MATCOR’s Ted Huck, cathodic protection and AC mitigation expert, is pleased to be a keynote speaker at this year’s CORCON.
CORCON is Asia’s largest corrosion conference, hosted annually by the NACE International Gateway India Section (NIGIS).
The only larger corrosion conference is the NACE CORROSION Conference held annually in the Spring by NACE – we hope to see all of you in San Antonio Texas in 2022 where next year’s CORROSION Conference is scheduled.
This year, the CORCON conference is virtual; however, the need for an opportunity to share information and experiences still exists. Even in the midst of a pandemic, show organizers are optimistic that they can resume a live conference in 2022.
MATCOR has over a decade-long history of involvement in the cathodic protection market in India. The company has participated in numerous CORCON conferences as speakers, session chairs, and as an exhibitor.
Corrosion Professionals in India
MATCOR has a small office and staff in Ahmedabad, India and we believe in the great work performed by the many corrosion professionals in India.
This year, we were pleasantly surprised when conference organizers reached out to Ted Huck, a frequent visitor and speaker at the NIGIS CORCON conference, to ask that he be a keynote speaker.
The conference is scheduled for November 18-20, 2021. For more information visit www.corcon.org.
In addition to speaking at the CORCON conference, you can also find MATCOR at the National Institute for Storage Tank Management conference in the Woodlands December 1st and 2nd. Mr. Huck will be speaking in person at that conference on Tank Bottom Cathodic Protection Systems – Replacement Options.
How Today’s Supply Chain Issues Affect Our Industry
For over a decade both the consumer and construction worlds have enjoyed very stable pricing with modest annual increases. 2021 is a very different picture. Suppliers are dealing with supply chain issues and price spikes. These increases far exceed the 2-3% we typically see for cathodic protection construction projects.
In today’s environment, manufacturers and service providers deal with this uncertainty by providing quotes with very limited duration. In some cases quotes are only valid for a few days. This is a far cry from the 30- to 90-day validity once common in the industry.
The challenge for everyone in the industry is the lag time between the budgeting phase of a project and the purchase of materials. For major projects, the planning, permitting and pre-construction phases of a project can take years.
It is important to note that the inflation figures we see quoted in the news are typically “consumer price index.” These inflation figures run about half of the less reported “producer price index,” which more accurately captures manufacturers’ material costs.
When you hear that the core inflation rate is 4 or 5%, you can reasonably expect that material costs are rising at 8-10%.
What can companies performing cathodic protection construction do to manage project budgets in an inflationary environment?
Take action quickly. Time is money. The longer you wait to purchase materials and services, the more you can expect to pay for them. Once you have approval for a cathodic protection project, order the key materials quickly.
Share the inflation risks fairly with your suppliers and contractors. Holding a contractor to yesterday’s prices is unrealistic and unsustainable. That contractor will be looking for ways to cut costs. And they may accomplish it by cutting quality, reducing the scope, substituting cheaper materials, or demanding change orders at every opportunity. This type of relationship does not benefit any of the parties.
Consider ordering materials separately from construction. This applies especially to materials you can pre-stage, have long storage life, or repurpose easily for other projects.
Be realistic when providing project schedules. Haven’t nailed down all the landowner or permit issues? Then don’t tell your suppliers and contractors that you expect the project to kick off next month.
What is MATCOR doing to address issues related to cathodic protection construction projects?
As a supplier of cathodic protection materials and construction services, MATCOR takes a team approach. We are eager to engage with customers and work together to minimize impacts from supply chain disruptions and price increases.
Stretch Your Cathodic Protection Budget
Now is a great time to think about stretching your 2021 budget and getting a jump start on 2022.
Days are growing shorter and long summer days are turning to dark winter days. This makes it difficult to spend the last of your CP budget dollars on completed construction projects this year.
Equipment and crews are generally already booked. However, MATCOR and our sister company JA Electronics can still help you spend your 2021 budget dollars productively.
We still have manufacturing capacity for this year. Purchasing cathodic protection anodes, rectifiers and other CP components now can help use up those remaining funds while also giving you a head start on 2022 projects.
Get Your Act Together
The first quarter is often a slower quarter in the construction business since companies are still planning their 2022 CP spend.
But what if you had your act together and were ready to start cathodic protection construction projects earlier in the year?
Well, we at MATCOR are eager to talk to you about special off-season pricing that we can offer for Q1 projects. Are you in a position to buy materials in Q4 and install them in Q1 of 2022? We can load share our construction capacity and provide off-peak pricing, making it very attractive indeed to have your act together.
