations with responsible authorities in these surrounding states, the team in Houston succeeded in having the (commercial) transport of materials continue without interruption.

Van Leeuwen employees in Zwijndrecht and Houston jointly manage the long-term PII project: project management, expediting, stock management, import, treatment (coating and bending) and the transport of pipes. In the first year alone, we unloaded a considerable tonnage of 30” pipes in the Port of Houston. More than 1,800 trucks were used to transport the pipes.

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