The power of ten

Founded in 2008, EnerMech is one of the world’s leading specialist mechanical, electrical, and instrumentation services companies for large scale energy and infrastructure projects. Though the work the company performs is complex, the structure of EnerMech’s core offering is simple - the business offers its clients ten key services that can be tailored specifically to the customer or project needs. As the company’s CEO Chris Brown points out, EnerMech does not generalize, it 183 ospecializes.

“We’ve grown over the last 12 years through a mixture of acquisitions and organic strategies,” Chris explains. “From Enermech 182 ca small business started in Aberdeen, we have gone on to achieve a presence in 23 countries and a workforce of over 4000 people.

“Even though we’re only really 12 years old, the businesses we’ve acquired along the way have given us a resume of more than 40 years’ experience in both onshore and offshore oil, as well as vast expertise in technology, project delivery, and service delivery. The part that makes EnerMech unique though is that we are very specialist. We have a number of core services we are able to offer our customers and we bring further value by bundling those services together to give our clients an efficient, cost-effective, time-effective, all-inclusive solution to their needs.”

The ten services that make up EnerMech’s core offering include maintenance; commissioning; mechanical, electrical, and instrumentation installation; specialist cranes and lifting services; hydraulics; process, industrial and valve services; integrity management; equipment rental; training; and subsea pipeline work.

“Integrity management is a large part of what we do,” Chris adds. “This usually consists of going into a client’s asset base and using unique specialist inspections and monitoring techniques to help form and propose solutions that help clients to reduce cost and extend the life of their facility. We also have turnkey solutions when it comes to hydraulics and we have skilled people with the ability to make all types of hydraulics systems. All this is underpinned by our large equipment rental business, which gives companies the ability to perform their own construction, maintenance, or hydraulic work with the latest equipment and fleet.”

Invaluable experience
EnerMech’s reputation for delivering tailor-made service packages means that the company continues to draw interest from clients across the globe. Through 2017 until early 2019, the firm supported a highly comtechnical subsea pipelines contract with TechnipFMC, secured due to its credentials in working in complex deepwater subsea structures. Working on Angola’s Kaombo offshore development, EnerMech provided critical pre-commissioning services during the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) hook-up operations phase of the project. This complex project comprised the tie-in of six fields of the Kaombo North and South FPSOs in ultra-deep water (up to 1950 meters in depth). EnerMech’s experience working with complex subsea systems was invaluable during the project supporting the connection of over 300 kilometers of subsea pipelines.

More recently, EnerMech has been working on the WestConnex project, a predominantly underground, 33-kilometre motorway scheme in Sydney, Australia. Currently Australia’s largest integrated transport and urban revitalization project, WestConnex is also a landmark development for EnerMech in terms of its monumental size and scale. The Enermech 182 bfirm has been involved in the testing and commissioning of mechanical and electrical systems in one of the tunnels, as well as overseeing procedures for lighting, fire safety, water, and ventilation in another. EnerMech recently secured a contract for further work on the next phase of the WestConnex M4-M5 link and hopes to soon be able to provide similar services in the UK.

As WestConnex and the Kaombo offshore project illustrate, EnerMech boasts a degree of technical agility and business flexibility unmatched by the vast majority of its competitors. Chris suggests that these traits continue to distinguish EnerMech from the rest of the industry and, earlier in 2020, helped to win the company a place in the top 20 of the Sunday Times Profit Track.

“The type of services we offer, and the people we hire to develop and train within those services, are true differentiators for us,” Chris says. “We’ve got industry-leading expertise in a number of areas, including subsea pipeline commission and testing, and when it comes to hydraulics technologies and integrity management, we’ve got some really unique offerings and some really good people to support them.”183 p

For a business the size of EnerMech, with offices in 40 locations across the world and a truly global footprint, maintaining the company’s renowned flexibility can be difficult, but it is a challenge that Chris relishes.

“There’s only really one way you can do it,” he claims. “People have always assumed that the bigger you get, the more centralized you need to get for economies of scale, but I disagree with that. I believe the bigger you get, in terms of numbers of people spread across the globe, you’ve actually got to further decentralize.

“The way we stay agile is by having four very strong regional leaders, with their own comteams, that are close to the customers, which allows us to be responsive, reactive, and adapt to changes in the market. Now, we need a degree of governance to make sure that the four businesses don’t just operate as independent entities, and that’s what my role is at the center. We have a small number of people at the top that manage the portfolios to make sure that we’ve got good quality control across the regions and we operate an approval matrix to assess cost, risk, and value, before we deploy capital allocation.

“That’s how we run the business from an agility standpoint, which is needed when you develop as many services and locations as we have but still want to be close to your customers. It’s all about balance. We’ve got to make sure we don’t blow the business up by making different decisions across four corners of the world that may not be aligned to where we are as a larger company.”

Infrastructure projects
EnerMech has always valued the importance of investment as a way to grow the business and in 2017, the firm acquired EPS Australia and Americas, adding electrical and instrumentational technical services to its portfolio and paving the way for the company’s entrée into the Australian infrastructure market. Supported by The Carlyle Group, EnerMech also invests over £10 million per year on new equipment and Chris is grateful for the support offered by EnerMech’s parent company, both from a technical standpoint, as well as on capital issues.

“We are backed by a great group like Carlyle and I just couldn’t think of anything better,” Chris declares. “Having a good, close connection with our capital providers means we’ve got the resources to employ more people, train more people, build more offices, and ultimately, win more work. During 2019, the objective was to build a stronger platform for the future and increase our bandwidth in preparation for an attempt to double or treble growth in the coming years. Now it is my job to work with Carlyle and take us to the next level.

“Diversification is going to be a key part of our future expansion. People have always seen us as an energy service provider, but we’re not. We’re more than that. We’ve recently diversified the business into more infrastructure-related projects, and we are now more OPEX-focused on the oil and gas side of our work. We’ve always managed cost well, developed our offering through differentiating technologies, and trained people successfully in those areas, but the key to our future is going to be in moving further away from the traditional oil and gas market and more into infrastructure and related markets such as renewables.”

When it comes to planning for EnerMech’s future, exploring opportunities in the renewable sector certainly features high on the list of Chris’ priorities, along with preserving the company’s agility, maintaining its customer focus, and keeping its workforce safe.

“In everything we do, whether we are making investments in new service lines or bringing in new people, we have to make sure we preserve our safety culture, maintain our customer focus, and retain our agility. If we lose any of that, we start to go down a path towards forgetting who we are,” Chris asserts.

“In terms of where our future opportunities lie, I see huge potential for our integrity management offering on aging oil and gas facilities that have been priced out of rebuilding because of oil prices and, instead, look to squeeze more out of their existing assets. We could also see new build projects for LNG facilities both in Africa and the Middle East, as well as infrastructure and sustainability work across all regions.

