Mr. Moreau - you have been with Vallourec for about 16 years, primarily focused on the OCTG business. What are the challenges of your new position as Director Power Generation Division?
Nicolas Moreau: Our main markets are mostly in Asia, namely in China, Korea and India. So our aim - quite logically - is not only to get close to them on a technological basis, but also to seek geographical proximity to our local clients and partners.
How will customers benefit from this 'closeness'?
Nicolas Moreau: We are well aware of the ongoing, fierce competition that our customers are involved in and of course we are involved as well. To give them the distinctive edge over their competitors, we have to understand their needs much better. Fast response, optimized logistics, project and customer specific product developments and product excellence... all these requirements of increasingly dynamic markets are best met when you are close and competive.
To reach these targets Vallourec recently installed a performance plan to strengthen our competitiveness, to improve our performance and to develop our innovations to drive our market difference.
Which steps will be taken in the near future in order to bring this strategy to life?
Nicolas Moreau: With regard to power generation related products in Asia a very important step has already been done with the foundation of additional powergen sales offices in India, in Singapore and Korea, on top of those already existing. After our long experience with offices in China and the US we are closer to the customer in these important markets as well.
Moreover also our production moves closer to the customer. A very important step is taken by the installation of the forging facility in Vallourec Changzhou two years ago. The dimensional programme and grade portfolio offered by Changzhou form a sound basis for the development not only of the Chinese markets but also of markets throughout Asia. The same is applicable for our Valinox Nucléaire production plant in China and the Vallourec Heat Exchanger Tubes production plants in China, India and South Korea. The cooperation with Seonghwa in Korea for tubes with smaller OD is another important part of localisation. We are well prepared for the Asian market.
Apart from Asia - are there any other promising markets?
Nicolas Moreau: For the next two or three years we will certainly remain focused on China, India and Korea as our main markets, developing key-account-projects there and simultaneously optimizing our overall customer performance. On the other hand we are alert to future market developments in the Middle East and also in Africa, with South Africa and maybe sub-Saharan countries developing into coming powergen markets.
A final word from you on Vallourec's future technological develoments in the powergen sector.
Nicolas Moreau: We will use Vallourec's comprehensive R&D power, experience and expertise in the field of power generation for innovation processes closely related to our customers' specific needs. This will also include service improvements in close dialogue and cooperation with our clients.
Nicolas Moreau - new Vallourec Director Power Generation Division