4th Asian Pipeline Conference and Exhibition (APCE 08), 19-20 Nov, Berjaya Times Square Hotel, KL

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The ASCOPE Gas Centre (AGC) and the Malaysian Gas Association (MGA) successfully organised the 4th APCE on 19-20 November 2008 at the Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. In officiating the Conference, YBhg Datuk Dr Abdul Rahim Hashim, Chairman AGC and President of MGA stated the importance of dialogue between the pipeline industry and infrastructure financiers, noting the magnitude of Asia's emerging investment challenges coupled with increasingly complex projects. He pointed out that Malaysian companies were achieving world “firsts” in the area of deepwater development, including many pipeline innovations.

Dr Allen Beasley, Executive Director of AGC, also APCE's organising chairman, shared on the future direction of ASCOPE Gas Centre which included the scope for expansion of the Young Pipeline Professionals Study Tour Program, taxation harmonization for cross border pipelines in ASEAN, project on utilization of high carbon dioxide gas for power generation, possibility of an exchange program between ASEAN pipeline operators and the progress towards AGC's first cooperative research and development project relating to pipeline performance.

APCE 2008 is jointly organized by the ASCOPE Gas Centre and the Malaysian Gas Association. The Conference is an annual event to promote dialogue and information exchange between pipeline professionals within the region, especially amongst ASEAN countries. More than 150 participants, invited speakers and guests from 11 countries, complemented with exhibitions by 10 local and international companies, supported this year’s event.

For APCE to continue to grow to be a sustainable, industry driven conference and exhibition that will serve as the major regional forum for pipeline professionals to showcase new pipeline technologies, practices and innovation, the concerted support by all members of the pipeline community i.e. owners, contractors, engineering companies and providers of related products and services is highly essential.
This year’s theme “Managing Risks – Meeting Expectations” could not have been better chosen in the economic climate we face today. Whilst many countries and companies in this region have invested heavily in pipelines, there is a current focus on LNG options to meet the growing gap between gas supply and demand.
This tends to draw some focus away from pipeline issues.

There is particular emphasis this year on technical matters relating to pipeline performance. The work of the South East Asia Pipeline Operators Group (SEAPOG) which comprises of members of most of the major owners and operators of national pipeline companies and the private sector, is very important in this regard. Two new SEAPOG initiatives will be taken forward during 2009. The first involves development of arrangements for the exchange, at the technical level, of pipeline operators in the ASEAN region to promote a better technical understanding of the pipeline systems that connect countries in the ASEAN region and thus assists pipeline integration. The second involves a SEAPOG initiated project to better understand the long term behaviour of field joints for onshore pipelines, an area where there is a need to share experiences and develop best practice for methods of pipeline protection for the region.

APCE strongly supports the professional development of our young pipeline professionals who represent the future of our industry. The proceeds from APCE 2007 have been used to further the professional development of three young pipeline professionals, on a study tour to Norway in August and September this year. They learned much on best practices in offshore pipeline design, construction and operation. There will be a second APCE Young Professional Study Tour during 2009, probably to North America.

APCE 2008 organisers record appreciation and grateful thanks to the major sponsor Scomi Natco and the other sponsors and exhibitors for their support and participation and to Det Norske Veritas for organising the series of seminars and workshops on the DNV Pipeline Code being held in conjunction with APCE 2008.

One of the highlight of APCE 2008 included the CEO Forum mediated by Dr Allen Beasley, with panel members from the pipeline industry comprising of PETRONAS Gas Bhd, APA Group JP Kenny and GE Oil and Gas, engaging in a lively discussion on ‘Issues Affecting Pipeline Developments in the Region’. It was evident that the key issue involved around people development and availability and the competency gap.

An excellent array of local and international speakers shared their experience, thoughts and expertise in their respective fields, addressing the theme ‘Managing Risks – Meeting Expectations’. Over the two days, a wide range of pipeline topics covering design, development and operational issues were presented with active participation by delegates during the question and answer sessions.