“Most of all, I think we will start working on more and more infrastructure projects and in renewable markets. A lot of the ten service lines we’ve offered in oil and gas are conducive to the renewable market too and we are currently bidding, winning, and executing more work on the road and rail cominfrastructure side of our business. We’ve already got a lot of experience in oil and gas, and now we will look to transfer our services to infrastructure and renewables. I think we’ll be pushing very hard across all service lines in those areas.”

EnerMech
www.EnerMech.com
Services: Specialist mechanical, electrical, and instrumentation services company

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Lift up and prosper

An innovation company at its core, SPOC Automation believes that world-changing ideas can come from anywhere. It is a sentiment reflected in the firm’s intelligent range of automation technology for upstream and midstream markets in the oil and gas industry. Specializing in controlling processes and equipment that rotates, SPOC has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing intuitive products that increase the efficiency of their customers, saving both time and money.

“It all started with the rod pump controller, our Ironhorse product,” SPOC’s CEO and President Bobby Mason SPOC 182 bexplains. “SPOC is actually an acronym for Sensorless Pump Off Control. The name comes from the pump off controller 183 mwe developed that is inside our variable frequency drive to help maximize production and reduce energy consumption.

“We can apply a variable frequency drive and automation on any rotating equipment with an electric motor. A drive acts a lot like a rheostat on a light switch. The rheostat changes the voltage supply to your light, which changes the intensity of the light. We do that with an electric motor. We can change the speed of that motor electrically and maintain 100 percent torque across the speed range, so that you can speed up or slow down your process based on your requirements. Not only does it prevent wasted energy, but it also saves money and reduces mechanical wear and tear on your equipment.”

As well as selling directly to user markets such as the Saltwater Disposal sector, a significant portion of SPOC products go to market through original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and multi-national oilfield service companies who brand and comdistribute the product as their own. Over the years, SPOC has developed software and automation solutions for all artificial lift and compression applications, and its products continue to dominate a number of markets - none more so than the electrical submersible pump (ESP) sector, where SPOC holds more than 20 percent of the market.

“We do a tremendous amount of business in the ESP market,” Mason confirms. “I think our success in that sector comes because our product is robust, its feature sets, and the fact that, as a company, we are very scalable and can handle high volumes. If a client has a project and needs 2000 drives over the next 24 months, we are able to do that and a lot of other companies are not. Since we specialize in this technology, we know the applications and our customer support is incredible. One thing is for sure, if you ask any of our customers, they’ll tell you that their support is unmatched. High quality products and unbeatable support are two things that really help to set us apart and, like everything we do, it all comes back to our core values and our belief in the Lift Up culture.”

Five core values
According to Mason, Lift Up is not simply another corporate initiative but a culture; an integral philosophy ingrained in the business and shared by all who work there. Every day, SPOC challenges its employees to embody the culture by living out their five core values: committed, caring, passionate, solutions focused, and gratifying.

“I am a firm believer in positive recognition and Lift Up allows that,” Mason says. “For example, we had custom coins made up - each one about the size of a silver dollar - and each coin has one of our five core values on it, along with the Lift Up logo. We have established a system whereby, if your peers see you living out one of our values, they can nominate you to receive one of our coins with that particular core value on it.

“At SPOC, we value recognition and so we hand out accolades and rewards. At the end of each year, we have what we call the Lift Up Award, which recognizes the person who has most represented our values throughout that year. I like to think of the Lift Up Award winner as somebody who, if they were deployed to Mars, without being able to speakSPOC 182 c Martian, would be able to communicate exactly who SPOC Automation is and what we stand for simply through their actions and their deeds. Not only is that person honored in front of the entire company, but there is also a monetary reward and special Lift Up coin to go with it. It just goes to show how important we believe those core values to be. As a business, we try to Lift Up the individual, we try to Lift Up our company, we try to Lift Up our customers, and we try to Lift Up the industry.”183 n

SPOC’s Lift Up culture is evident in all facets of the business, from its people to its products. Most recently, it played a role in the development of DriveShield, the industry’s most comprehensive extended warranty. Offering up to ten years of coverage, DriveShield is both a reflection of SPOC’s commitment to customer support, as well as evidence of the confidence the company has in its products.

“We always want to try to help people,” Mason states. “DriveShield allows our customers to deploy drive automation equipment for six- to ten-years with a safety net; an unprecedented level of cover that even includes lightning strikes and voltage anomalies. There is nothing like that in the industry, and especially over these next rebuild years, DriveShield is a tremendous way to help protect our clients even from unnecessary expenses caused by an act of God.

“It also speaks to the way we manufacture our products,” he adds. “We wouldn’t be able to offer up to ten years of warranty protection on a product going into some of the harshest environments on the planet if it was not built with extreme quality and robustness. After deploying more than 65,000 units, we’ve learned a great deal about how to protect our equipment correctly; DriveShield offers our customers even more peace of mind.”

Innovation remains at the center of everything SPOC does, and this will not change in the future. Later this year, the company hopes to release a next-generation product that will incorporate more than a dozen new sensors, as well as a more modern, more intuitive interface. SPOC hopes it will be the first of many industry-defining innovations that the firm will pioneer in the years ahead.

“We’re really excited about the next few years,” Mason remarks. “I think the energy space is going to rebound quicker than a lot of the naysayers and pundits might think. Energy is vital for a quality, thriving life, and for developing nations to be able to move up that economic ladder.

“The electrification of the world is increasing too. There is a large percentage of growth in that space and you can use variable frequency drives in conjunction with battery and super cap technology that will allow you to bridge the gap between diesel power and full electric.

“Our drive technology continues to advance, and we think that actually, over the next three to five years, there is going to be a huge transition to variable frequency drives because it saves so much energy and reduces harmful emissions. On average, we save our customers anywhere from 20 to 40 percent on their electric consumption by deploying variable frequency technology. As you can imagine, that leaves us bullish about the future.”

SPOC Automation
www.spocautomation.com
Products: Automation technology manufacturer

Ingrained in the membrane

A subsidiary of Veolia Water Technologies, VWS Westgarth is the world’s leading supplier of sulfate reduction membrane systems. The company has an impressive understanding of offshore water treatment processes and specializes in the design, build, and operation of treatment plants for seawater injection, and produced water treatment and water injection.

