Maarten Spilker, Managing Director and CEO of Technip MHB Hull Engineering.
Gurdip Singh, Contributing Editor
A new joint venture in Malaysia aims to support Asia’s upstream sector with a wide range of services. Offshore’s contributing editor Gurdip Singh recently spoke to Maarten Spilker, Managing Director and CEO of Technip MHB Hull Engineering (TMH) – a new joint venture between global group Technip and Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Berhad (MHB).
Offshore: What led to the creation of the TMH joint venture, and what opportunities do you see in the offshore market?
Spilker: Offshore production is extending even more into deepwater and unconventional fields. These developments have increased the growth of prospects requiring more structurally efficient and innovative floating structures. The joint venture will leverage Technip’s design engineering capability and MHB’s fabrication expertise. With the combination of this experience, we believe that TMH will become the reference company for floating production facilities, hull design, and engineering in South East Asia.
Offshore: What will the venture offer to the offshore oil and gas industry?
Spilker: As the industry moves into ever deeper waters, the cost of the subsea system becomes a key driver for hull concept selection. TMH has the breadth of knowledge to consider all design drivers and to develop a solution that works best for the client. We believe that the venture will be able to provide world-class and customer focused services, and deliver robust, safe and fit-for-purpose fabrication-friendly solutions.
Offshore: Please elaborate on the joint venture’s plans to develop offshore production technologies.
Spilker: TMH’s goal is to deliver world class facilities based on demonstrated technologies, wherever possible. But we are also ready to develop and validate new technologies that prove necessary to unlock value in frontier areas.
Offshore: What would be Technip’s contribution to the venture?
Spilker: With an investment in TMH, Technip will be able to fulfill its strategic goal of becoming a more capability-driven organization, positioning it to be a full-fledged engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning (EPCIC) contractor for floating solutions.
Offshore: What role will MMHE will play in the JV?
Spilker: An MHB shipyard, Malaysian Marine and Heavy Engineering is the center of choice for the construction of deepwater facilities, marine repair services, and marine conversion of FSOs, FPSOs, MOPUs and MODUs. Located in Pasir Gudang, MMHE has the single largest fabrication yard by annual tonnage capacity in Malaysia. It brings considerable expertise in fabrication and floating technologies to the venture.
Offshore: How do you see the joint venture’s position in the service sector?
Spilker: Projections for the Asia/Pacific region in the coming decade are quite staggering. It will be a major challenge for the industry to resource the projects with skillful and experienced engineers. With the combination of MHB’s fabrication expertise and Technip’s topside engineering design capability, we expect TMH to become the safe haven and partner of choice by providing world-class hull engineering services.
Offshore: Where is the shortage of expertise for today’s heavy-duty and technology-driven projects?
Spilker: There is often a shortage in the number of local workers available who are qualified to operate these new technologies. To overcome this, we mobilized experts from the Technip and MMHE centers of excellence for the transfer of technology and training. TMH also expects to promote the development of critical skills among the local populace in project areas.
Offshore: The global energy industry continues to face a shortage of skilled manpower while the “old hand” expertise retires. What is the venture doing to ensure that it has the right personnel?
Spilker: We only hire professionals. With MMHE providing structural and piping engineers, we are bringing constructability right to the center of our design; and we can draw upon a large pool of expert resources from Technip both regionally and from their offices in Houston and Paris.
Offshore: How does the venture view the challenges of managing complex deepwater projects?
Spilker: We have all the right resources in place, and we’re confident of managing even the most complex deepwater projects.
Offshore: What projects do you have under way or on the drawing board?
Spilker: After nearly a year of preparation, TMH was established as a company in July. Our team is now working on a tender for a large floating production facility for Malaysian waters. We are working with several companies to provide engineering services for FPSO conversion projects that are expected to be awarded in the second quarter of this year.
The Pasir Gudang Yard in Johor, Malaysia, operated by MMHE, is the single largest fabrication yard by annual tonnage capacity in Malaysia.