May 12, 2007

Socotherm – LaBarge Joint Venture

By Anonymous

Socotherm has formed a joint venture with US.-based LaBarge Pipe and Steel. The new company, Socotherm-La Barge, will comprise a pipe coating and insulation plant to serve the deep water market in the Gulf of Mexico. The new plant will be located in the Channelview area near Houston and is scheduled to open later this year. The plant will be capable of applying Socotherm's five layers of Syntactic Polypropylene thermal insulation system, a modified polypropylene matrix filled with hollow glass micro-spheres (WETISOKOTE).

Pierre LaBarge III, president and CEO of LaBarge Pipe & Steel Co., said, "This joint venture brings together the expertise of two very successful companies and we look forward to being a major supplier in the deepwater thermal insulation market for many years."

In other news, Socotherm Middle East recently finalized a joint venture with three local industrial partners: the Global Suhaimi Group, the Al Shoaibi Group and the Al Khalaf Group. Plans include construction of a new plant in Saudi Arabia by year-end, however, during the mobilization Socotherm Middle East has agreed to support Aramco from its Qatar operation on any critical projects during this period. The coating facility will be one of the most advanced in the world having the capacity to coat pipe from 6- to 60 inches in diameter with fusion bond epoxy, three layer PE and internal fusion bond epoxy or liquid epoxy, as well as a double jointing facility.

As to contract awards, Socotherm, through its subsidiary Socotherm Americas, has won a contract to provide thermal insulation and concrete weight coating on pipe that will be laid in the Magellan Strait that separates South America from Tierra del Fuego and other islands south of the continent and connecting the southern Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The contract, valued at more than $US5 million, calls for polyurethane foam thermal insulation and concrete weight coating on 15 miles of eight-inch diameter pipe. The project is for Enap/ Sipetrol Argentina and consists of replacing an existing pipeline that transport a mixture of gas, oil and water from the Magellan Strait. The work will be performed by Socotherm Americas in its Escobar facility. The seamless steel pipes for the projects will be supplied by Siderca.

Copyright Oildom Publishing Company of Texas, Inc. Apr 2007

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