With over 100 years of experience in the manufacturing of valves, Westad Industri is now one of the major suppliers of valves and tanker technology to companies operating in the marine and offshore industries.
Formed by Daniel Westad in 1895, the business originally produced valves for the Norwegian paper and pulp sector, before moving into the marine industry in the 1950s. Equally, as the oil and gas market expanded in Norway in the 1970s, Westad began providing valve solutions with the majority of the industry’s significant companies, as well as recently producing LNG, LPG, and LEG tankers.
Harald Tolpinrud, sales director, elaborates on the direction of Westad and its current activity: “The marine sector has become our mainbusiness focus, as Norwegian shipbuilders are currently expanding rapidly all over the world. Westad has followed this progress, and through the support we have received working alongside Norwegian ship owners, we are globally present. In the past, we manufactured a range of valves, whereas today we primarily concentrate on producing butterfly valves and specialised solutions. The company also operates in the construction of tankers used in the supply of chemicals, as well as LPG and LNG carriers. Finally, Westad produces a range of solutions for the offshore industry, especially sealable systems that utilise stainless steel and titanium materials.”
The organisation prides itself on working closely with clients in developing solutions, as Harald emphasises: “Westad has an extensive array of standard products that have been developed according to demand we have perceived within the marine and offshore industries. These valves have been adapted to support the needs and techniques of services in these market areas. The key customers that we deal with in the oil and gas sector are Statoil and all the other major Norwegian players in the North Sea. We are always looking to develop the scope of companies that we work alongside in the Norway offshore sector, and Westad is developing new valves that we hope to spread across other market areas, potentially in new geographic locations where the oil industry is booming. We also supply LNG and LPG tanks to terminals, and we are looking to expand our influence in this sphere as well, primarily through product development.”
In 2006, Westad became part of the Technor Group, a Norwegian technology company operating in the international oil and gas, LNG and energy generation markets. Harald explains the takeover: “We now belong to Technor’s FlowTech division, which consists of four further companies: Technor Malbranque, a French valve manufacturer; Technor SNRI, a producer of gate lock check valves for the LNG market; Technor Valve & Automation, a trading company in Norway; and Technor Valve Services, which completes service work for us. We’re confident that we will witness the benefit of their experience soon. The company is in the process of setting up a new organisation, which will ease the method of working across the Group. We are creating a full sales team that can take care of the Group’s different market segments from inside our own company. Westad is present in the marine sector, which is an important addition to Technor’s capabilities.”
Harald continues by describing Westad’s recent experimentation into the properties of the materials it uses in producing valves: “The business is currently focusing its research and development unit on creating products that can deal with greater pressures. We mainly produce high performance butterfly valves, and we concentrate on manufacturing them from a range of special stainless steel, Super Duplex, 6MO, titanium, and high nickel materials. Using these materials means Westad can offer high performance and more reliable valves to our customers.
“It is a vital factor in our operations to maintain high levels of quality, and the markets that we supply our product solutions to require and demand valves and tanks that work at a high standard,” Harald states. “Westad always works alongside the major players in the marine and offshore industry to design new technical equipment that will solve issues that are evident within the sector. We are always conscious of keeping our customers happy, so we rapidly respond to their requests in dealing with problems.”
Through working as part of Technor, and with the growth of the Norwegian marine and offshore industries, Westad has a number of upcoming projects. Harald highlights the important developments: “The company is currently working on a flexible contract for the Skiveden FPSO project in Norway, and we are delivering a lot of valves, produced from Super Duplex and titanium materials, costing approximately 15 million NOK. This project should be completed entirely by the end of this year. We are also delivering a lot of LPG carriers at this time, as well as progressing work in the LNG tank market, especially in Korea. Almost all of our LPG and LNG projects are constructed in the Far East.
“Westad would like to continue to develop its strong position in the marine industry, producing solutions especially for gas tankers and chemical carries,” comments Harald. “We are also looking to maintain our presence in the offshore industry, spreading out to different countries outside of our home market, and developing our solutions for LNG terminals,” he concludes.
Westad Industri A/S
Products: Valves and tanker solutions