Have questions or need a quote cathodic protection materials or construction services? Contact us at the link below. For immediate assistance, please call +1-215-348-2974.
In the June 2021 issue of Tanks and Terminals, a quarterly supplement to Hydrocarbon Engineering, MATCOR’s Ted Huck discusses cathodic protection of terminal marine structures including docks, jetties, piers, seawalls and sheet pilings.
The article includes a case story discussion from a Texas gulf coast facility using impressed current cathodic protection for a combi-wall structure (consisting of pipe piles and sheet walls.).
In 2019, MATCOR opened new offices in Casper WY, and Midland, TX to better support those regions.
Two years and one pandemic later, we have seen great success from both regions as we’ve increased our service capacity, deployed construction crews and technicians and staffed each office with experienced cathodic protection professionals.
This month we wanted to highlight a similar customer success story from our Horizontal Directional Drilling crew for two recent tank anode systems installed for a Texas based Midstream company with operations in the Permian.
Upon completion of the project, we received a compliment from the client’s Corrosion Supervisor, who reached out to MATCOR’s Permian based project manager, Mario Mahabir saying:
Well MATCOR appreciates the opportunity to work on this project!
For the this project, MATCOR designed, installed and commissioned dedicated under tank cathodic protection systems on two above ground storage tanks.
Installation was performed using our horizontal directional drilling rig and MATCOR’s proprietary mixed metal oxide anodes to install anodes and reference electrode pull tubes under two existing tanks.
Give the MATCOR Permian and Rockies teams a look—we think you will like what you see.
Have questions or need a quote for AC interference mitigation materials or services? Contact us at the link below. For immediate assistance, please call +1-215-348-2974.
We are pleased to be featured in the 2021 Storage Terminals Magazine Products & Profiles Supplement, which brings together the latest products and technology enabling storage terminals to run safe, efficient operations.
Historically, MATCOR has enjoyed an exceptional on-time delivery record, and over the past decade our lead times for anodes have gone down to the point that 1-2 weeks for rush orders is quite achievable, and 3-4 week deliveries are the norm for MATCOR manufactured cathodic protection products. Even through the pandemic challenged year of 2020, we were generally able to navigate the cathodic protection supply chain and avoid delays resulting from material availability.
In our cathodic protection manufacturing business, we have not been immune to these pressures. We have seen tightening supplies and order delays for key items that we use on a regular basis—from lumber for anode reels to Iridium for the coatings used in our mixed metal oxide anodes. Cathodic protection cable availability, especially for Kynar dual insulated cable, has gone from 4-6 weeks to 15+ weeks.
Another challenge facing manufacturers, in addition to the availability and pricing for materials, is the cost and reliability of shipping channels. Both ocean freight and motor freight are struggling with shortages of containers, truck drivers, port congestion and rising fuel costs. Getting materials to our manufacturing facility and shipping them out is more difficult and less reliable than ever before.
At MATCOR, we have a great logistics team and a very flexible manufacturing team. While our on-time delivery record has taken a step backward, we are doing everything we can to minimize the impact on our customers, and where required, we are communicating early and often with those affected to let them know of any supply delays that we may be facing.
We encourage our customers to give themselves additional lead time by purchasing materials a little earlier than normal to assure that they have them on site well in advance of their planned installation. Engage early with MATCOR and your other suppliers to coordinate delivery timeframes for both planned projects and for critical timeline projects as we navigate these challenging times.
Don’t allow cathodic protection supply chain issues to affect your project. Plan ahead by contacting us at the link below. For immediate assistance, please call +1-215-348-2974.
RUSTY Talks to Michael Grace, Vice President of JA Electronics
MATCOR is excited to welcome JA Electronics to the BrandSafway family, bringing decades of expertise and a range of cathodic protection rectifiers and other CP accessories to MATCOR customers.
We recently sat down with JA Electronics’ VP Michael Grace for this informative interview.
RUSTY: Michael, first off, welcome to the BrandSafway family – what do you think of your new logo?
MICHAEL: JA Electronics has a long and proud history of servicing the Cathodic Protection industry dating back to 1980. BrandSafway’s acquisition of the company marks a new and exciting chapter in that history.
The new logo is a great way to reflect on our past and look forward to our future as part of BrandSafway’s growing set of Corrosion and Integrity businesses. We are very excited about the opportunities ahead of us.
RUSTY: Other than a new logo, what big changes do you see coming for JA Electronics?
