Van Leeuwen
What does the Energy Transition mean for us?

What does the Energy Transition mean for us?

David Abernethy,
Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube, Singapore

The energy market will continue to change over the coming years. Coal-fired power plants will make way for natural gas-fired power plants. Investments are made in new energy sources, such as wind and solar energy, and in more environmentally-friendly production methods. Moreover, plants and installations have to be built in a more efficient way. By staying in close contact with all relevant players in the market, suppliers such as ourselves can help realising this energy transition. As Regional Manager Oil and Gas at Van Leeuwen Singapore, that is one of my most important challenges.

New legislation changes the market

Here in Asia the market is good. The increase in incomes is creating more demand for products from the chemical sector such as downstream chemicals for the manufacture of consumer goods, fertilizers and synthetic rubbers. Therefore, investments in the chemical and petrochemical installations are high and cause an increased demand for our steel pipes, fittings and flanges.

Newly built installations will be different than before, however, caused by new legislation and regulations. For example, the Euro 5 emission standard for cars requires that the emissions of harmful substances must be reduced. For the production of cleaner fuels, new production facilities such as desulfurization plants will be necessary. From 2020, a comparable rule from the International Maritime Organisation will apply for maritime vessels as well, limiting the permitted emission of sulphur oxides. As a consequence, new ships will have to be built and fitted with desulphurization equipment and existing vessels will need to be retrofitted. 

Cleaner fuels

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is an example of a ‘clean’ fuel that creates many business opportunities for Van Leeuwen, now and in the future: from upstream activities through LNG processing plants to loading and regasification terminals. A good example of such and installation is the Wheatstone LNG project in Australia. With our organisations in Singapore, Australia and Zwijndrecht (Netherlands) we have been busy with project planning, sourcing and delivering our products and services to this huge installation.

Modular constructions

Another trend I see is the adoption of modular built constructions. This involves the construction of several modules in a yard which are then transported ready-made to the project location. It is a more efficient method, but it also involves more complex logistics for our customers. Not in the least because they want to purchase products through a framework contract when they need them. We are strong in just-in-time deliveries, so Van Leeuwen can profit from this trend.

Global presence, local expertise

Projects in the energy market are mostly international. For example, the engineering of a project can take place in Japan, the manufacturing in China and the project location can be Australia. With our network of 41 branches, of which no less than 13 in Asia, we are perfectly organized to handle these projects from A to Z. On the other hand, our own branches enable us to also meet local requirements, such as the demand to let part of the spending take place within the national borders. This is sometimes the case in upcoming economies who demand local content in order to build sustainable ‘in country’ skills and employment.

I am confident that the Van Leeuwen organisation is well equipped to help its customers through this transition phase and by doing so, will contribute to a better environment.



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