By dividing its products into two key segments, VWS Westgarth encourages a clear focus on the ‘Design & Build’ and ‘Service Solutions’ elements of the business. Design and Build refers to VWS VWS 183 bWestgarth’s capabilities as a turnkey designer and builder of water treatment plants for the upstream oil and gas markets. Service Solutions, on the other hand, comprises the company’s wide range of programs and applications developed to provide the technical, 183 kngineering, and practical assistance required by the client to maximize plant availability, efficiency, and longevity, while reducing operating costs. Solutions in this area include the provision of Offshore Field Service Representatives (FSR’s) for operational support, the company’s own Water Treatment Chemicals line (HydrexTM), bespoke training including access via eLearning on the company’s AquavistaTM platform, which also provides real time onshore data monitoring.

In order to best serve the demands of an unpredictable industry, VWS Westgarth’s Service Solution’s approach relies on creating a partnership with clients, rather than operating in a more traditional contractors role. A central tenet of the company’s support service philosophy is proactivity, a trait that the firm’s Head of Upstream Services, David Lothian, believes has transformed the company into a leader in its field.

“VWS Westgarth has gone from supplying the first commercial application of the sulfate removal process on the Agip Tiffany project in 1992, to leading this specialist industry both in terms of product innovation and in project references. Our involvement continues after the supply of the process package, with the provision of tailor-made system support packages, or service solutions. The ability to support this type of water injection system specialism is, in the main, unique to VWS Westgarth and is recognized by our client list, where we operate with multiple IOC (International Oil Companies) and FPSO lease operators.”

Digital technology
With ongoing operations in offshore regions across the world, VWS Westgarth is now a supplier to more than 40 per cent of its specialist market. As of August 2020, the company operates sites based in Gloucester, England; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Luanda, Angola; and a head office in East Kilbride, Scotland. The firm also benefits from four state-of-the-art business centers.

“Having offices based in such varied locations across the world allows us to cover all local content requirements,” David says. “We also have membrane cleaning facilities in both Angola and Brazil, which also facilitates customer training and training of our own personnel. Our skill sets are transferable from region to region and the use of digital data monitoring and strict KPI led operations of these permits this transfer of these resources. In terms of regional operational differences, it’s mainly the different commercial and statutory legal variances associated with these regions, that create the additional steps to be considered.”

Over the last half decade, VWS Westgarth has directed the bulk of its efforts towards product innovation. Whilst the firm operates its own digital platform, AquavistaTM, which is linked to OSIsoft PI, VWS Westgarth is continually gaining knowledge through experience and wider Veolia Research and Development efforts that feed into greater technological evolution. One significant area of development at present is Predictive Analytics to help improve the operational performance of membranes used in the water treatment process. VWS Westgarth is also deploying augmented reality query support, which reduces the need for people on board (POB) offshore.

“Due to reduced numbers of POB, we had to digitize our service to provide operational support from our shore base,” David states. “As this required a digital approach, we had to evaluate what we could do with rapidly developing digital technology to support our market segment, understand the appropriate digital data monitoring system for our needs, and subsequently build a system for our application and roll this out to our global teams.

“We’ve also been working on the optimization of chemicals,” David adds. “As a corporate organization, Veolia has a chemical brand called HydrexTM, which provides treatment chemicals for VWS 183 cglobal industrial and municipal usage. We took the opportunity to develop a specific range for offshore applications in the water treatment systems. It was a big ask in terms of competing with the known corporations providing chemicals for oil field blocks, but our strategy was to develop a bespoke range of chemicals that differentiated our products as we are a technology provider that includes chemical solutions, as opposed to solely being a chemicals supply company. The new range offers alternatives to our 183 lcompetitors in terms of chemical strength and quality, which creates logistical benefits as well as providing enhanced performance of the water injection system.”

Such dedication and attention to detail in pursuit of solutions for its clients has, unsurprisingly, won VWS Westgarth a great deal of loyal customers over the years. Working in line with the international Quality Management System standard ISO 9001:2015, the company aims to add value in everything it does. David describes one instance of this mission in action: “We deliver water injection asset integrity, which is a combination of digital data monitoring and technical expertise for the market,” he remarks. “The delivery of this service provides customers with increased efficiency of water injection systems. One of our customers has a frame agreement for water injection asset integrity for 11 FPSOs and we have driven value for them over a three-year period. We took what was 50-60 per cent availability of their water injection assets and transformed it into more than 85 per cent availability consistently. This form of asset integrity pays dividends when you correlate this to oil production and ultimately the return on investment.”

Though revolutionary technology and strong client relationships have been integral in transforming VWS Westgarth into a company turning over £50 million a year, the firm is acutely aware that it would be nothing without the 200 people that make up its workforce. Consequently, Health and Safety remains at the forefront of everything the company does.

“The safety and wellbeing of our employees when travelling to and or working on offshore sites, is essential to our business operations,” David asserts. “The development of our High-Risk Management Standards, in addition to our Always Safe Rules and Life Saving Rules, has helped communicate the importance of working safely to all personnel employed by the company. A Health and Safety Week held every year promoting the company’s commitment to a culture of occupational risk prevention helps reinforce to management and their teams that unified involvement is crucial.”

A challenging year for businesses across the globe, 2020’s Covid-19 pandemic set out to put VWS Westgarth’s health and safety initiatives to the test. Flexible and positive in its response to the VWS 183 dcrisis, the company’s performance this year has exceeded all expectations, thanks in part to the level of preparedness embedded within the firm’s health and safety strategies.

“At the start of the pandemic, we had strict limitations on mobilization of offshore engineers,” David reports. “The easing of these restrictions is becoming more widespread, albeit the logistics in organizing such support and their mobilization is very challenging. We still provide a lot of remote support to clients, which our team has adapted to very well and they continue to provide a high level of support whilst working from home also. Support in provision of spare parts and chemicals has not been without its challenges, again mainly around the logistical side of things, but we have adapted well and continue service provision through online support and the use of our developed technologies.”

Optimal results
As far as the future is concerned, ensuring that the company has the lowest possible impact on the environment is close to the top of VWS Westgarth’s list of priorities. The company’s green strategies are focused towards minimizing waste and pollution by using processes and designs that promote the efficient use of energy and other consumables. A commitment to continual improvement in environmental performance ensures that any new products, developments and processes are designed or incorporated, so as to minimize their negative environmental influence.

Unabated ambition has helped VWS Westgarth to its continued success and David is confident that the company’s quest for growth will continue long into the future. The company has sustained its market share in a difficult year and the second half of 2020 will see the launch of new services to help enable the firm to meet its strategic objectives.

“We know we deliver a fantastic service and provide customers with a good return on their investment, which helps production, however, given the dynamic nature of the market, and the current situation, it can be hard to get companies to spend in this sector,” David reveals. “Those that do purchase a full package from us are benefiting with improved results. The return on investment with our AquavistaTM package comand our chemical range provides three key opportunities - improved performance, lower OPEX, and increased life of the membranes. I encourage any IOC or operator to engage with Veolia on the topic if they would like optimal results.”

