Outgoing Chairman’s Welcome Note

Wim Vranckx“Welcome to the 3rd Annual General Meeting / Conference. On behalf of the Management Committee of this Association, I welcome you all to this year’s annual convention.

Looking back to this year’s activities, the Association’s plans were regrettably slowed down by the security situation in the country and more especially in Port Harcourt. As a result, we were only able to organize two technical sessions instead of four originally planned. Now that the situation is improving we hope to add more activities to the agenda soon.

This Conference features the theme “Engineering success in Oil & Gas Pipelines in Nigeria”. It is important to note that there is need for maintaining the performance, delivery and service standards of our industry especially those relating to safety. Pipelines provide a vital transportation service; many of them run under our cities and towns and as such are crucial to meeting the energy needs of every community in our society.

Abraham Lincoln said ‘you cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today’. I challenge each of you to review your own company’s corporate culture and reflect on what safety messages you are passing on to your employees? How extensive is your pipeline inspection program? What tools have you put in place to control problems when they appear? How effective is your employee training and evaluation program? I hope these questions will trigger some actions towards a proactive and safety conscious culture.

It is worthy to note that the pipeline industry has come of age with several challenges and PLAN has positioned herself to meet such challenges. Notable among them are several pipeline projects coming up in the near future with the renewed drive for indigenous participation in the areas of construction and maintenance in line with the local content policy of the Federal Government which will in turn improve the level of professionalism within the association.

The other challenge that readily comes to mind is the aspect of providing training opportunities especially in the Niger Delta area. Other areas are regulatory challenges for the future and new technology deployment for the benefit of our members.

As we have seen in the past several technical sessions, there are many highly technical activities that are taking place everyday within individual offices and companies in Nigerian pipeline industry. These would have gone unnoticed and the lessons from them not shared if the association did not exist. It serves pipeline operators and other industry participants well to know that such capabilities exist and are achievable locally.

This convention will feature formal sessions but also allow you to network with people who can make a difference to the future of the industry and your business.

I would like to thank a number of parties:

  • The sponsors of this event:
    • TD Williamson Nig Ltd
    • Inspection and Tests Nig Ltd
    • WEAFRI Well Services Nig, Ltd
    • Nigeria LNG
    • Halliburton Energy Services
    • DSV Pipetronix
    • Anasami Construction LTD
  • The individuals/companies who have volunteered to make presentations.
  • All the members of the management committee for their valued contributions and support during my time as the chairman of this Association.

Looking forward to next year, I am pleased to announce that the preparations for an International Pipeline Convention in Abuja are well underway, to be held most likely during Q2 2008.

As there will be elections during this AGM, I have to announce that I will not be standing again for Chairman, as I will be leaving Nigeria very soon after a very rewarding 5 years. I trust that the new chairman will take the association to even greater heights.

Welcome once again, I wish you all a fruitful conference and a Merry Christmas and Happy New year in advance.

Wim Vranckx
Executive Chairman