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Inspection Services You Can Count on

Alastair Gibbons, Advanced Inspection Services Manager

26th January 2021

Alastair Gibbons, Advanced Inspection Services Manager, joined Glacier Energy in 2015 and has over 30 years’ experience in the delivery of advanced non-destructive testing (NDT) services and techniques. Here he gives his insight on the industry challenges, how Glacier Energy is playing its part in the energy transition and the ways our advanced inspection teams are helping to improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of our clients’ critical assets and infrastructure.

Tell us about your role within Glacier Energy’s Inspection Services division

I am responsible for the day to day running, operations and technical delivery of the advanced inspection department. In addition, I act as a level 3 technical authority for Glacier Energy’s Inspection Services division. Even though my role is primarily operational and technical, I also engage with customers regularly and carry out business development activity, when the time allows. I also remain involved “on the tools” to supplement the advanced inspections team when we have extremely busy spells and get the opportunity to travel offshore or overseas, although not as much as in previous years.

Talk about Glacier Energy’s Advanced NDT capabilities and what sets us apart

When I first started in Glacier Energy’s Inspection Services team (formerly Professional Testing Services) my initial role was to establish an advanced inspection services business unit, mainly to support Glacier Energy’s heat transfer department on matters relating to tube inspection techniques.

At that time, it was also hoped that we would be able to “phase-in” additional advanced NDT techniques as and when it was feasible and depending on client requirements. Today, we can not only offer 5 or 6 different techniques for tube inspection activities but have added numerous other advanced techniques into our portfolio, including PAUT; corrosion mapping; Time-of-flight diffraction (ToFD); eddy current array; alternating current field measurement (ACFM); pulsed eddy current for CUI & scabbed pipework and various techniques for tank inspection, including MFL. A major advantage for us is that we are UKAS certified.

What sets Glacier Energy apart from the competition is our ability to deliver and the agility, flexibility and responsiveness of our teams. Our experienced and high performing team have good sound knowledge in nearly all industry sectors and each of these individuals are committed to carrying out our inspection services with pride, professionalism, efficiency and enthusiasm.

What are some of the project challenges/highlights that have stood out for your during your time within Glacier Energy?

A frequently occurring highlight is when we are asked back by a client to support additional projects based on the success of past jobs and the quality of our work. We have completed various challenging overseas projects, in the Middle East and West Africa - even though the incumbent for the inspection services contract changed hands over the years, the client instructed the new incumbent engage with Glacier Energy based on the quality, flexibility and commitment of our teams. We have since re-visited the same sites and worked on different gas trains and associated equipment, not only carrying out tube inspection techniques but also eddy current surface inspection on turbine blades.

How can Glacier Energy’s Inspection team play its part in the energy transition?

Our NDT services and advanced NDT capabilities are transferrable across most industry sectors. In the renewables sector particularly, we are heavily involved in the construction stage of the project, however as we offer full lifecycle services, we can also inspect and maintain at any point and be ready to deliver to the highest standard.

What’s the future outlook for Glacier Energy’s Inspection Services division?

Although we are operating in very challenging times, we continue to see strong demand for our services particularly across the oil and gas, renewable energy, petrochemical and agricultural sectors. Having built up such strong capability and track record across our core offering, we will focus on maximising these strengths to our growing customer base. As the market slowly starts to improve, we still hope to be able to invest in our people and our equipment in order to maintain the professional, efficient and quality services our clients have come to expect from Glacier Energy.

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