MICHAEL: Let’s start by saying what is not going to change—we are going to continue to supply the highest quality rectifiers on the market and do so at very competitive rates. JA Electronics has earned its reputation of providing rectifiers that are built to perform for the long haul. We are not changing our manufacturing team—our rectifiers are proudly built in Stafford, Texas by a team of experienced and dedicated rectifier assembly professionals. Another thing that will not change is our customer service. We stand behind our products and provide world class technical support.
What will change is our relationship with MATCOR. As a fellow BrandSafway company, MATCOR and JA Electronics will be actively looking at ways to partner our products and services. MATCOR, like JA Electronics, is an established name in the cathodic protection industry with a reputation for outstanding products and a long history of innovation. We expect to see collaboration with MATCOR on marketing efforts, shared R&D initiatives, and a closer pairing of our offerings to our customers to add greater value.
RUSTY: What makes JA Electronics a great value proposition?
MICHAEL: JA Electronics’ rectifiers are highly respected in the marketplace for their quality and reliability, a reputation that we have earned over the past 40 years.
Our conservative design basis sets us apart from other rectifier manufacturers. Our transformers, bridge stacks and wiring assemblies are all designed with a 20% safety factor. There are other features and material selection choices that we make to further enhance the reliability of our rectifiers. These design choices result in a higher quality product and allow us to offer a 2 year standard warranty, when most of our competitors limit their warranty to 1 year.
RUSTY: Are JA Rectifiers priced at a premium relative to other rectifiers in the market?
MICHAEL: There is a perception with some in our industry that JA Rectifiers are higher-end rectifiers and cost more than other brands. But the reality is that our rectifiers are cost-competitive with other suppliers even with the great value that we offer. Give JA Electronics a shot—we think you will be surprised at our competitiveness with other rectifier suppliers.
RUSTY: Why are aluminum enclosures better for cathodic protection rectifiers? What’s wrong with galvanized steel?
MICHAEL: Well, there is nothing wrong with galvanized steel enclosures. They’re just not as good as the aluminum enclosures that JA Electronics supplies. We prefer aluminum for its lightweight, anti-corrosive and thermal conductivity properties; whereas galvanized steel is significantly heavier, typically more expensive and does not provide the same level of corrosion resistance in outdoor installations that aluminum offers. The weight savings translates into reduced shipping costs and easier handling during installation. The aluminum enclosures we provide will never rust as aluminum will naturally react with the environment to create a thin oxidizing layer that protects the enclosure. We consider aluminum to be the superior enclosure material.
RUSTY: Is there anything we did not cover that the MATCOR customers might find useful to know about JA Electronics?
MICHAEL: We have a QuickTurn program that covers some of our most common sizes of rectifiers, and we will be looking to expand on this program working with MATCOR to better serve our customers’ needs.
This article describes a recently completed sled anode installation for ship terminal corrosion prevention on the water side of a dock structure along the Houston Ship Channel.
The project involved protecting a new combi pile wall being installed in front of an older existing conventional sheet pile wall nearing the end of its useful life. The combi wall utilizes large diameter steel pilings as the primary structure combined with conventional Z-pilings as the secondary structure.
For this project, there were twenty-seven 60” diameter steel pilings being driven to a depth of 100 ft and spaced approximately 10 feet apart.
This cathodic protection system design, prepared by another CP company, called for twenty-five discreet shallow vertical anodes to protect the land side area between the new and old dock structure and two sled anodes to protect the new water side.
The interior side of the existing wall was already being cathodically protected with a deep anode system.
MATCOR was successful in securing the contract for the supply and installation of the new sled anode system. We utilized MATCOR’s Sled Anode assembly consisting of mixed metal oxide coated, titanium tubular anodes installed with custom fabricated concrete ends. In addition, we utilized a Kynar/HMWPE #1 cabling system installed in a flexible protective black HDPE pipe.
Benefits of MATCOR’s Sled Anodes for Ship Terminal Corrosion Prevention
Each of the sled anodes include lifting lugs for ease of installation and floating locator buoys to allow for temporary removal in the event of dredging operations.
The sled anodes weighed approximately 5800 lbs each to assure that the sleds remained anchored in place along the ship channel floor.
The use of sled anodes makes for an easy installation and minimizes the need for divers – in this case the use of divers was only needed to help route the cabling back to shore.
Each sled anode was designed for 75 amps output for 30 years continuous service in seawater. The two sled anodes are being powered off a common rectifier configured with an RMU for remote monitoring of the systems operations.
These sleds were installed using a qualified marine sub-contractor who provided a properly sized crane mounted on a barge to facilitate the installation.
