Pipe Coating Group Hears Good News

By Lew Bullion, Senior Editor | June 2012 Vol. 239 No. 6

Meera Kothari (center)Joel Chermak, NAPCA President and GM of Midwest Pipe Coating, Inc. (l) and Merritt B. Chastain III

The National Association of Pipe Coating Applicators (NAPCA) heard good news about the volume of 2012 pipeline work expected in North America and elsewhere during the association’s 48th annual meeting in April in Tucson, AZ.

NAPCA - founded in the mid 1960s - aims to provide a forum for owners of fixed pipe-coating facilities to share solutions to common technical and business challenges and to network with 1) manufacturers and suppliers of pipe-coating materials and equipment, 2) manufacturers of line pipe, 3) providers of pipe transportation and handling services, 4) consulting firms, 5) independent inspection firms, 6) stocking pipe distributors, and 7) other providers of materials and services.

The convention is open to members and invited guests. The program offers a combination of general and segment-specific business meetings and recreational events. The general business sessions featured presentations by Meera Kothari, Chris Alexander and Cameron Gingrich.

Kothari, engineering manager of TransCanada’s Keystone Pipelines, provided an update on the Keystone XL pipeline project (tar sands oil and other crudes moving from Alberta, Canada, to Houston and Port Arthur, TX. She told the convention audience that the pipeline has announced a revised route to meet concerns that had been expressed about construction and operation of a segment in the Nebraska sand hills.

Meera Kothari, Keystone Pipelines Engineering Manager, updated the NAPCA meeting on the XL Pipeline Project. She is pictured above with Joel Chermak, NAPCA President and General Manager of Midwest Pipe Coating, Inc., at left, and Merritt B. Chastain III, association Managing Director.

Alexander is a principal with Stress Engineering Services in Houston. His presentation, “Stress Cracking of Coatings and Pipeline Integrity Issues,” described his firm’s experience in destructive testing of pipe repair systems (composite, wet, layered and hybrid). He concluded by observing that in pipe repair it no longer is appropriate for a “one size fits all” repair. Each anomaly or dent fill must be designed for the specific conditions at the site. He reviewed his company’s recent and ongoing studies of restoration and repairs of dents, wrinkle bend stress failures, branch connection stress testing, engineering studies of girth weld reinforcements and ongoing studies on subsea composite pipe reinforcement.

Cameron Gingrich, senior manager - Gas Services, for Ziff Energy in Calgary, Alberta, discussed “Future Dynamics of the Oil and Gas Markets.” In his discussion, he looked at the accelerating substitution of natural gas fueled power generation as coal plants are closed by environmental regulations. He also was hopeful about the growth of alternative uses for natural gas, pointing out with evident pride that Canada was expanding the supply of LNG fueling stations for truck fleets that formerly were diesel fuel customers.

The full slate of officers elected for 2012 includes Joel Chermak as president; Ronald E. Carlson, Jr., vice president and Eldridge Indest, treasurer. Chermak is general manager of Midwest Pipe Coating, Inc., Schererville, IN. Carlson is president, Commercial Resins Co., Henderson, CO. Indest is president, Bayou Perma-Pipe Canada, Ltd., Calgary, Alberta.

Merritt B. Chastain, III, continues as the NAPCA managing director and general counsel. He is partner - Labor and Employment, Gardere Wynne Sewell, LLP, Houston.