The history of Vallourec, whose origins date back to the 19th century, is that of the progressive merger of many regional, national and then international companies in the metallurgy sector, leading to the creation of today's Group, the world leader for premium tubular solutions primarily serving the energy industry.
The foundations of the Group's current economic model - a strategy based on expertise, innovation, high added value, as well as global scope combined with a local presence in close proximity to its customers - have been apparent throughout its development.
|1886-1957 The origins and founding of Vallourec
Invention of the rolling process for seamless steel tubesThe Mannesmann brothers’ invention revolutionized the tube industry.
Establishment of the founding companiesTube manufacturers in France began to adopt the seamless tube production method developed in Germany by the Mannesmann brothers. Industrial production sites were created in Burgundy and in the "Nord" Department, birth place of the futur Group.
"Société métallurgique de Montbard" listed on the Paris Stock Exchange
The Société française des corps creux, located in Montbard, Burgundy was founded in 1896 and renamed upon listing on the Paris stock exchange in 1899. The company would become one of the historic cornerstones of Vallourec.
|1920 - The 1920s|
First movement towards concentration of the steel tube industry
After WW I, factories which had previously been widely dispersed and non-specialized began to combine and specialize. The Haumont site merged with Recquignies, then with Louvroil. At the time, Recquignies manufactured seamless tubes, and Haumont and Louvroil furnished small welded tubes.
|1930 - The 1930s|
Manufacturing tubes for the oil industry
A new factory primarily designed to manufacture tubes for the oil sector was built in Aulnoye. Its first customer was the Compagnie française des pétroles (CFP, later to become Total). Tubes for the oil industry were the initial catalyst driving Vallourec's internationalization.
Birth of Vallourec
The depression of the 1930s led French tube manufacturers to establish closer ties. This resulted in the creation of an industrial and commercial partnership among manufacturing plants in Valenciennes, Louvroil and Recquignies, managed by a new company, Vallourec.
Vallourec listed on the Paris stock exchange
After the merger of the Société des Tubes de Valenciennes and the Société Louvroil-Montbard-Aulnoye – Vallourec became the second largest steel tube manufacturer in France.
1963-1984 Innovation and strategic partnerships
Launch of the VAM® joint
The launch ot the VAM® joint (named for Vallourec and Alexandre Madrelle, the engineer who piloted the project) was an innovation which revolutionize the oil sector. As a result of perfect "metal-on-metal" seal tightness, this connector rapidly became the benchmark in the petroleum industry.
Emergence of a French steel tubing leader
The French tube sector restructured itself around Vallourec, which acquired all the tube business of its main competitor, Lorraine-Escaut... and became the uncontested French leader in the steel market. From that point on, Vallourec would enter into a series of partnerships and create a new development thrust based on product and market diversification.
Commissioning ot the Saint Saulve Steel and tube mills With the construction of this integrated steel mill, Vallourec took control of some of the steel mill supply it needed to manufacture its seamless tubes. The tube mill was built and commissioned three years later.
Industrial partnership with Sumitomo
Considerable growth of the oil market following the 1973 oil crisis led Vallourec to form industrial partnerships to meet the demand of its largest international customers. The most significant was with Sumitomo (the 3rd worldwide manufacturer of steel tubes) for the production of VAM® joints. This agreement was the starting point for a lasting collaboration between the two groups.
Vallourec granted licences to manufacture VAM® joints in various countries including Great Britain (British Steel), Mexico (Prinver) and Indonesia (P.T. Citra Tubindo). Several years later, the Group acquired these licensees, strengthening its presence in the premium market serving the oil country tubulargoods market ( OCTG). It was time to conquer the world oil markets and this goal led Vallourec to enter the US market.
Vallourec enters the United StatesVallourec founded VAM PTS (Premium Threading Services), a joint venture between Vallourec (51%) and Sumitomo, specialized in the manufacture and distribution of VAM® joints on the American market.
1985-2006 Growth and internationalization
Crippled by the economic and financial crisis
Vallourec owes its survival to the skill of its management team and the outstanding efforts of each of its employees. The Group's executives invested their own money to save the company from bankruptcy, and succeeded in convincing Usinor, then a shareholder, to inject several million French francs.
This company is owned by Vallourec (55%) and Mannesmannröhren-Werke (45%)
Mannesmann contributed solid sales in the United States and China to this jointly owned company, in particular in the electrical production and mechanical engineering markets, which served to complement Vallourec's own expertise and leadership in premium tubes for the oil and natural gas sector. V&M Tubes became a world leader in the seamless steel tube market.
