Brand Energy & Infrastructure

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Brand Energy & Infrastructure is a leading international provider of access and specialised services for industrial end markets, including fabric maintenance support for offshore operations. Richard Hagan met with UK Offshore Director David Strang and Babette Haas, the Marketing Director for BrandSafway International, to find out how the company’s skilled people and unique systems contribute to the smooth daily operations of its illustrious customers.

The history of Brand Energy & Infrastructure can be traced back to 1919 and the establishment of Scaffolding Great Britain, a company that quickly became well-known across the country. The decades since saw Scaffolding Great Britain participate in several acquisitions and mergers, with this company ultimately becoming part of the US-based BrandSafway Group.

Specialist coatings manufacturer Venko, with a footprint across the UK and the Netherlands, was also acquired in 2018 by Brand Energy & Infrastructures, in a move that substantially propelled Brand into the offshore market. Venko’s

technology and expertise have subsequently become a core part of the offering of the modern Brand operation.

Specialist fabric maintenance solutions

Brand offers its clients a large portfolio of services, including access solutions, insulation, coatings and general maintenance services. “With all of the services we provide, we are ultimately a people business,” said UK Offshore Director David Strang.

Babette Haas, Marketing Director for BrandSafway International, agreed: “Our assets are primarily our people, but we

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also have an extensive fleet of scaffolding and access hardware across our international locations. “This includes our highly innovative QuikDeck solution – a suspended platform access system that is regularly used in the offshore business. It’s a highcapacity load platform that offers the advantage of safely working on an open, modular platform. QuikDeck can transform clients’ projects by saving up to 50% reduction in erection time over traditional approaches.”

Efficiency is at the heart of Brand’s service provision to its customers, which is further evidenced by its implementation and use of the Tubelock and wedge coupler scaffolding solutions on offshore platforms. “With Tubelock, we achieve 30 per cent

better efficiency compared to traditional scaffolding because of its intuitive twist and lock mechanism and flexibility of the system,” said Ms Haas.

“Our access solutions are intentionally market leading. We choose to develop and invest in innovative systems because we understand the environment they operate in; and these systems guarantee better productivity from our workforce and ultimately, it’s less time spent on site, which reduces our client costs and hazardous exposure hours.”

High-profile maintenance

In 2019, Brand joined an Aberdeen-based consortium of three contractors including Ponticelli, Brand Energy & Infrastructure


Services and Semco Maritime, in a bid to secure major new offshore projects in the North Sea and beyond.

The consortium – known as PBS – was awarded its first contract only a year later in 2020 when it secured a major North Sea maintenance deal from oil company TotalEnergies. “It was the largest maintenance contract ever awarded on the UK continental shelf,” said Mr Strang. “It represented a major step forward in our offshore business.”

The contract began in 2020 and requires PBS to manage asset integrity, maintenance and reliability, fabric maintenance, shutdowns, and modification projects for all Total Exploration and Production UK-operated assets, on a long-term basis.

Another project highlight for Brand was its involvement in a Barge Campaign project for ONEGas, a consortium including Shell, starting back in 2012 and still running to this day.

“The project initially called for the refurbishment of 36 platforms delivered in one phase, including 100 per cent reinstatement of coatings,” said Mr Strang. “We carried out the work with a specialist team totalling 200.”

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“Our successful completion of these platforms proved that we can plan and deliver large offshore fabric maintenance projects to reinstate and reset the life of the platform in terms of its summer maintenance.”

BrandSafway, the group of which Brand Energy & Infrastructure is a member, employs approximately 40,000 people globally, located in 360 facilities in 30 countries. In the UK, Brand Energy & Infrastructure conducts industrial services both onshore and offshore. The UK offshore operations are being facilitated by its three main hubs in Great Yarmouth, Aberdeen and Immingham.

Brand also does extensive offshore business in the Netherlands, where it has two main offshore hubs in Den Helder and Hoogeveen besides its traditional onshore business. Overall, Brand employs

more than 8,000 staff in its international industrial locations in Europe, the Middle East, Australia and India.

Sustainable services in action

Brand has a number of sustainability programmes. These include active monitoring and measurement of all its transport needs as well as personnel trips – including all flights. LED lighting has been implemented wherever possible, while its vehicle fleet consists of a large number of electric vehicles.

“We continuously benchmark all of our transport and ensure that we’re making incremental changes as we go,” said Mr Strang. “We’re constantly maximising loads and storing assets on site wherever possible in order to minimise transport.”

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“On the social side, the company is also actively caring for its employees,” added Ms Haas. “We offer health and safety training regularly, as well as mental health programmes. Many of our people are specially trained on that, as well as on the governance side.”

B rand participates in the annual SPE Offshore Europe exhibition, where the industry can meet its teams in person

– both on its own and as part of its PBS consortium. Brand also looks forward to the annual Offshore Energy Awards at the end of each year.

Looking ahead, Brand expects continued growth of the company and its staff.

“We’re focused on investing in people; retaining the good people we have and attracting more good people to the business in both white- and blue-collar roles – so that we can continue to grow,” Mr Strang revealed.

Concluding, Mr Strang reflected on his excitement for the work that Brand is doing: “I love making things better, and retaining the status quo is never an option for me. At Brand, we are efficient at evaluating what works best and at working with the client to make things possible. That’s why I get out of bed in the morning.”

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