Van Leeuwen
Project management is our core business

Project management is our core business

Martijn van der Zande,
Van Leeuwen, Zwijndrecht, the Netherlands

At Van Leeuwen, international project management is an essential and highly risky part of daily business. We need smart solutions in order to deliver an entire project thoroughly, competitively and in time. It’s up to Van Leeuwen Global Projects to offer these solutions to our clients. This blog will show you the fast-paced world of project management, where cooperation with buyers and suppliers is leading and timing is essential.

I am Commercial Director at Van Leeuwen Global Projects. We handle international projects in the energy sector, like the construction of oil refineries, gas processing plants, pipelines, offshore platforms, LNG projects and projects in (petro)chemistry. In other words, I am talking about the billions in investments made by large oil, gas and (petro)chemical producers who need tubes and tube components.

Think global, act local

Thanks to our international network, we are always in close proximity to our client, the plant and the end customer. For instance, if Shell or BP builds a refinery, they work with an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor. The contractor is our direct client. However, all product requirements and technical specs are specified by Shell or BP, i.e. the end customer.

Those strict demands and requirements are closely connected to the project location and the client. An offshore project for Shell in the North Sea would obviously demand different requirements than the construction of a refinery in Indonesia. Similarly, specs and requirements set forth by Russia’s Gazprom are very different from those used by Great Britain’s BP. Specs and requirements can vary on a commercial, logistics or (product) technical basis. The quality of crude oil is different in every region, to name an example. The teams at Van Leeuwen Global Projects are tasked with finding the right mill owner in the supply chain to fit the client’s specifications and requirements.

The entire package is essential

It is our role to continually evaluate the quality, reliability, capacity and pricing of the mills. After all, prices are very flexible. They can even vary region to region. Too much air pollution in China? The government will downscale the capacity of steel mills, thereby temporarily lowering output and raising prices. This means a mill in India can be cheaper than China on paper, but if the project is located in Siberia, a mill in northern China would make more sense from a logistic point of view. Likewise, the recent tariffs imposed by the United States have a huge impact on the final cost price. This is why the project teams at Van Leeuwen always look for the optimal logistics solution. It’s the entire package that counts.

Timing is crucial

Another crucial element is timing. On average, the construction of a refinery or gas processing plant takes three to five years.  It’s useless to store tubes in the desert or on arctic plains for three years.  However, if those same tubes have not yet arrived while 500 welders are on location, waiting to get to work, a lot of money is wasted. That is why, in order to guarantee timely delivery, clients impose hefty fines in the case of delays. Needless to say, we work in a challenging business with lots of risks, low profit margins and large volumes of products.

From Indian nuts to Brazilian tubes

We take care of the entire project, keeping with planning and budget. Clients can choose what they want in one complete package: from regular carbon steel to stainless steel , even to Super Duplex, high quality nickle alloys and titanium. And from nuts made in India to tubes made in Brazil. The first 70 to 80 percent of such projects come in one or two orders, which are usually completely and directly supplied by the mills. At the end of the project, so after two to three years, the orders are too small for factory orders and we have to supply from stock. In these cases, I rely on the stocks of our network of sister companies.

Core business

Last but not least, we developed our own project database. This tool shows the progress of our projects to project teams and our clients. This way, clients know exactly which materials are transported to which location. The tool also works for international projects and it is one of our USPs. To us, international project management is not just the cherry on the cake, it is our core business.



View all locations

Contact us