IPLOCA Meets In Beijing

By Catherine Watkins, Contributing Editor | November 2011, Vol. 66 No. 11

Karl Trauner, outgoing president of the International Pipeline and Offshore Contractors Association (IPLOCA) and Managing Director of HABAU, welcomed over 630 delegates to Beijing, China, for the 45th annual convention in September.

This first IPLOCA convention ever to be held in China was an opportunity to develop business relationships not only with other members but also with clients and partners in the region. Participants were also invited to attend the China International Pipeline Expo which followed the convention.

Although Trauner was already involved in the pipeline industry working on the Trans-Austria-Gas pipeline as a university student, he began his career at HABAU and spent the next 32 years working on civil engineering projects before becoming more involved in the pipeline sector again and becoming the Managing Director of the Austrian company. Trauner largely credits the contacts and friendships he developed at IPLOCA meetings and conventions for the company’s recent industry acquisitions.

Trauner said that his goal as president of IPLOCA was to elevate the “IPLOCA brand” in the industry through its members’ efforts in healthy and safety, training and technology. Although optimistic about the coming years, particularly in light of increased projections of gas industry investments, Trauner regrets the lack of active participation from a number of IPLOCA’s members. “The association’s success depends on the commitment of our members,” Trauner stated. In an effort to encourage more member participation, the board has decided that all member companies will be required to submit their health and safety statistics as a condition to attending next year’s convention in Istanbul.

The open general meeting started with a presentation about a 16th century construction project. David Spindler, an independent historian, presented the history and dispelled some of the myths concerning the Great Wall. Other presentations included Professor Michael Economides, the author of “The Color of Oil,” who discussed his views on geopolitics and its impact on the industry; and Torstein Indrebo, the secretary general of the International Gas Union, looked towards natural gas as part of the future energy solution.