Case Study: Valero — Ohmstede service, shop ‘outstanding’

For more than 100 years, the Ohmstede name has been steeped in employee loyalty, pride of workmanship and a tireless focus on customer service. The company was founded in Beaumont, Texas, in 1905 by August Ohmstede, a German-born immigrant. As one of the first automotive mechanics in town, Ohmstede established a small job shop specializing in auto and general repairs of mechanical equipment.

In the 1940s, the boom in the Golden Triangle area shifted Ohmstede’s focus to shell and tube heat exchangers, and the company rapidly became a recognized industry leader in the repair and maintenance of heat exchangers. Today, Ohmstede is strategically located along the Gulf and West Coasts with locations in Beaumont, La Porte and Corpus Christi, Texas; St. Gabriel and Sulphur, La.; and Carson and Torrance, Calif.

Each of the company’s facilities is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week and is supported by more than 1,500 employees ready to be of service at a moment’s notice. In 2000, Ohmstede expanded its service offering to include turnaround and specialty maintenance services through its field division — Ohmstede Industrial Services. Since that time, the division has performed major turnaround and specialty maintenance services for customers including Exxon Mobil, Shell, Motiva, Valero, BP, Chevron, Tesoro, CITGO and ConocoPhillips, culminating in more than 2 million man-hours completed in the past year without a lost-time accident.

According to Mike Forse, turnaround manager at Valero’s Port Arthur Refinery, Ohmstede Industrial Services’ performance at his site earned the company additional projects. “Because we had good success with Ohmstede on past exchanger and field work, we used them on our sulfur plant turnaround in 2005,” he said. “Ohmstede did a really excellent job then, and so we have given them hydrotreater jobs since then.

“In fact, Ohmstede is scheduled to work on our upcoming turnarounds at the sulfur plants again.” Forse points out that Ohmstede’s services are a good complement to one another, and when you add the company’s people to the mix, you get a “better mesh of coordination.

“It is a good fit when you have critical exchanger work that may require shop work because Ohmstede can schedule that,” he said. “When you combine Ohmstede’s good field execution personnel and planning people with their excellent shop work, it is just good coordination,”
he said. “They have really put together a good team of people, and their service and shop are just outstanding.”

“We are extremely proud of our company and look forward to proving ourselves to our customers over the next 100 years,” Doug Harrington, president of Ohmstede Industrial Services, said.