San Francisco and its environs provided delegates from the International Pipeline and Offshore Contractors Association (IPLOCA) the opportunity to enjoy historic and well-known attractions, including an excursion into Napa Valley, while attending to industry business matters at the association’s annual convention.  

IPLOCA held its 43rd national convention, Sept. 14-18, at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel, atop the famous Nob Hill. The association’s 2008-2009 president, Bruno de La Roussière, of Entrepose Contracting, chaired the event, which drew 700 attendees from around the world.

The general business sessions included a presentation by Leslie Link, of Independent Project Analysis Inc., on “In Search of Excellence in Pipeline Projects;” Don Wishart, of TransCanada, discussed “Prospectives in North America Pipeline Projects in Coming Years;” and Richard Spears, of Spears & Associates, presented “The Bust of ‘09 and the Boom of ‘11.” The annual New Technologies Award, a special presentation by IPLOCA, went to Herrenknecht for its innovative microtunneling system for boring under waterways.

A unique program of IPLOCA is Novel Construction. In the past year, the Novel working group completed a major project — the publication of the 374-page The Road to Success. The publication’s objective is to better understand the key drivers in a pipeline project from development to commissioning. The intent is to provide the reader with the basic knowledge to improve the delivery of a project, such as cost and schedule challenges, while reducing the environmental footprint and receiving the desired safety objectives. Other stated objectives of The Road to Success are:

  • Improve the preparation process of pipeline projects to mitigate risks toward a more certain delivery date and budget.
  • Improve the relationship between investors/owners and construction contractors.
  • Improve the competitiveness of the pipeline industry through sound engineering and construction practices and innovative solutions.

 At the formal final banquet, de La Roussière turned over the reins of the presidency for 2009-2010 to Adam Wynne Hughes, of Land & Marine. The 2010 convention will be Sept. 27-Oct. 1 in Venice, Italy. 

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