A flexible service
Renowned as a leading provider of innovative solutions, services and products as well as a trusted partner in activities such as shipbuilding, vessel repair, power and automation and lifting services, the Westcon group established itself as a group of companies in 2011, with Westcon Yards, Westcon Power & Automation (WPA), Westcon Florø and Westcon Løfteteknikk all operating under the same umbrella. This way of working has further combined the expertise within each division, which has naturally provided customers with increased benefits.
Consisting of four modern shipyards, each of which is equipped to carry out the most demanding vessels and rig contracts, Westcon Yards is defined by its efficient mobilisation of personnel and its resources as well as its ability to complete projects on time. The group has three rig quays in Olen, one in Florø and one in Helgeland, which means it has plenty of space to accommodate many rigs at the same time and ensure optimum reliability to customers. However, capacity is just one part of its strengths; Westcon Yards also has strong expertise in project management and engineering as well as a tradition for dealing with challenges, which means the yard can deliver what it promises to customers.
Furthermore, Westcon can perform complete engineering, maintenance and modification projects on drilling rigs even if they are not in its yard; its success factors include strong rig awareness, excellent implementation ability and advanced use of 3D methods. Meanwhile, as Norway’s leading provider of cranes and heavy-lift services, Westcon Løfteteknikk offers access techniques, control and certification, courses and training. Westcon Power and Automation offers expertly tailored solutions that meet each customer’s unique needs, while Geo is the group’s site for its several seismic vessels; these offer cutting-edge seismic technology.
Westcon also has a Subsea department that produces and supplies advanced constructions for the subsea market. It sets high standards for the execution of its projects, something that ensures that the customer receives a finished product that is in accordance with their expectations regarding quality, costs, and delivery time.
All these departments benefit from a comprehensive, well integrated IT system called WIN (Westcon Information Systems). Introduced in 2014 WIN is a system for data collection, processing and control. Its objective is to document and provide an accurate overview of everything relevant to ongoing projects. It will also handle wage documentation and payment certificates, and generate the financial reports needed. WIN also includes systems for inventory and logistics, accommodation and dining, personnel, QA and HSE, document control and IT control system. “WIN brings significant advantages for our customers and meeting the needs of our customers is crucial. The feedback we have received after the implementation of WIN is unanimously positive. Our customers can now receive reports in more varied formats that are better tailored to their own IT systems. In general, WIN provides customers with a far better overview than previously,” states Arne Birkeland, CEO of Westcon Group.
Continuing a tradition that has been in place since its inception in 1963, the Westcon Group of companies has continued to evolve in line with market trends and customer demands since it was previously featured in Shipping & Marine magazine in February 2015. For example, the group invested in two pipe bending machines during the year, with the smaller of the machines delivered in March and the world’s largest machine arriving in the summer from Unison. “Now that we have the largest electrical bending machine in the world operating at our site, we are now heavily involved in bending pipes and can cold bend up to ten inch pipes resulting in much shorter delivery time and cost than before,” adds Arne.
Indeed, the ground-breaking larger pipe-bending machine is able to bend pipes up to ten inches in diameter in approximately half an hour; this is in comparison to a bend that previously took 16 hours of cutting out parts, bending and welding; the smallest machine, meanwhile, can bend pipes in under a minute. With lasers and computers controlling all parts of the pipe bending process, accuracy is at such a level that piping can be delivered to the subsea and aerospace industries.
Determined to succeed in a challenging market, Arne says the group has also invested in other areas of the business: “We have also invested in fabrication halls and new equipment and have a large hall for upgrades and modifications for BOPs and thrusters for the drilling rigs that we can do completely in-house as we have significant lifting capacity and height. As we speak we have a BOP maintenance job ongoing, which is going well and are also preparing to add drilling rigs at our yard in Florø. We already have a quay side, cranes and an access system available, so we are ready to roll when the market picks up.”
Other major contracts within the group include WPA being contracted to deliver the innovative energy storage system to Eidesvik Offshore’s LNG fuelled vessel Viking Energy. Developed by WPA and based on its e-SEAMatic platform with associated power electronics, the battery system solution will reduce fuel consumption by 15 – 20 per cent. “The battery concept is due for delivery in 2016 and has been developed to store energy to ensure customers use it in the most efficient way. These systems are now coming onto the Norwegian market from several players so we are extremely pleased that we were chosen to provide this system. We also see opportunities for this system in the ferry business in Norway so our initiative is ongoing,” notes Arne.
Not a company to rest on its laurels, WPA announced in January 2016 that it had signed a four-year operating agreement in electrical and instrumentation with Statoil, which applies to projects at processing plants for gas at Kårstø, and also contains options for five times two years. No stranger to working with Statoil as a group, the business Westcon Løfteteknikk has also been awarded a frame agreement with Statoil for the delivery of lifting equipment containers in addition to the competent control of non-complex lifting equipment. Discussing why Westcon Løfteteknikk was chosen for this project, Arne states: “We have been working on these solutions for many years and have finally been successful in entering this frame agreement with Statoil.”
Although the market is currently challenging for many in the shipping and oil and gas industries, by investing in new equipment and facilities Westcon Group has helped cement its leading reputation while also ensuring it is ready to support larger and heavier vessels and rigs when they come into the market.
Family owned and run business
Awarded contracts with oil majors such as Statoil
Invested in the world’s biggest electrical pipe bending machine