"Mining projects, both brownfield and greenfield, are extremely important for PPS, as they require new pipelines for the transportation of fluids such as water, air, fuel, pulp and minerals."
How has PPS evolved in the last year and what is the importance of the mining sector for the company?
PI: PPS was severely affected by the pandemic; we had to interrupt our activities from March to May 2020, and restarting them was extremely challenging. The number of workers had to be reduced from 350 to 285 and our sales levels suffered a 20% decrease in comparison with 2019. We managed to remain afloat thanks to the government’s aid plans. Mining remains the most important sector for PPS and represents around 70-80% of our activities. However, our participation in the modernization project of the Talara refinery has diversified our focus.
EV: Mining projects, both brownfield and greenfield, are extremely important for PPS, as they require new pipelines for the transportation of fluids such as water, air, fuel, pulp and minerals. We are currently focusing less than before on maintenance projects, as there are numerous companies that manufacture spare parts which are close to mining operations. Mining companies, for social reasons, often prefer to buy spare parts in the areas where they operate.
Can you give an overview of PPS’s product offering?
EV: PPS offers safe, high-quality fluid transmission lines, from the point of origin to the arrival point. More specifically, we offer spool manufacturing, piping and engineering services. Clients can trust that these pipes will be installed in their projects with the necessary requirements and performance. PPS currently has a strong focus on manufacturing products according to the technical specifications of our clients.
Who are PPS’s most recent and relevant clients in the mining sector?
PI: PPS has recently participated in a project at Quellaveco, which we carried out with Fluor’s engineering from Santiago, and in the modernization project of the Talara refinery. The contract for this project was awarded to Grupo Cobra and to Graña y Montero. PPS was subcontracted by them for the manufacture of spools. Another important project has been the modification of the tailings line in Antamina, and a project with Aceros Arequipa, with IDOM’s engineering.
What technologies does the company apply for the manufacture of spools?
PI: PPS uses different types of software for the process of spool manufacture and we always search for the latest technology according to our clients’ needs and which we can incorporate in our welding processes. For example, in order to create isometric plans in pdf, we use AutoCAD or Spoolgen.
EV: PPS has developed a database to be able control large projects, which allows us to have traceability of the materials we receive, the spools we manufacture, the person who welded each spool, etc. This way we can keep clients informed about the state of their project in a semi-automatic way, providing them with updated reports.
How does PPS differentiate itself from its competitors?
EV: PPS is only five years old but has extensive experience and is an extremely reliable spool manufacturer. Our experience has come mainly from our work at the Talara refinery where we have worked with different thicknesses, diameters, and materials. In addition, PPS can export to countries such as Chile, which is a very competitive market. We have worked with clients such as Fluor and Ausenco with very demanding technical specifications.
PI: PPS has also been involved in the enlargement project at Cerro Verde, which has given us great expertise, and we have been involved in most piping projects across Peru to different extents. Workers at PPS also have great experience in the metal-mechanical industry. Personally, I have participated in 100% of the large projects involving the manufacture of spools in Peru since the first one in Antamina.
What are the company’s main goals and objectives for 2021-2022, and its strategy for growth?
EV: For 2021-2022, we want to consolidate ourselves in Chile, where there are five projects to be developed. We also have plans to grow in Ecuador, which is likely to become more open with the arrival of the new president, and in Colombia. PPS worked recently with Ausenco in Las Bambas, Peru, and they have been assigned a project in Mexico, so we would like to participate with them on this. In the long term, our goal is to expand progressively to the whole Latin American region and to become eventually a world-class player.