V & M do Brasil
V & M Tubes acquired Mannesmann’s tube manufacturing business in Brazil, comprising of a steel and tube mill in Belo Horizonte, an iron ore mine and a plantation.
Acquisition of North Star Steel in the United States
Renamed V&M Star, the company included an electric steel mill and tube mill in Youngstown, Ohio, and a heat treatment and threading plant in Houston, Texas. This acquisition considerably strengthened the Group's presence in the United States, the flagship market for oil and natural gas.
Vallourec gains full control of V & M Tubes
In 2000, Vodafone took control of the Mannesmann AG group, and sold its 45% share in V & M Tubes to Salzgitter. In June 2005, Vallourec acquired this 45% and gained control of V & M Tubes, allowing it to take advantage of the expanding market conditions.
Listing on the French CAC 40
It was after this transaction that Vallourec entered the CAC 40, which includes the most important securities listed on the Paris stock exchange.
Creation of VAM Drilling
Following the acquisition in September 2005 of Omsco, in the United States, a specialized manufacturer of drill pipe and of SMFI in March 2006, Vallourec became the world’s number two in the market for drill pipes for the oil and gas markets. The drill pipe activity was re-grouped under the name VAM Drilling
2007-Present World leader for premium tubing solutions
Strengthening Vallourec’s presence in China
Strong growth in Chinese energy needs drove the decision to build a mill in China for the cold finishing of large steel tubes destined for electric power stations: V&M Changzhou. A second plant, VAM Changzhou, was commissioned in 2007 for the threading of oil and gas tubes.
Pursuing its growth strategy
Vallourec (56%), in partnership with Sumitomo (44%), announced the construction of a new integrated production site in Brazil. The new V & S do Brasil tube mill, located in Jeceaba, is scheduled to start operations in the end of 2010.
Acquisition of three American companies specialized in premium oil and gas tubes (OCTG)
Vallourec strengthens its position in the North American with the acquisition of Atlas Bradford, specialized in premium threading for the oil and gas industries, the heat treatment specialist TCA, and Tube Alloy, a manufacturer of OCTG accessories.
Increased participation in PT Citra Tubindo Tbk, leading premium OCTG threading company in Indonesia
Vallourec increased its participation to 78.2%. A VAM® licensee since 1985, PTCT also holds the patents and technology for premium "NS" joints. The PTCT plants in Batam (Indonesia) conduct OCTG tube heat treatment and threading, and produce specific accessories for the oil and gas markets in the Asia-Pacific zone.
Development in the Middle East
With the acquisition of DPAL FZCO followed by Protools, Vallourec strengthened its presence in the Middle East through its drill pipe business, VAM Drilling. The oil drilling market in the Middle East is experiencing rising demand for premium products
Investments to maintain its world leadership for nuclear plant tubes
Vallourec is investing €80 million in Montbard, in the Côte d’Or Department (Burgundy) to triple its production capacity for tubes for nuclear plant steam generators (Valinox Nucléaire).
Investments to respond to the rapid expansion of unconventional gas in the United States
Vallourec announced an investment of $650 million to build a new tube mill in Youngstown, Ohio to support the long-term development of unconventional gas production in the United States (shale gas). The new plant will have a nominal annual capacity of 500,000 tonnes of seamless tubes. This project will lead to the direct creation of 350 new jobs.
Vallourec reinforces its offer of premium solutions for offshore conduits with the acquisition of Serimax
Serimax designs and develops integrated welding solutions for offshore conduits under the most extreme conditions.
Inauguration of VSB
The new state-of-the art integrated plant, Vallourec & Sumitomo Tubos do Brasil (VSB), a joint venture of Vallourec (56%) and Sumitomo (44%), was inaugurated on September 1st 2011. Located in Jeceaba, in the state of Minas Gerais, the plant will have a production capacity of 1 million tonnes of steel and 600,000 tonnes of tubes, 50/50 distributed between Vallourec and Sumitomo.
Launch of the new capacities of Valinox Nucléaire facility in Montbard (France)
Valinox Nucléaire is a world leader in the production of stainless steel anf high-nickel alloy tubes for nuclear steam generators.
Acquisition of Saudi Seamless Pipes Factory Company Limited (Zamil Pipes)
Vallourec strengthens its local presence in Saudi Arabia with operational heat threatment and threading facilities, with a capacity of 100,000 tonnes per year.
Vallourec is the world leader for premium tube solutions
aimed primarily at the energy markets and other industrial applications. With 22,200 employees, integrated manufacturing facilities, advanced R&D and an industrial presence in more than 20 countries, Vallourec offers its customers innovative global solutions to meet the growing energy challenges of the 21st century.