VWS Westgarth
www.vwswestgarth.com
Products: Design, Build, and Operation of water treatment systems

Powering paradise

Located in the south-west Pacific Ocean, around 750 miles from the east coast of Australia, New Caledonia is a French territory comprising dozens of small islands famous for their palm-lined beaches, lush rainforests, and lagoons rich with marine life. The responsibility for powering this Melanesian paradise lies with Enercal, New Caledonia’s national utility provider and the only Enercal 183 bcompany in the territory that produces, transports, and distributes electricity.

Founded in 1955, Enercal was originally established to manage and implement the Yaté Dam project, a hydroelectric development that generates around 307 Gigawatt hours of power per year. Today, the company produces 55 per cent of the 183 ielectricity consumed in New Caledonia, and 75 per cent of the renewable energy produced.

“Enercal routes electricity from production centers to the outskirts of municipalities and ensures real-time balance between production and consumption,” the company’s General Manager Jean-Gabriel Faget says. “Twenty-six out of 33 municipalities - including the area around Noumea’s La Tontouta International Airport - have chosen Enercal as the concessionaire for their electricity distribution.

“We serve 45,000 end users such as households and businesses, as well as major industrial facilities that require a huge amount of power for the transformation of nickel ore into metal. All those customers are connected to a single 150 kV transmission grid operated by Enercal and it is our job to ensure a smooth and harmonious relationship between the licensor and clients.”

A small isolated island in the heart of the Pacific, New Caledonia’s unique geography has presented Enercal with a variety of energy challenges over the years. Along with difficulty in importing raw materials, and no energy purchase possible from a close neighboring territory, Enercal is tasked with meeting the demand of New Caledonia’s electro-intensive industries, such as the three major nickel metallurgy plants that represent 75 per cent of the archipelago’s total electrical consumption.

Renewable energy
Conversely, the New Caledonian climate makes the territory a highly suitable location for the production of renewable energy, a fact that is driving Enercal’s mission to provide 100 per cent of public energy needs from renewables by 2025. Working in partnership with the government of New Caledonia, Enercal also hopes to decarbonize a significant part of the territory’s nickel industry within the next decade.

“In 2015, our government voted in the Scheme for the Energy Transition of New Caledonia (STENC) targeting 100 per cent renewable energies for public distribution (consumption of individuals and professionals except metallurgy) by 2030,” Jean-Gabriel explains. “Enercal is the linchpin of this scheme, making the energy transition possible through the adaptation of networks and system management tools that help with integrating renewable energies into the mix and delivering them to customers.

“A successful energy transition is based on controlling consumption and developing renewable energies in place of fossil fuels. Enercal is acting with its customers and the general public to encourage the control of consumption and we are also supporting the government in its multi-year investment programs to find new means of producing renewable energy and adapting the existing network so that it can facilitate this integration.

“Today,” Jean-Gabriel adds, “the energy transition is happening very quickly and the production of renewable energy can reach, or even exceed, 100 per cent at certain times of the day. Following the guidelines set out by STENC, our next step is to start selling this energy to the territory’s manufacturers of nickel metallurgy.”

For over 60 years, Enercal has developed New Caledonia’s means of producing energy, making widespread electrification possible for the territory. In the 1980s, the company commissioned the Néaoua hydroelectric power station in Houaïlou, along with a dozen micro hydraulic plants. In the decade that followed, Enercal installed New Caledonia’s first individual photovoltaic comgenerators with storage intended to supply electricity to isolated dwellings that cannot be connected to the public network.

Since 2010, Enercal has turned its attention to more renewable energy sources and in 2014 the firm established Enercal Energies Nouvelles (EEN) to further its activities in this area. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Enercal, EEN was founded with the intention of broadening Enercal’s means of production by favoring innovative missions and partnerships, studying the potential in New Caledonia for new energies and emerging technologies, and promoting energy efficiency 183 jprojects.Enercal 183 c

“Enercal Energies Nouvelles develops renewable energy production projects for which it alone, or in partnership, handles all elements of design, finance, construction, and delivery,” Jean-Gabriel states. “In order for projects to be part of a sustainable energy transition in the region, EEN favors innovative schemes that contribute to economic development or to the safety of our territory’s electrical system. It also prefers working with local companies and institutions to help boost New Caledonian communities.

“One of the challenges in the area of renewables comes from the growing share of intermittent energies, especially photovoltaics,” Jean-Gabriel remarks. “To combat this, Enercal Energies Nouvelles favors stable and available means of production such as hydropower, as well as storage solutions for the system. Enercal clients continue to receive direct support throughout the energy transition in the form of advice on topics such as energy saving, contract optimization, and self-consumption solutions.”

Enercal was the first company to install wind power capabilities on New Caledonia’s Isle of Pines in the 1990s, but maintenance costs in the tropical cyclone zone and low energy yield led the company to seek out more productive sources. Supported by EDF - and the global firm’s vast technical and technological expertise - Enercal and EEN have embarked on a collection of solar power projects that aim to contribute to New Caledonia’s energy mix and assist in the territory’s transition to renewable sources.

“We are pleased to say that we were responsible for the first solar power plant with storage in New Caledonia,” Jean-Gabriel comments. “It was the third-largest renewable production project in the territory and the most important of Enercal Energies Nouvelles’ work. The goal was to transform intermittent solar energy into predictable stable energy for the electricity grid.

“Alongside our attempts to revive the hydroelectric sector with a run-of-river development in the north of the territory, we have delivered New Caledonia’s first solar car park. Comprising 100 parking spaces covered with solar shades, the site is capable of producing 365 megawatt-hours of energy per annum.”

Benchmark energy company
Earlier this year, in February 2020, Enercal Energies Nouvelles, partnered with French renewables developer Akuo, inaugurated the Focola solar power project - an agrivoltaic installation that will generate an estimated two gigawatt-hours of energy per year across 16 greenhouses. Spread over 22,000 square meters of land, the development is expected to improve the region’s annual crop yield and protect plants from cyclones using state-of-the-art weatherproof structures.

“Beyond the technical prowess on show throughout this project, the work we have done here with Enercal Energies Nouvelles will contribute to two major societal ambitions: food self-sufficiency Enercal 183 dand electric self-sufficiency for New Caledonia,” said a spokesperson for Akuo on completion of the scheme.

“It’s an unprecedented achievement for the territory,” Jean-Gabriel added. “Focola is New Caledonia’s first agri-solar farm. It not only responds to issues of food and energy autonomy, but aims to boost local employment in the area. The solar shelters we have built to protect the market garden have a 1.7 megawatt-peak and will help in the production of 200 tons of vegetables a year. It’s very encouraging for the future of the energy transition.”

