Robert Boyle, President
When it comes to fulfilling the preservation needs of oil & gas projects, modular construction sites, and other corrosive environments, a host of providers offer varying competencies. While some focus on certain types of equipment, others excel at asset maintenance. Additionally, there are firms that strictly manufacture products for corrosion, not to mention vendors that specialize in the application techniques or the provisioning of experienced labor.
What if a service provider could fuse all these core competencies into one holistic offering?
Meet Cortec Global Services (CGSI), a corrosion and preservation specialist that is made up of a special blend of individuals who harness their multidimensional skills to drive desired outcomes for clients within the cost, engineering, and commissioning constraints of projects. Initially built within Cortec Corporation—the world’s preeminent developer of corrosion products and solutions—CGSI is unique in that it augments its intricate knowledge of corrosion products with other core competencies. “We can maintain equipment, dismantle and rebuild them, apply techniques to optimize technology and provide everything else needed to preserve equipment in a corrosive environment,” says Robert Boyle, the President of CGSI, now a Presserv Group company.
As an organization that essentially grew out of manufacturing awareness of products such as corrosion inhibitors, CGSI is equally exceptional in that its subject matter expertise is on par with its familiarity with corrosion products. Boyle, an expert in the domain of global preservation design and technical specification, highlights Team CGSI’s deep-rooted familiarity with preservation environments and decades of experience in the modular construction world. In fact, a majority of CGSI’s core members have built their careers around applying corrosion products effectively—within the reality of customer constraints. “Most importantly, our people have vast experience in helping clients overcome various construction, location, and storage challenges,” he adds.
Versatile Service Model for Global Clientele
This real world experience is critical when you consider CGSI’s global presence. Presently, CGSI is operational in 14 countries, where it provides “competency on demand” to project owners, EPC firms, contractors, local agents, and even Cortec product distributors. Since Team CGSI speaks the language of construction, maintenance, operations, and engineering, its services are just as versatile. “Due to our history of maintaining and commissioning projects, we understand the pain that construction firms undergo and can relate to their needs,” says Sonny Reeves, the VP of Operations at CGSI. Reeves was an integral part of the team that overcame various challenges during the Gorgon Project, the world’s largest LNG facility designed to produce 16 million metric tons of LNG every year.
Due to our history of maintaining and commissioning projects, we understand the pain that construction firms undergo and can relate to their needs
During the project, Cortec’s products—developed using the company’s proprietary VpCI®
Technology—met various environmental protocols that were drafted by the Government of Australia. “Our water-based products that do not contain hydrocarbons were critical to ensuring we did not cause harm to the environment,” he recalls.
As highlighted in the use case, CGSI delivers competencies based on a need, be it preservation program design and execution, application of products, localization and local content, global supply chain QA/QC, maintenance and control, or health checks/assessments. Many a time, CGSI serves as “the contractor of choice” for major oil & gas construction projects.
ROI Gains through Perseveration
So, how does CGSI help its clients maximize their investments in corrosion control?
One can credit CGSI’s acclaimed project management process that ties all its core competencies together to develop a turnkey application. “By signing just one contract with us, the client can manage preservation as a practice. Compare that to our competitors, who offer only one or two competencies, forcing project owners to work with multiple vendors often with competing interests to that of the project owner,” Boyle continues.
CGSI also understands that preservation is the key, an overlooked aspect of any project subject to corrosive environments. Boyle says preservation is the link between procurement and maintenance, construction and commissioning, and supplier and project owner—a silo effect that most corrosion consultancies fail to realize. For example, if the equipment is preserved or managed a certain way, it could negatively affect construction or commissioning. Similarly, even if a project houses corrosion-free equipment at its premises, the products need to fit the construction or commissioning philosophies. Otherwise, the project suffers severe delays.
“What good is a corrosion inhibitor specification if it only results in a shift in costs onto another part of the project or contractor rather than delivering truly effective management for the owner?” asks Boyle.
Now, compare that to the project lifecycle process that CGSI observes. At the very onset of a project, CGSI familiarizes itself with commissioning techniques and the methods followed by the construction teams as it pertains to the journey of the equipment. This way, CGSI can fill knowledge gaps wherever necessary (through training) and trace back the steps all the way from raw materials to fabrication/module yards and shipping points. The idea is to ensure a client’s preservation activities are “managed correctly, and equipment is maintained accordingly.”
To elucidate how CGSI helps reduce commissioning time, Reeves cites an example of a gas pipeline project in which the client was bogged down by flushing and cleaning processes.
He details, “We recognized where the project needed additional air blows or flushing and devised a protection method that allowed the client to minimize the cleaning process.”
A Bright Future Awaits
The future is evidently bright for CGSI, a company that admittedly does not offer “a product or service applicable to everyone.” Instead, CGSI’s approach is to treat each project uniquely and deploy its resources and expertise accordingly. Boyle believes CGSI’s internal team is its greatest asset, referring to mechanical engineers as “craftsmen and artists who truly believe that preservation matters and can affect careers and outcomes for clients.” To that end, CGSI’s workforce takes pride in protecting the reputation of its clients—who risk their brand value with every massive project worth hundreds of millions of dollars. “Our approach is to serve those clients who believe in our solutions and value our contribution to helping them save costs. Once the belief is established, we double down on the support,” he says, before adding that CGSI’s employees do not view the task of preserving a client’s environment “as a mere job.”
As it continues to empower its own team, CGSI is committed to serving its customers better through a growing global presence. CGSI is quick to shuffle and station its human resources throughout the world at the beck and call of its clients, who are spread across five different continents. Boyle notes, “We move people to where they are needed.” Indeed. CGSI exhibits the traits of a dynamic organization that is on a perennial forward march.
The roadmap, or the next 12 to 18 months, is flooded with exciting opportunities for CGSI. One of its immediate goals is to serve as a flag-bearer of the ongoing “Build it Clean, Keep it Clean” movement which urges construction companies to adopt preservation techniques at the time of the construction itself. Reeves elaborates, “Once you have a clean surface, you can use corrosion products that rely on chemical passivation, are invisible, and eco-friendly.” He goes onto mention that through Cortec’s VpCI Technology, a number of construction sites are already realizing cost benefits from maintaining the original condition of a site rather than relying on aggressive refurbishments.
From a services standpoint, CGSI is keen to shore up the training aspect of its offerings, a critical phase that determines the success of every preservation project. “There is a major knowledge gap, especially in the modular construction world, that we are trying to fill,” notes Boyle. For example, while the equipment used in modular construction can typically be preserved individually, they have to be preserved as a whole once installed in a module. Boyle adds, “If engineers follow historical preservation specs, it would be a nightmare.”
With modular construction finding utility in newer segments such as data centers, hotels, and military emergency response areas, CGSI expects to expand its imprint across industries. “The demand for preservation is increasing, and we will double our talent over the next year to serve emerging customer needs,” concludes Boyle.