Saudi Arabia Review

NPC ... achieving milestones

NPC ... achieving milestones

Aiming for excellence

The National Pipe Company has completed mill expansion and raised capacity to 300,000 tpy

The formation of the National Pipe Company Limited (NPC) was envisioned by Saudi investors together with Sumitomo Group of Japan as a company, which supplies quality pipes to oil, gas and water sectors, during the time of rapid industrialisation in the kingdom.

Hence was born NPC, known today as Saudi Arabia’s leading manufacturer of large diameter steel pipes, located in Dhahran area.

"Today it aims to fulfil its chosen role as the leading manufacturer of various specifications of large diameter line pipe in the Middle East," says a NPC spokesperson.

NPC was the first firm in the GCC that was licensed to produce API 5L carbon steel pipes and also certified for ISO 9001 2008.

Its first plant with a capacity of 250,000 metric tonnes per year (tpy) started its commercial production in August 1980. It was designed to produce helical seam submerged arc welded (SAW) large diameter pipes with outside diameters ranging from 20-inch to 60-inch (508-1,524 mm) with pipe wall thickness of 0.250-inch to 0.875-inch (6.4-22.2 mm) and API 5 L. In 2007, the plant was upgraded to produce pipes with larger diameters up to 84-inch (2,134 mm).

In August 2015, the company has completed mill expansion which includes two-step welding procedure that enhances welding speed and quality. It has also raised up production capacity to around 300,000 metric tpy. This mill expansion has started commercial production in September 2015.

To meet the market demand for high pressure gas line pipes, NPC started to produce longitudinal seam SAW pipe by constructing the second pipe plant with rated production capacity of 180,000 metric tonnes. The plant started its commercial production in 2001 producing longitudinal pipes with outside diameters ranging from 24-inch to 60-inch (610-1,524 mm) and 0.250-inch to 1.200-inch (6.4-30.5 mm) wall thickness with API 5L.

"NPC identifies the product by suitable means with respect to monitoring and measurement throughout the product realisation. Where traceability is a requirement, NPC controls the unique identification of the product and maintains the records," he explains.

Since the start of its production, NPC’s helical seam SAW pipe mill production has reached 3,750,000 metric tonnes while longitudinal seam SAW pipe mill production has reached 654, 000 metric tonnes. NPC supply history shows that 74 per cent of carbon steel pipes supplied were for oil and gas usages on the other hand, 22 per cent were for water usage and the remaining were for other usage.

The company aims to achieve excellence and perfection in manufacturing quality pipes and related products: through professional management and teamwork; by committing its resources to the continuing development and improvement of technology; by maintaining a safe and conducive work environment; by recognising the dignity of work and rewarding outstanding performance of employees; while dedicating its efforts to the interest of customers whom it serves," the spokesperson says while elaborating on the company’s mission.

"Quality is ensured in the product through process control and precise quality planning at the very early stage of contract review. Personnel in-house continuous training and upgrading through closer relationships with Sumitomo Metal Industries in Japan and external training centers are the company’s key for competitiveness, higher performance and customer satisfaction," the spokesperson adds.

NPC lays emphasis not only on meeting international standards and customer’s specifications but also ensures that pipe delivery schedules are met promptly. Moreover, NPC ensures that the supplied materials are suitable for wide range of welding parameters.

"These parameters are taken care of over and beyond the requirements for strength, elongation, hardness, toughness, bendability and dimensional accuracy. The company goes out of its way to be more flexible in the utmost service and convenience of its customers by keeping a stock of various coils and plates for the popular pipe sizes to cater to small orders required immediately at a very short notice," he says.

"Throughout the years, NPC manufactures and supplies pipes with appropriate quality, meeting the specified requirements and also the statutory and regulatory requirement to ensure customer satisfaction. NPC is recognised for production excellence," he adds.

NPC has modern in-house facilities for its employees to care for their physical and mental well-being. These include a variety of recreation and sports facilities as well as a medical clinic. The company sponsors training programmes covering safety at work, English language instructions and technology courses for personal improvement.

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