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The Warsaw Voice » National Voice » October 29, 2010
Belgium in Poland
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Marking 20 Years in Poland
October 29, 2010   
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Tomasz Olma, president of T.D. Williamson Polska Sp. z o.o., talks to Marcin Mierzejewski.

What technology does T.D. Williamson offer?
In Poland this is also called hermetic technology. It was invented in the 1950s by an American, Richard Williamson, who found a way of isolating a section of a pipeline for repair or installation of a gate valve or branch pipeline. As a result, it is no longer necessary to empty a section of an oil or natural gas pipeline, which is a troublesome and environmentally harmful procedure, or to withhold supply of the product transported via the pipeline. This technology entails the use of special equipment to isolate a given section of pipeline, while gas, water or oil flows to the client without interruption via a by-pass, or a temporary section.

This American technology was transferred to Europe in 1967, initially to Belgium. It was primarily used in transit countries. The biggest advantage of TDW technology—the guarantee of uninterrupted transfer—is particularly important for strategic, transfer pipelines, that is, high-pressure pipelines. Hence, it was most useful for networks transferring natural gas from the then Soviet Union to Western Europe. Today, the company has global operations and is present in all locations where pipelines carry oil, water or natural gas.

How has this technology been received in Poland?
It was introduced to Poland in 1992 and I can say it has been received very well and is now applied universally. Depending on the criteria, there are 7,000-10,000 km of strategic natural gas pipelines in Poland. Added to that are some 90,000 km of distribution pipelines. This is where our technology is applied. It is also used for oil pipelines.

What is T.D. Williamson’s management structure in this part of Europe?
The company’s Polish branch, just like the entire eastern hemisphere, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, is managed by the Belgian division based in Nivelles. This division was until August headed by a Belgian of Polish origin, Andre Borucki. His successor, Bruce Thames, is an American. Next year we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Polish TDW office in Warsaw. This was the company’s first independent representative office outside the United States and Belgium. When this decision turned out to be a big success, offices in other European cities were opened.

How is TDW Polska planning to mark the anniversary?
We plan to hold a science conference, with research institutions and transfer network operators taking part, to present our achievements and development plans, including the promotion of the application of magnetic tools for inspecting natural gas pipelines.
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