Just as life provides each of us with different challenges, the business environment creates unique challenges and opportunities for companies. TMK is the perfect example of a company that capitalizes and thrives on challenges. In just a few short years, its ability to capture opportunities and rapid global growth have allowed it to become one of the world’s top three market leaders in its industry.
Looking back on a short past and long future
TMK’s history doesn’t really go too far back. Following TMK’s creation in 2001, several important events refined its strategic course and shaped its future. At first, the Company was Russia-based and included the Volzhsky, Seversky, Sinarsky, and Tagmet pipe mills. Later on, two mills were purchased in Europe, the TMK-Artrom and TMK-Resita operations in Romania. To support TMK’s strategy to further expand on the global pipe market, a series of representative offices were opened including TMK-Kazakhstan, TMK Europe, TMK North America and TMK Middle East and trade offices were later setup in China and Azerbaijan. The 2007-2009 period saw many changes as TMK created its TMK Oilfield Services and R&D divisions with the acquisition of Truboplast, Central Pipe Yard, Pipe Maintenance Department, Orsky Machine Building Plant, and RosNITI, Russia’s sole pipe industry research institute. Another highlight of this period was the successful listing of TMK shares in late 2006. Investors received access to TMK shares through the Company’s initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange and Russian Trading System (RTS) stock exchange. To focus on the development of specialized pipe segments, TMK-Premium Service was created to develop, produce, and sell premium threaded connections to oil and gas companies, as well as to provide them with specialized pipe running assistance and related well services. In 2008, the company crossed the Atlantic and acquired ten assets spread out across seven U.S. states. These assets became the foundation of the TMK IPSCO division and provided TMK with a solid footing on the North American steel pipe market, the world’s largest oil and gas pipe market. In 2010, TMK created TMK-INOX, a specialized subsidiary overseeing the production and distribution of corrosion-resistant pipes. TMK’s short past clearly highlights the rapidity with which the Company redefined itself, from local champion to global leader, in a matter of a few years. According to production volumes, TMK ranked first in the world in 2009 with close to 2.8 million tonnes of pipe produced in the year. This accomplishment is not surprising when considering that TMK now possesses some of the world’s largest capacities for both seamless and welded pipes coupled with leading production technologies. TMK continues to further enhance its oil and gas industry focus, through the implementation of additional production and technical upgrades and the broadening of its products and services portfolio. TMK thanks to its leading-edge steelmaking and pipe rolling facilities, ability to supply customers and end-users with high-performance pipe products, range of services, and the support of its skilled workforce.
Successful strategic initiatives
One of the main goals of TMK’s strategy has been to increase its market share across key segments and markets. Today, the Company’s main markets are Russia and the CIS, the Middle East, North Africa, South-East Asia and the United States. Although TMK products are already supplied and used in 65 countries, the Company continues its efforts to increase its presence in new regions and expand its geographical footprint. Over the last few years, TMK has been implementing its Strategic Investment Programme, which is probably one of the industry’s most ambitious given the scale and scope of modernizing. Drawn up in collaboration with the industry’s leading institutions and customers, the programme is designed to increase production volumes and improve product quality, while expanding and optimizing TMK’s product mix. The steelmaking equipment was upgraded to produce steels of new quality and grades for the manufacturing of billets, used as feedstock for seamless pipe rolling operations, which have also undergone extensive upgrading. Some of the key strategic projects were the commissioning of a Premium Quality Finishing (PQF) mill at Tagmet and the launch of a longitudinal welded large-diameter facility, including outer and inner anti-corrosion coating capabilities at the Volzhsky mill. The successful combination of the modernization work carried out organically and a series of strategic acquisitions have enabled TMK to become a truly global company, undisputed leader in the Russian pipe market and one of the top three pipe producers in the world. Customer service has also been a vital part of the Company’s success. TMK’s customers are moving their operations to more demanding locations and facing increasingly complex challenges. TMK has been following them in this direction and developing new products allowing them to answer these new environmental and operational challenges. Another important aspect of the Company’s development has been the expansion of the range of services offered. TMK now offers an extensive range of services, from finishing operations such as heat treatment, coating and threading to field support and assistance in downhole operations. TMK works shoulder to shoulder with its customers to develop new types of products and provide effective solutions to their operational challenges. The modernization of production processes carried out within the scope of the Company’s Strategic Investment Programme brought TMK to a new level of product quality and competitiveness and allowed it to secure its place as a global player. TMK is the only manufacturer of pipes with premium threads in Russia and a leading player in the US premium connections market. The production capacity for premium products was considerably enhanced; TMK premium products are able to meet the oil and gas sector’s most demanding operational requirements. ULTRA premium threads at ТМК IPSCO became the connection of choice for gas shale developments in the United States, the world’s largest oil and gas pipe market. Leading-edge production facilities and a wide range of services are not the only contributors to the Company’s success. None of the recent achievements would have been possible without the workers, which management views as a strategic asset. TMK is highly appreciative of the professional contribution of its employees to the Company’s development and recognizes that the successful implementation of its plans and projects directly depend on the workers’ skills, reliability, and willingness to work efficiently.
TMK recognizes its social duty to protect the environment in the regions of its presence and implements a balanced, transparent environmental policy. Environmental safety is an integral part of the Company’s activity and remains a top priority at TMK as it constantly seeks to minimize the environmental impact of operations when implementing investment projects. The commissioning of the arc furnace at Seversky was recognized as “The Best Environmental Project of 2008” in Russia. TMK was also recognized in the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources’ Ecological Efficiency of the Economy programme, confirming the Company’s commitment to the environment. The goal of the environmental policy is to conduct stable, responsible, competitive business, while ensuring environmental protection under conditions of dynamically expanding production. Environmental Management System conforming to ISO 14001-2004 has been introduced and is functioning successfully at all TMK plants. The Environmental Management System ensures the constant improvement of environmental protection management activity. TMK is ready for new challenges thanks to its leading-edge steelmaking and pipe rolling facilities, ability to supply customers and end-users with high-performance pipe products, range of services, and the support of its skilled workforce.
Written by Kateryna Ferdyn