Category Archives: Corrosion Industry News

Filling the Oil and Gas Industry Labor Gap

Skilled MATCOR technicians are available for short-, medium- or long-term engagements.

Labor shortages are right up there with supply chain challenges for businesses everywhere. Unfortunately, the oil and gas industry is front and center in the conversation about chronic labor challenges.

Filling the Oil and Gas Industry Labor Gap

Several factors are at play.

Oil and Gas: A Less Popular Career Choice

Boom-and-bust cycles are endemic to the oil and gas business. This, along with the persistent demonizing of the industry in the media, has resulted in the oil and gas industry becoming much less desirable to potential talent entering the workforce.

In fact, only 2 percent of US College graduates consider the oil and gas industry their top choice for employment. It is no surprise that the industry struggles to compete for talent with other more appealing high tech, pharmaceutical and green energy sector industries for scarce technical talent.

Demographics

Skilled laborers are retiring from the oil and gas industry at a faster rate than ever before. This “Baby Boomer Brain Drain”, where experienced, skilled labor leaves the workplace faster than younger, less experienced workers are entering the workplace, continues to have a profound impact on midstream companies.

Regulatory Issues

Finally, the advent of the PHMSA Mega Rule places additional regulatory scrutiny on the oil and gas industry. As a result, companies will see their scarce technical labor resources stretched even further.

MATCOR’s Answer to the Oil and Gas Industry Labor Shortage: Corrosion Technicians for Hire

MATCOR is here to help. As a service provider we are constantly bringing in and developing technical talent. Our pipeline of technicians are available to fill the gaps.

Short-, medium- or long-term engagements enable our technicians to provide the additional labor needed to keep your business moving.

Additionally, MATCOR’s engineering team can design and install remote monitoring systems. This automates the data collection required for regulatory compliance and reduces the strain on local corrosion technicians.


For information on hiring MATCOR skilled technicians or our engineering services, please contact us at the link below, or reach out to your local MATCOR account manager.

Contact a Corrosion Expert

MATCOR’s Ted Huck to Keynote at CORCON 2021

MATCOR’s Ted Huck, cathodic protection and AC mitigation expert, is pleased to be a keynote speaker at this year’s CORCON.

Ted Huck, MATCOR, Inc.

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.


Did you know? Our very own Ted Huck is “Youtube Famous” for his Cathodic Protection 101 video, with nearly a quarter-million views!


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.

Corcon 2021 Keynote

On November 18, Mr. Huck delivered the presentation “AC Mitigation Criterion and the impact on Cathodic Protection Operations.”

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.

Cathodic Protection Construction and Inflation

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.

Cathodic Protection Construction

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.

Contact a Corrosion Expert

VCI for Tank Bottom Protection

The American Petroleum Institute (API) recently issued a landmark technical report regarding vapor corrosion inhibitor (VCI) use for storage tank bottom corrosion protection (API TR 655).

VCI has been promoted as a technology for use under above-ground storage tanks for the past decade. This effort recently received a big boost with the American Petroleum Institute’s publication of its long-awaited technical report on VCI.

VCI for Tank Bottom Protection
Vapor corrosion inhibitor technology for tank bottom corrosion protection gets boost from API technical report.

API TR 655 Vapor Corrosion Inhibitors for Storage Tanks; First Edition; April 2021 provides the first set of guidelines for VCI issued by an internationally recognized non-governmental technical standards organization.

MATCOR has been an early adopter of VCI technology as we believe that it can be an important and effective component in a corrosion prevention program for tank bottoms. We have partnered with Zerust to be an authorized distributor and installer of VCI products for tank and other applications.

We are excited that API has led the way on recognizing VCI technology, and we would expect that other organizations–AMPP for one–will adopt similar guidelines and recommendations.

For a more detailed review of the technical report, visit our VCI partner company Zerust’s summary at the link below:

Summary of API’s Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor Use for Storage Tank Bottom Protection API TR-655


To get in touch with our team of cathodic protection experts for more information, to ask a question or get a quote, please click below. We will respond by phone or email within 24 hours. For immediate assistance, please call +1-215-348-2974.

Contact a Corrosion Expert

Navigating Cathodic Protection Supply Chain Issues

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.

Navigating Cathodic Protection Supply Chain Issues

However, if you are reading the news, you cannot help but see stories such as a Bloomberg’s recent article “Supply Lines: Shipping Delays and Supply Shortages to Constrain Firms all Year” and CNN’s “Supply chain interrupted: Here’s everything you can’t get now”, it seems as if the general state of the global economy is one of delay and disruption accompanied by price increases and surcharges.