ISO 9001 and 14001 certified, Enercal is proud to be the only fully Caledonian company in the territory’s electrical industry and as a result, remains dedicated to the communities it serves and the local people it hires. As part of the firm’s rigorous corporate social responsibility policy, Enercal collaborates closely with higher education providers to allow Caledonians to learn new skills and obtain qualifications.

“We employ over 430 Caledonians across the territory, but the job market is narrow and it can sometimes be a challenge to recruit and retain talent,” Jean-Gabriel reports. “The energy transition requires an evolution in the professions we consider and anticipate, so our job and skills management program is designed to boost retention numbers by structuring missions and offering medium-term development prospects in the organization. Over the last four years, we have initiated more than 100 mobility files in the group. Perhaps most importantly, thanks to our partnership with the education sector, we have created a deep pool of skilled interns and apprentices who will go on to become Enercal’s professionals of tomorrow.”

In June, Enercal constructed a new customer service center in Poum, a small town in New Caledonia’s far north-west. Open each Thursday, and offering telephone consultations every day of the week, the new site will offer some of Enercal’s most remote customers easy access to regular support. The move is another step towards achieving the company’s goal of providing all Caledonians with access to quality electrical power at the best cost, fairly, securely, and with the interest of the general public at heart. A major player in the territory’s energy transition, Enercal is well-positioned to guarantee the safety and optimization of the Caledonian electric system for many years to come.

“Enercal will remain the benchmark energy company in service of the territory’s sustainable development, taking the necessary steps to make New Caledonia’s energy transition a daily reality for all that live here,” Jean-Gabriel declares. “It’s an exciting challenge that is changing our operating methods, our jobs, and our proximity to stakeholders.”

Enercal
www.enercal.nc
Services: Electricity and energy services provider

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Expanding horizons

At its core, Enventure Global Technology is a company that utilizes proprietary technology to expand the diameter of liners after they are set to depth downhole. This is done through a cold-working process in which a cone mandrel is pumped through a liner using hydraulic pressure. The company can enlarge the inner diameter of its liners by anything from five to 20 per cent.

The world leading provider in this area of solid expandable solutions, Enventure has been using its technology to solve drilling, completion, and production issues in the energy industry since its start in 1999. From extending wellbore depth during the drilling phase, reinforcing and repairing casing, to relining an entire production lateral for a refracturing operation, Enventure’s solid expandable technology provides a permanent, cost-effective solution for a range of downhole 183 gchallenges throughout the life of the well, during well construction or well intervention. Matt Meiners, the company’s Director of Technology and Product Development, explains more: “I’ve learned that expanding pipe downhole can sometimes be thought of as a risky operation to some people in that we are purposely deforming steel, but the fundamentals are clear - if you take a paper clip, you can bend it. If you bend it once, it stays where it is; there is really no harm to the paper clip. In fact, you actually get slight hardening of the properties. However, if you bend that paper clip several times, it’s going to break. At Enventure, we’re expanding a liner, not bending a paper clip, but the same theory applies. We’re only doing it once and doing so just above the yield point of the material and staying far away from the ultimate limit. It is a very safe and reliable process.

“Of course, the connection is an important element in the system too,” Matt adds. “Oilfield liners typically come in 30 to 40-foot joints and must be screwed together. Over the years we have Enventure 183 bdeveloped, and continue to refine, our patented Expandable Premium Connection, or what we call our ‘XPC’. These connections are designed to expand to the same inner diameter of the liner and they then have to withstand the same loads and hold the same pressures. As part of our new refrac liner tests we expanded our newest XPC connection, and cycled it over 120 times to maximum frac pressure and the connection still held strong with no leaks.”

Formed in 1999 as part of a joint venture between Haliburton and Shell Technology Ventures, Enventure celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019. In over the two decades, the firm has notched up 2285 jobs and installed 1.8 million feet of solid expandable liners. Enventure’s Corporate office is in Houston, Texas and it manufactures parts, assembles and tests, then mobilizes from its operations facility in Katy, Texas. Boasting a global footprint, Enventure has performed installations across a number of continents and is building on experience in Asia Pacific, alongside continuing activity in North America, The Middle East and the North Sea.

“Global interest in our product is derived from the fact that we are the pioneers of solid expandable tubulars,” Matt states. “All of our product segments fit into two different buckets: Drilling solutions, which are typically open hole installations, that will provide the client with a larger inner diameter at the bottom of their well, and then Completion & Intervention solutions, which generally involves cased hole installations such as patches and refrac liners. In the early 2000’s, three quarters of our work was on the drilling side and a quarter of the work was in interventions, but there has been a significant shift over the past decade. Now we are installing about 70 per cent in intervention and 30 per cent in drilling applications.”

Strong product portfolio
Among Enventure’s key products are its industry-renowned SET® (Acronym for Solid Expandable Tubulars) Openhole Liners or Openhole Clads for Drilling Solutions, as well as the firm’s ESeal™ offering, including the expandable ESeal Liner, ESeal High Performance (HP) ESeal Flex and ESeal Refrac (RF) Liners. Soon to be joining the company’s existing portfolio is SameDrift®, a MonoDiameter technology currently undergoing field trials. Matt described the benefits of the new product: “Generally, each time you set a conventional casing or liner string, its inner diameter is going to be smaller than your previous casing. When installing an expandable liner, the inner diameter is larger than that of a conventional liner, but still slightly smaller than the previous casing, but after SameDrift is installed, it actually does have the same inner diameter, or ‘same drift’ as the previous casing or liner. For example, when you use a 13-3/8-inch casing, it is typically drilled out with a 12¼-inch bit and the next casing string is typically 9-5/8 inches. However, with the new technology, we can ream beneath the 13-3/8-inch casing, install SameDrift, tie it back to the base casing, and still drill ahead with a 12¼-inch bit This has significant impact on wellbore slimming, and enabling the extension of extended reach wells.

“That’s the big difference between us and our competitors,” Matt claims. “Some of our competition have similar technology, but they may or may not be able to offer the ‘same drift’. We have this system available in 12¼ inches, 8½ inches, and 6½ inches. No other company has that offering. We have a very broad IP portfolio, significantly more experience, and the ability to provide more reliability than our competition.”

Part of what makes Enventure’s product portfolio so strong is the company’s focus on the needs of its clients. While the fundamentals of its core technology have always remained the same, Enventure has become successful by finding new ways to use this technology to solve common industry problems.