Have questions or need a quote for ship terminal or other near shore structure corrosion prevention? Contact us at the link below. For immediate assistance, please call +1-215-348-2974.
However, where AC power is not readily available, there are other alternative power supply systems available. One of the most common of these are solar powered systems.
Solar powered systems, when properly designed, can provide reliable power for an impressed current cathodic protection system where AC is not readily available. There are, however, some technical considerations that should be taken to assure that the system is cost effective and reliable.
Design of Cathodic Protection Systems to Minimize Power Requirements
This may seem obvious; however, the typical CP system design is not designed based on optimizing power requirements. For AC powered impressed current cathodic protection systems, the cost of the electrical power required is very low and the overall power draw is not significant. Therefore, CP designers focus on optimizing the overall cathodic protection installation costs and not reducing the power requirements. AC power is relatively low and AC power costs are very low.
But when we are talking about designing a CP system where AC power is not an option, the economic drivers are different.
The cost of the power supply for a solar powered cathodic protection system increases exponentially as the wattage increases. Therefore, investing additional monies on the CP system design to reduce power requirements can have a significant impact on the overall installed cost of the solar power system.
Power is simply defined by the equation W=I2R where W is Power, I is the total design current, and R is the total system resistance.
There are two ways to reduce power requirements for a solar powered cathodic protection system
The first has to do with the required current output for the system. Typically, CP designers are overly conservative in terms of design current. If we believe 20 amps of current is needed, then why not install 40 amps of capacity. If we need more current, we will have that capability by simply turning up the voltage on the rectifier. AC power is not a concern.
However, when considering solar powered CP systems, reducing the maximum current density has a huge impact on the solar system sizing.
A 25% reduction in the system’s current requirements reduces the power requirement by 44%.
For solar powered cathodic protection systems, the design current needs to be scrutinized to make sure that we are not being overly conservative and installing excessive current capacity that is not warranted by the application.
Another important factor in reducing the power requirements is designing the cathodic protection system to reduce anode bed resistance. This can easily be achieved by understanding that anode bed resistance is largely a function of the overall total anode system length. Designing the anode system to increase anode length can drastically reduce anode bed resistance. For deep anode groundbed systems this means spending a little more in drilling costs to extend the active anode length.
This will increase the cost of the CP system, but these additional costs can often generate a much larger savings in solar power system costs. Also consider the use of long length linear anodes for shallow anode bed systems as these systems also have a much lower anode bed resistance.
Multiple Small Systems May Be Less Expensive Than One Large System
Another consideration is the quantity and spacing of CP systems.
Given the exponential costs associated with solar cathodic protection systems as the wattage increases, it often makes more sense to install multiple smaller anode systems, than to try and design one large CP system.
A single 30-amp system with 1 ohms resistance would require a solar power system rated for a minimum of 900-Watt plus a design safety factor. Installing two 15-amp CP systems in different locations can improve the CP current distribution by eliminating some attenuation concerns, but more importantly it also reduces the total wattage of solar power required by 50%. The cost savings of installing 2 x 225-Watt versus a single 900-Watt system can far exceed the incremental costs of having two installations.
Solar Cathodic Protection System Application in Wyoming
The photos above provide some perspective on the size and space requirements of a typical Solar Power system. These photos are from a recent MATCOR installation in Wyoming and are based on providing continuous power for a 15 amp, 1 ohm anode bed. The battery capacity is sufficient to provide 7 full days of autonomy.
Autonomy is the term used for describing how many days without sunlight the system is sized to support using stored solar energy in the battery reserves. As can be readily seen from the photos above, the solar power systems do take up a reasonably large footprint for a relatively small system, further emphasizing the value of minimizing the CP system power requirements
Should you have a need for a Solar Powered CP System, contact your MATCOR representative. MATCOR’s engineering team is available to help you with optimizing the overall system design.
Have questions or need a quote for a solar powered cathodic protection system? Contact us at the link below. For immediate assistance, please call +1-215-348-2974.
Additionally, MATCOR is reducing our quote validity dates to two weeks and stipulating that the price validity is based on the price of Iridium remaining below 4500/oz. Should the price of Iridium exceed 4500/oz, MATCOR will review and confirm validity of the pricing at time of order placement.
We regret that these measures must be taken, but these are extraordinary times. MATCOR is committed to working with you to minimize the cost impact of the global iridium price surge.
This includes reviewing your project needs and evaluating alternate anode solutions.
Please contact us with any questions or to review existing quotes or alternatives for your upcoming cathodic protection projects.