Quality control and new training in Angola TEY_post_Ognen-ANDREEVSKI

Our first priority is to invest in the Angolan people and local content. We are looking forward to investing more in training.

Ognen ANDREEVSKI Operations Manager ISQAPAVE

Quality control and new training in Angola

December 14, 2023

Ognen Andreevski, operations manager of ISQapave, talks to The Energy Year about the company’s training efforts in Angola, the importance it places on investing in new equipment and technology and its projected growth in Angola. ISQapave provides quality control, inspections, testing, technical assistance and training for Angola’s oil and gas sector.

How have workforce training efforts evolved at ISQapave Angola?
In November 2022 we inaugurated our new facilities, which include an INEFOP-certified training centre. We have expanded the services we offer in Angola to serve both offshore and onshore operations, and that has led to us increasing our workforce and training.
ISQapave delivers advanced NDT [non-destructive testing] services, rope access, quality control, metrology, building inspections and civil engineering. In 2022 we increased our number of local employees by 35%, and we not only train inspectors and technicians but also supervisors and team leaders.
We have 15 permanent nationals for the Barra do Dande project, where more than 66 aboveground storage tanks are being built by Odebrecht and Sonangol. Our teams offshore have also increased in size.
Another project that we have in the pipeline is the building of a welding school on our premises. We are seeing a lot of growth in manufacturing demand in the oil and gas sector, and this requires the training and certification of more welders. We are in talks with the ANPG [National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency] and INEFOP regarding fabrication.

How important is it for ISQapave to invest in new equipment and technology?
When I talk about our new training centre, I’m not only referring to the building; I am also speaking about the equipment. We continuously invest in new equipment. For example, we have invested in new laboratory equipment for our laboratory in Talatona to expand our services and respond quickly to the requests we receive.
We have invested in a rapid motion scanner to scan large surfaces, typically those of pressure vessels, onshore and offshore, tanks and large pipes. We have also invested in an “MFL,” or magnetic-flux-leakage, tool, which is the latest tool for tank scanning and corrosion mapping. This is a huge investment that we made last year.
We are also going to invest in drones. That’s a large investment for visual inspections outdoors and in confined spaces. This will be a new service we provide. The demand for drone inspections is very high.
The demand is high not only for offshore platforms, rigs and FPSOs but also for onshore refineries, factories such as cement factories and the photovoltaic farms in Benguela. At those farms we do the project management, surveying and inspections using drones, thermal cameras and specialised software.


What growth are you projecting for ISQapave in Angola?
We want to double our turnover in the next two years. With our position in the market and our continuous investment in equipment and talent, we can achieve it.
We are projecting steady growth in inspection and maintenance, mainly offshore. This includes rope access maintenance and inspection, asset integrity, API inspections, painting inspection and any other expertise we can deliver to our operator clients.
We are also offering a solution that will act as a one-stop-shop for the ports. The service includes inspection, integrity, container management and logistics. We are in talks with several port operators in Angola. We are currently offering this service successfully in the Middle East.
In the downstream we are providing services such as tank and pipeline certification at refineries and oil and gas storage facilities in Luanda. The market demand is increasing on that front.
With respect to photovoltaic projects, we can provide solutions for a whole project. When the photovoltaic panels are in place, we inspect them with drones using remote cameras and specialised software to calculate the capacity of the farm.

How has your competitive advantage been evolving in the inspection and certification subsector?
Competition is as high in this subsector as anywhere else in the energy market, not only in Angola. Our competitors are also developing. Some of our competitors invest a lot and grow really fast, and we are following them very closely. It’s very good to have strong competition because that’s how our company will grow and develop.
In Angola the market is for everybody. We are trying to do a greater number of projects and tenders. Due to the regulations from the ANPG, Angolan entities and service providers are in the best position, but they need to develop and invest more to provide better quality services in the oil and gas market.
We can help competitors as well. We can work together with, for example, Angolan entities by subcontracting them, which we’re now doing.

What are your main mid-term and long-term strategic priorities?
Our first priority is to invest in the Angolan people and local content. We are looking forward to investing more in training.
Currently in Angola no certification bodies are present for training people, so Angolans must go to Europe or South Africa. We are working with some of the recognised foreign bodies to certify people here, which avoids the extra expenses of sending people abroad.
Widening our training related to oil and gas is another key goal we have for the year. This includes the welding school and training in rope access, flush management and pipe fitting. Training for confined spaces, working at height, lifting and rigging are things that we are already providing, but for all these, we will need more local people.
Another goal of ours is to be more present in large projects in the way we are, for example, in Barra do Dande. We’re looking to be more present onshore as well by not only providing inspections but also deploying our RIM – repair, inspection, and maintenance – capabilities.
One of the main goals for us will be to have a portion of the maintenance activities both offshore and onshore.

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