“Here you have a technology that was initially invented to solve one problem and we’ve continuously worked to diversifying the technology and finding new ways to solve customer problems,” Matt says. “In essence, we are always expanding liner, so when you start installing in deeper and harsher environments, you find out where your limitations are and the product needs to be advanced. As a result, over the years, we’ve continued to enhance the quality of our liners and the strength of our connections in particular. We constantly look at new materials, new ways to heat treat and new ways to inspect the pipe because the quality is extremely important - it has to be without flaw - so there is a lot of quality control that needs to go into place.”

A year unlike any other, 2020 and the accompanying Covid-19 pandemic have forced businesses across the world to make changes to the way they operate. The story is no different for Enventure which recently made use of virtual meeting rooms to enable the company to perform product testing in conjunction with a major operator and a third-party testing facility.

“Recently we conducted testing of new equipment for a major operator and in conjunction with third parties,” Matt comments. “Normally, our engineers and their personnel would meet in our test Enventure 183 cfacility in Katy and witness the tests first hand, but with the Covid pandemic, we had to get creative and find ways to do this online. We set up cameras, remote monitors, data acquisition and conducted the tests with ourselves, the operator and third party all 183 hcontrolling and watching the test from three different cities and two different countries. Coronavirus is a game changer for most people, but you can still be creative and get the job done. The virtual tests saved a tremendous amount of money in travel alone and we didn’t have to put anybody at exposure risk. It’s not something we commonly do, but I think a lot of industries are going to have to make that change and find different ways to do business.”

Focus on expansion
Aside from the introduction of remote witnessing sessions with clients online, Enventure has remained largely unscathed by the pandemic. The company may have been required to exhibit a previously unexpected degree of flexibility and resilience throughout the year, but the work appears to be paying off. By the end of 2020, Matt expects Enventure to meet, or even exceed, the firm’s business activity for 2019 – an astonishingly positive piece of news that the Director attributes to both the company’s reaction to the crisis and the enduring appeal of its product.

“Most of the industry is unfortunately facing headwinds with the current business environment, but we’re actually having tailwinds,” Matt declares. “It tells me that there is an increase in awareness and interest in our technology. Our customers are also looking at doing business differently and perhaps they’re thinking about the value of using expandable liners where they typically wouldn’t. It’s also testament to the protocols and processes we’ve put in place to minimize the exposure of the virus to our employees and clients, while still remaining globally operational. I’ve seen how other companies are reacting to Covid-19 and I would most certainly say we are doing it right.

“I think we’d all like to see things get back to normal,” Matt remarks, “but that aside, through communication and marketing, we’re trying to shift the market mindset away from thinking of us as a contingency to a planned, first-choice option. We describe it as going from insurance to assurance. Our business has remained active in this downturn, so it seems the shift has already started. That’s the direction we want to travel in and we will continue to address market needs and grow the utilization of expandable liners into different facets of the well life cycle.”

Winner of a Designated Supplier Award in 2019, Enventure has avoided the pitfalls of the Coronavirus pandemic and is now fully focused on the future. With interest in the company’s technology growing, and the firm’s customer base growing with it, for Enventure, expansion is inevitable.

Enventure Global Technology
www.EnventureGT.com
Products: Solid expandable solutions

The power of partnership

Located in the nation’s capital city, Port Moresby Power Station is Papua New Guinea’s first dedicated, grid-connected, gas-fired power plant. The 58.7-megawatt facility was commissioned in November 2019 and is currently the biggest independent power generation asset on the Port Moresby grid. In a journey that begins over 700km away, natural gas is drawn from deep into the country’s soaring highlands before arriving via pipeline at a liquefaction plant on its way to the pioneering new site. It is a process that has been helping to supply Papua New Guinea’s capital with electricity since the end of 2019 and NiuPower Limited hopes that will remain the case for the next 20 years.

The driving force behind the construction of the Port Moresby Power Station, NiuPower is a Papua New Guinean NIU 182 bpower generation company that owns and operates the site. Established in 2017, the firm is an independent power 183 eproducer (IPP) focused on providing cost-effective, natural gas-fuelled power generation for the National Capital District and Central Province of Papua New Guinea. Owned as part of a 50/50 joint venture between Kumul Petroleum Holdings and Oil Search Limited, NiuPower made the vital $100m initial investment towards the construction of the new power plant. Talking to Energy, Oil & Gas, Michael Uiari, NiuPower’s CEO, explains the early stages of the venture in more detail.

“The actual design of the facility was tendered and awarded by ExxonMobil because they had previously intended to fund and deliver the power station themselves. Plans changed however when the funding model became uncertain so NiuPower stepped into the breach and offered to fund, own and operate the power station. In 2018, two companies put up half of the capital each to allow us to do that: Kumul Petroleum - who are widely viewed as the national oil company of Papua New Guinea - and Oil Search Limited.”

A truly state-of-the-art facility, Port Moresby Power Station’s six internal combustion gas engines ensure superior thermal efficiency compared to other gas-fuelled generation options, meaning less fuel, lower costs, and lower emissions. A highly flexible dispatch allows the site to deliver any level of power, from six megawatts to 58 megawatts, to precisely match PNG Power’s demand. Developed with sustainability and corporate responsibility in mind, a Level 2 Environment Permit was fully approved and issued by Papua New Guinea’s Conservation and Environment Protection Authority for the construction and operation of the plant.

“The project cost around 100 million US dollars in total to construct and deliver,” Michael says. “It was already confirmed that the site would be feature gas fired reciprocating engines and Finnish company Wärtsilä had already won the tender. This meant that the template was set, so when we gained control of the project, we simply took over the relationship with the engineering, procurement and construction (ECP) contractor and put in place a project management team, consisting of members from both shareholding firms, to oversee the delivery of the power station through that two-year period.”

Development of the power plant began in 2017, led by an EPC consortium of Wärtsilä and Clough. The construction NIU 182 cphase of the project had a widely positive impact on the local economy, but it wasn’t without its challenges.

“Port Moresby Power Station is not a particularly large site, but I think the biggest difficulty, apart from the tight schedule, was the delay caused by regulatory hurdles and the extra work that was required to navigate our way through government involvement in the project,” Michael states. “Still, the work was completed within a reasonable timeframe and, during construction, an indigenous workforce made up around 90 per cent of our total workforce.

“Not only did the project generate jobs, but it also promoted the transfer of skills to indigenous workers, who will hopefully be able to use their new abilities in whatever employment they have been able to secure since the project’s completion. In summary, the use of local suppliers and a local workforce would have had a multiplier effect on the local economy.”

By 2030, Papua New Guinea hopes for 70 per cent of its population to have access to electricity. With Port Moresby Power Station already producing around $4 million worth of energy per month, it is expected that the facility will act as a catalyst in the country’s transition towards cheaper, more reliable power drawn from its own domestic gas resources. Capable of a staged expansion to 175 megawatts and underpinned by a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with state utility company PNG Power, Michael suggests that the Port Moresby Power Station project demonstrates what can be achieved elsewhere in the country.

