Vallourec, the premium tubular solutions company, inaugurated its new research centre in Rio de Janeiro. Mr Philippe Crouzet, the Chairman of Vallourec’s Management Board, was present at the inauguration. The Rio centre is scheduled to be operational by October 2013, and will focus on all pre-salt activities of the group. It will be supported by Vallourec’s recently expanded Belo Horizonte research centre as well as the other Vallourec research centres throughout the world. Vallourec has a worldwide network of more than 500 R&D engineers and technicians, and spent EUR 93M in 2012 on R&D. The new unit will benefit from collaborations with the Federal Universities of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais among others, in areas such as the environment, robotics and energy use.
Mr Flávio de Azevedo, Vice president —Technology, R&D and Innovation (TRDI) of the Vallourec group, declared “We are happy to extend our long-term collaboration with Petrobras further, and support them with our best innovation capability in order to tackle the unequalled challenges of the pre-salt exploitation, as well as future challenges like those of the yet-unexplored equatorial margins. These new frontiers have severe requirements on pipes and connections that need to be able to withstand unique combinations of mechanical, corrosive and thermal constraints. Vallourec, through its sustained innovation capability, is able to meet these technological challenges and supply Petrobras with the most advanced solutions.”