The Korean branch in the spotlight

27/10/2017 - South Korea
Thomas Comte presents the new political context, new stakes and new opportunities for Vallourec’s Korean branch.

The newly elected South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, decided to gradually reduce nuclear and coal from the Domestic Energy mix and to develop faster the renewable energy. Since COP 21 Paris agreement, this choice is following the global energy policy turn taking place around the world for a more sustainable development.

On July 6th, Vallourec's Chairman Philippe Crouzet came to Seoul with Edouard Guinotte, Senior Vice President for Middle East Asia. The Chairman was invited as the keynote speaker of the FKCCI (French Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry) annual meeting. With an audience of more than 100 executives, French and Korean officials and journalists, Philippe Crouzet highlighted the challenges of meeting increased energy demand while reducing CO2 emissions.

Click here to access Philippe Crouzet's speech

Thomas Comte, President of Vallourec's Korea branch, & Vice President South East Asia for Power, mentioned: "In these challenging times, it is particularly important that top Executives come to Korea to share their views with key local players and explain how we are adapting to the new environment."

What are Vallourec's activities in Korea and Japan?

Since the creation of Seoul Branch office in 2010, Vallourec has developed close ties with major EPC (Engineering, Procurement & Construction) companies in Korea. Vallourec provided tubes and pipelines for many nuclear and coal plant projects. Recently, the Group has equipped the necessary tubes and pipelines for a 1000MW coal power plant.

It also built a strong partnership with the Korean Group Seonghwa with a joint offer for expanded pipelines in Korea to complete Vallourec's offer large diameter thin wall pipes.

Moreover, the Group is working tightly with large Korean shipbuilders and EPC, such as Samsung Heavy Industry (SHI). Vallourec delivered to SHI thousands of pipelines for the world's largest FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading), among which the offshore project Egina in Nigeria.

What products and services does Vallourec offer in Korea?

Korea is a well known country for innovation (the #1 of OECD countries in term of R & D /: 4.15% of GDP), combined with an average growth rate of 7% over the last 50 years.

On the Korean premium market, Vallourec continually innovated in order to improve the quality of products and offer new services.

IWC (Inside Diameter & Weight Controlled) is an example of innovative service developed for Chinese and Korean steam piping market in thermal power stations.

Another example, at high temperatures and pressures, VALIOR P91 and P92 pipes with inside surface protection prevent premature oxidation and thus particle exfoliation and turbine damage. In addition to innovation, the local presence, through our Branch office and its high level multidisciplinary team, is also critical to develop key contacts in Korea and being fully and quickly responsive to this demanding market. In addition to this, the presence of Vallourec plants in China allows better competitiveness and shorter delivery times on the Korean market.

How does this market evolve?

The Korean Branch office is going to develop to cover the power generation market in South East Asia, because Korean and Japanese EPCs have a very strong market share there.  The main idea behind is to help creating a "virtuous bridge" between Vallourec, with The Korean and Japanese EPC who are partnering with us since many years and the local utilities in south East Asia who design and order the new power projects. The customer events planned in Hanoi and Jakarta next November will unite the best expertise on the market to concentrate on the most rigorous and sophisticated projects to come in the area.

Thomas Comte declared: "The seminars planned in Hanoi on November 7th and in Jakarta on November 9th with National utilities and key stakeholders, and with the participation of some Korean EPC to present our latest innovation and organize roundtables to discuss the technical challenges that we are all facing in the energy sector."

Indeed, Korean and Japanese companies are experiencing an important exporting trend towards Southeast Asia region especially in the construction of new electricity production plant. For instance, Japanese IHI Corporation, leader of the consortium for EPC in the Malaysian USC Jimah project, ordered special Vallourec power generation products in multiple dimensions and five different steel grades.

Thomas Comte concluded: "Korea is an interesting market, since it represents an 'activity barometer' for Vallourec. Our presence in Seoul enables us to have a deep multisector understanding of Korean business and, beyond that, of the general South East Asia region."