“Both shareholders want to explore the full suite of domestic gas utilisation opportunities in Papua New Guinea,” he reveals. “Over the last three years, we have been looking very carefully at the domestic distribution of LNG around the country to displace diesel for industrial purposes and, in particular, how it can be used for power generation by PNG Power and mining customers.

“Port Moresby Power Station demonstrates that you can build a scalable, or modular, power plant, using exactly the same technology and then replicate that experience right around the country using gas that is produced domestically, lowering the unit cost of electricity to the grid and increasing reliability in the process. We are hoping that our work here will help to promote the electrification agenda and plug the gap in terms of energy generation until the country can justify investing in, and delivering, larger-scale, long term, more capital-intensive hydro power projects.

“Ultimately, large-scale hydro will be the ideal solution for Papua New Guinea because the fuel is water, so it costs nothing. The challenge is that these assets require major capital to build and can take anywhere up to five years to deliver so timing is everything. Grid demand has to be large enough to absorb generation capacity. The experience we’ve gone through in Port Moresby is one that you can replicate anywhere around the country, for industrial and residential use, until the large-scale hydro becomes a genuine possibility for this nation.”

Though the venture is a commercial undertaking and NiuPower seeks to make a profitable return for its shareholders, the company is dedicated to promoting the use of domestic gas as part of the country’s industrialisation agenda. The firm 183 falso aims to demonstrate that private sector investment in gas-fired power generation in Papua New Guinea can be practical and cost-effective.

“Diesel has been one of the primary fuels used for power generation over the years,” Michael remarks. “It’s considerably more expensive than gas is and so, in the medium-term, gas has a role to play in diesel displacement. Natural gas can provide an interim fuel solution or an intermediate fuel alternative for power generation pending the introduction of additional hydropower that will eventually provide our baseload.”

At the end of January 2020, PNG Power installed a new transmission line at the facility, enabling the power plant to fully dispatch its 58-megawatt capacity and allowing Port Moresby to realise the benefits of cheaper, more reliable, clean power, potentially eradicating long-standing issues surrounding high costs and frequent blackouts. Buoyed by the success of the country’s first power station, NiuPower hopes that the Port Moresby facility will herald a new age of gas-fired power in Papua New Guinea and spark the construction of similar sites around the nation.

“We’d like to help our customer, PNG Power, become a much more financially viable company than it has been in the past, such that it can invest in making transmission and distribution more reliable than at present – that’s where we are falling over at the moment in operating efficiently and meeting the expectations of our customers,” Michael declares. “Building on that relationship, we hope to take our partnership elsewhere in the country, where the need exists, and table a value proposition to potential industrial customers out there, such as our large mines, showing them that we can provide their power generation solutions successfully, in a way that meets their objectives.”

To realise a project of the nature of Port Moresby Power Station, in a country where any such undertaking was previously unprecedented, requires a vast amount of teamwork and co-operation. When the plant was finally commissioned, NiuPower thanked a long list of people and organisations for their help in establishing a harmonious working environment, including the local community comprising five villages, PNG Power, The Department of Lands & Physical Planning, the Department of Treasury and the Treasurer, the Bank of Papua New Guinea, the National Executive Council, the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission, the Electricity Management Committee, the Department of Petroleum and Energy, the Office of the Chief Secretary, the State Solicitor, ExxonMobil and owners of the PNG LNG Project.

In working through the development process from beginning to end, Michael believes that he has learnt some valuable lessons that could prove useful for the future of Papua New Guinea’s energy industry, especially in encouraging potential investors. “One thing I think we must not lose sight of,” he asserts, “is that the policy setting for private sector investment in the electricity sector in this country needs to become more structured and I think it’s important that the government behaves in a way that’s consistent with their policies. Secondly, I think we need an independent regulatory authority that moderates investment in the various grids across Papua New Guinea so that we can introduce investment in the electricity sector in an orderly fashion, along predictable business channels.”

Passionate about the sector and brimming with ideas for improvement, Michael is confident that Papua New Guinea is currently taking its first steps towards a brighter future and a better relationship with the way it generates energy. For now, NiuPower’s CEO is focused on ensuring that Port Moresby Power Station offers the best possible service to PNG Power customers across the region.

“In the immediate term, we’d like to bed down the business and make sure we can help get the grid in Port Moresby operating in coman optimal fashion because, at the moment, it needs quite a lot of investment to restore grid stability,” he points out. “That’s where our attention will be fixed over the next few months, but beyond that, we will look at what other opportunities exist around the country, leveraging the relationship we’ve got with our customer PNG Power.”

NiuPower
www.niupower.com.pg
Services: Independent power producer

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A powerful transformation

Located in the Western Pacific, Guam is an unincorporated territory of the United States, a progressive Pacific island community, and a strategically important link between the US and Asia. There is a crucial relationship between energy and Guam’s economic growth, and as the island continues to progress, there is a need for Guam’s energy mix to evolve because power is an important catalyst for commercial and domestic advancement.

On the electricity side, energy is supplied by The Guam Power Authority (GPA), an electric utility that supplies GPA 182 cmonopoly electric services throughout Guam, including to all US Department of Defense military bases, various components of the Government of Guam, and a vibrant shopping and hotel industry. GPA serves an island population of approximately 170,000 (with around 52,000 of these as customers) with a 2019 peak demand of 254 megawatts and 183 c2019 (fiscal year) energy sales of 1.57 billion in kilowatt hours.

As John M. Benavente, PE and General Manager at GPA explained, the Authority is a public corporation and autonomous component unit of the Government of Guam. “The Consolidated Commission on Utilities (CCU) - comprised of an elected five-member board of commissioners - provides governance over GPA, while the Guam Public Utilities Commission (GPUC) sets GPA rates and holds oversight of the authority, to include review and approval of all large GPA contracts impacting rates and charges,” he said.

Owning assets of $955m, including 29 substations, and 1797 miles of combined transmission and distribution lines, GPA employs a workforce of 450 and supports Guam’s economy with both conventional and renewable electrical energy. The island-wide power supply that comes from various fuel-oil based generating units has a gross capacity of over 420 megawatts. “Currently, GPA also has 25.3 megawatts of renewable capacity with an additional 160 megawatts of solar photovoltaic and 150 megawatts of energy storage systems coming online in the next three years,” added John, “which is going to achieve a 25 per cent government-mandated Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).”