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.

Contact a Corrosion Expert

Natural Gas Fueling US Steel Competitiveness

Cheap and abundant Marcellus Shale gas derived from US fracking technology helps to drive competitiveness for a wide range of industries in the United States. This is especially true for the US Steel industry, and MATCOR’s recent project in Western Pennsylvania in the rolling hills of the Monongahela Valley is a great example of this.

US Steel Irvin Plant

Nestled on a hilltop 250 feet above the valley is US Steel’s Mon Valley Works–Irvin Plant. This hot strip mill in the Pittsburgh West Mifflin suburbs first opened in 1938. The hilltop site required more than 4.4 million cubic yards of earth to be moved, more than any other project other than the Panama Canal. In May of 2019, US Steel announced plans to invest $1 billion dollars at the site to expand it and to build a cogeneration power facility expected to be operational by 2022.

MATCOR was selected by US Steel to install, commission and test an impressed current cathodic protection system to protect the critical coke oven gas (COG) product pipelines mixed at the West Mifflin COG facility. The coke oven gas is a mixture of commercial natural gas and recovered waste coke gas. This blending of natural gas with recovered gas reduces costs and improves US Steel’s energy efficiency. The pipeline, affectionately called the Green Monster, traverses the valley feeding various facilities. Mostly above grade, the pipeline goes below grade in numerous locations.

US Steel Cathodic Protection System Installation

MATCOR’s MMP 3605 mixed metal oxide based canister anodes were selected as the new cathodic protection system anodes to protect the buried piping. Fifteen anodes were installed in individual 20-foot depth augered holes and connected to a #2 HMWPE buried header cable requiring approximately 1500 linear feet of trenching. The project included site specific safety training, regular coordination with site personnel and site restoration (seed, straw and fertilizer) after completion of the installation.

The project was a tremendous success and MATCOR is proud to have been able to partner with US Steel for their buried pipe corrosion protection.


Have questions or need a quote for cathodic protection materials or services? Contact us at the link below. For immediate assistance, please call +1-215-348-2974.
Contact a Corrosion Expert

MATCOR Ships Over a Half Million Feet of Linear Anodes to Africa

The richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote, undertakes $12B project including 153 ASTs

Chalfont, PA (April 2019) – MATCOR, Inc., the trusted full-service provider of proprietary cathodic protection products, systems, services and corrosion engineering solutions announced that it recently completed shipment of over 500,000 linear feet (150+ km) of its SPL™-FBR linear anode product along with other ancillary materials for 153 above ground storage tanks (ASTs) in Africa.

MATCOR Ships Over a Half Million Feet of Linear Anodes to Africa
Tank anode system materials prepped for export at MATCOR’s Chalfont PA facility. Over 520 reels of anode material have been shipped to Nigeria.

The anodes, which will prevent tank bottom corrosion, are part of an ambitious refinery project undertaken by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man. The tanks are being erected on over 6,000 acres of swampland outside of Lagos, Nigeria.

MATCOR was selected for this project due to quick delivery and the company’s unique linear anode design, which does not require field splicing and saves significantly on installation time and costs.

“The ability to manufacture the large quantity of custom length linear anode segments in a very compressed time frame was key to meeting the tank contractor’s needs,” noted Ted Huck, Director of Manufacturing and Quality Assurance for MATCOR. “Our team handled a very complex order with a very tight delivery schedule while maintaining world class quality.”

Learn more about the project in our recent blog post.

About MATCOR

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CONTACT

Ted Huck
215-348-2974
Dana Baedke
Key Marketing Communications
844-545-3481, x700

MATCOR Now Part of BrandSafway Integrity Services Group

MATCOR Now Part of BrandSafway Integrity Services GroupIn June 2017, MATCOR’s parent company Brand Energy and Infrastructural Services joined forces with Safway Group to form one even greater company – BrandSafway – providing world class services to industrial, commercial and infrastructure companies through 350 locations in 30 countries. In January 2018, BrandSafway announced the formation of the “Integrity Services Group”, combining Midstream/MATCOR, LDAR and Industrial Specialty Services into one powerful group of over 500 employees, each uniquely qualified to supply our customers with safe, integrated and high-performing asset management and protection services, as well as regulatory compliance solutions.

Read the full press release

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