Further elaborating on the thinking behind the energy transition from fuel oil to renewables, John pointed out that GPA’s energy has been generated by fossil fuels for the past five decades, which made Guam vulnerable and at the mercy of global fuel oil political changes. Fuel oil purchases also total more than half of GPA’s budget. “It is a significant economic drain on Guam’s economy because it lacks multiplication effects,” he said. “By converting fuel oil purchases to alternative energy purchases such as photovoltaics, Guam is converting oil to jobs, while at the same time reducing its carbon footprint and impact on the planet.”

Having already appreciably transformed how Guam generates its electric power, GPA is now working on a project that will result in a significant paradigm shift in how it supplies energy to the island. It has signed contracts with KEPCO for the construction and operation of the new Dededo Ukudu Combined Cycle Power Plant, which will replace its ageing and limited baseload power supply. This 198-megawatt combined cycle plant, with a 51 per cent thermal efficiency, is designed to be the cornerstone that helps to sustain Guam’s energy needs. “We are investing in dual fired (Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel and Natural Gas) high efficiency combined cycle technology, coupled with low and stable cost renewables (20-year, one per cent escalator contracts),” said John. “The plant will allow us to hedge against fluctuating fuel oil prices because over time we will continue to reduce the volume of fuel oil we use by substituting with photovoltaic energy sources. It will work well with renewables, and, in fact, will be the backup to renewable energy to ensure continuous power to the island, in the event of non-solar days and natural disasters.”GPA 182 b

As part of its commitment to transforming into a modern, sustainable power generation company, over the next few years GPA will be contracting for an additional 180 megawatts of renewables to be commissioned beginning in 2024 and beyond. “All renewables must have adequate storage systems for full capacity load shifting capability. All contracts will comprise a power purchase agreement for 25 years or more. The majority of this capacity will be utility-scale renewables, but the program would also include rooftop solar and small energy farms, perhaps in the one to five megawatt range,” John detailed. “This plant, coupled with renewables, will allow GPA to achieve 50 per cent renewables, most likely before the end of this decade,” he added.

Alongside the investments that are being made on the solar energy side, GPA has also been incorporating other associated technologies to work with renewables, including Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) systems, which were installed in 2012. “We have also been upgrading our billing systems in order to accommodate net metering customers, which now total about 2100, having a total photovoltaic capacity of 24 megawatts,” added John.

“Additionally, GPA has an ongoing Demand Side Management (DSM) program to right-size customer consumption and assist them in lowering their total energy cost. Over the last four years, GPA has paid over $4m in customer cash rebates to over 10,000 customers. GPA’s current budget is to provide $3m annually, funded through its fuel adjustment rate component, in support of energy efficient projects. GPA estimates that for every $3m in rebates paid, this decreases fuel costs183 d by about $21m over the typical seven-year estimated life of the equipment.”

While it is apparent that GPA is very determined to move away from conventional fossil fuel based power and embrace modern, sustainable solutions, its overall mission always remains to deliver safe, reliable and quality electricity services to all customers. In fact, safety is a core value of the company’s culture, not just for end-users, but for staff too. “I have been general manager of GPA for over 25 years, and in nearly all those years, GPA has consistently placed highly, in the top three safety categories for its utility workforce safety performance,” remarked John. “The annual American Public Power Association’s safety awards recognize utilities with the lowest safety incidence rate within their groups. Groups are determined by worker-hours of exposure. For 2019, GPA earned a third-place award in the ‘Group F’ category for utilities with 250,000 comto 999,999 worker-hours of annual worker exposure.

“Safety is of primary importance to myself and my entire team and GPA provides significant resources and training to ensure safety first, across all areas of the power utility. The business will continue to strive to perform and be ranked among the safest electrical power utilities and do everything it can to send all workers safely home to their families each and every night.”

Having mentioned his staff, John then went on to discuss the challenge of finding the qualified personnel and how GPA addresses this issue: “GPA makes certain it maintains a highly professional and technical group of employees having adopted a pay-for-performance employee pay structure, which rewards its employees and assures a competitive pay structure and benefits today, and into the future. GPA, through this pay structure, has become a premier employer of choice on Guam; always drawing a significant interest and numerous applicants for positions listed for hiring.

“The organization also runs apprenticeship and other training programs, especially in the transmission and distribution and power generation fields.”

The responsibility that GPA feels for its employees also extends out further to the wider community across the territory, because as John succinctly puts it, ‘everyone who lives and works on Guam depends on the Guam Power Authority to operate one of Guam’s most critical resources, namely the island-wide power system.’ “It is important to GPA to work with the local communities it serves,” he confirmed. “From as far away as the US Virgin Islands to the nearer Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Saipan, GPA is committed to, and has provided, mutual aid assistance for recovery and restoration following devastation caused by natural disasters. In 2019, GPA received a ‘Mutual Aid Commendation’ from the American Public Power Association for having answered the call for assistance and aided the devastated CNMI-Saipan community with restoring power to its customers and helping rebuild an entire island economy.”

Furthermore, in 2019, GPA received a Smart Energy Provider (SEP) designation for best practices as an electric power utility that shows commitment to, and proficiency in, energy efficiency, distributed generation, renewable energy, and environmental initiatives. Additionally, achieving SEP designation allows GPA to benchmark and evaluate its work against a set of industry best practices in defined areas.

Also in 2019, GPA was recognized as the first electric distribution utility to operate business critical functions on the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)’s Utility Network Data through tapping drones to digitally map GPA’s power lines, poles and other hardware and help GPA with maintenance forecasting, deployment of manpower and equipment. This translates to GPA being able to deliver its ambitions of building a stable foundation of economic growth and quality of life for all its customers and the community on Guam.

Thanks to the steps it has already taken and the plans it has for the future, GPA is well on its way to becoming a modern, efficient energy provider, and John believes that within the next three to five years, the organization will achieve its goal in attaining an improved position of strength. “GPA will have significantly achieved the paradigm shift in energy supply to providing its ratepayers with reliable energy at coman affordable and stable cost,” he predicted. “It will also have begun its journey towards a fully underground system for the entire island, which could then be achieved in an affordable manner over the next 30 years. GPA’s island-wide power system consists of 90 per cent concrete poles today, making it resilient and providing for quick recoveries following devastation caused by storms. I envision GPA will begin the journey forward to fully underground the electrical power system within the next few decades, so that Guam becomes an even more sustainable island, less vulnerable to economic and natural disasters.”

John is understandably very proud of the transformation that GPA has gone through. “Over the past 50 years, GPA, through its founding employees and today’s team of professionals and staff, has striven for sustainability and an ever-improving quality of life for our extremely remote island. Today, we see light at the end of the tunnel and this truly is exciting and commendable,” he concluded.

Guam Power Authority
www.guampowerauthority.com
Services: Electric utility that provides monopoly electric services throughout Guam

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