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Can you dig it?

Article - August 27, 2012
Hedi Infra Inc., a 100% Surinamese company, has emerged as the partner of choice for Latin American and North American companies interested in horizontal drilling and infrastructure in the Caribbean
Over the past number of years, foreign consultants and companies have been responsible for completing the majority of large or complex infrastructural works throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. The labor, equipment, facilities and know-how are often available in the countries in question, but are temporarily contracted to expats in order to complete the works.

Hedi Infra Inc. is a 100% Surinamese company based in Wanica that works closely with various foreign partners. It utilizes the years of collective expertise of its staff to design, install and administer modern, qualitative and durable subterranean and overhead networks for Suriname’s oil, utility and industrial sectors. As a locally owned and run enterprise, Hedi Infra Inc. is open for more partnerships with international companies looking for quality service and expertise in Suriname.

The company’s unrivalled experience has made it the partner of choice for top U.S. companies investing in Suriname. Its biggest joint venture currently under way is with the Miami-based Amery Group LLC. “The greater part of our business with the Amery Group is in the development of the oil industry, meaning we want to bring in modern oil rigs and train our locals to become oil and gas drillers,” says Henk Druiventak, Director of Hedi Infra Inc.

One of the long-term aims at Hedi Infra is to train local workers to ensure that international knowledge and expertise in technology and infrastructure will be permanently available to the local and regional markets. This will be achieved through substantial investment in materials, intensive and ongoing training of skilled personnel, and a number of collaborations with renowned partners and suppliers from leading companies in Europe and North America.

“All the business I do with the U.S. is through Miami, and I have been doing that for the past 17 years,” says Mr. Druiventak. “Everything I exported from Holland, and bought from America, went to Suriname and the rest of South America through Miami. I never used any other harbor in the U.S. other than the Port of Miami. I have been doing business with companies in Miami, such as Cooper Latin America, for many years.”

Hedi Infra also works with Polypipe, one of the largest polyethylene pipe producers in North America, which supplies the company with durable high-density polyethylene piping to transport crude oil in Suriname’s swamp areas. So, in partnership with the state oil company Staatsolie, Hedi Infra has engineered new methods of safely distributing crude oil in some of the country’s most environmentally sensitive regions.

"Our biggest joint venture at the moment is with the Amery Group... All the business I do with the U.S. is through Miami, and I have been doing that for the past 17 years... We have good connections in the Texas oil industry; we want to bring in a lot of knowledge to train our youngsters to drill oil with special rigs, which operate in environmentally sensitive areas."

Henk Druiventak
Director of Hedi Infra Inc.

“We have been able to introduce this new technique and train our people to do the welding and construction,” says Mr. Druiventak. “The environment and wildlife there is very protected, but we can still extract oil. If we Surinamese keep in mind that we want to protect the environment, we will have to use new techniques to maintain our ecosystem, and the state oil company is one of the leaders in this process.”

The polyethylene pipe approach to transporting the oil is similar to that used in Texas. “We have good connections in the Texas oil industry; we want to bring in a lot of knowledge to create a special atmosphere to train our youngsters to drill oil with specially modified rigs, which need to operate in areas with shallow wells and the near shore,” says Mr. Druiventak. “But the near shore is a very important area in Suriname because it contains a lot of environmental issues. We have rare bird species and mangroves in that area, which we do not want to damage. So the area could only be approached in a very environmentally friendly way with the existing resources to drill for oil in that area, such as the new techniques for directional drilling.”

Hedi Infra is now considered an expert company in horizontal directional drilling, having employed the method since its early days. It is an ecologically sound process of constructing various types of underground infrastructure. It originated in the oil industry as a way to place pipelines in a safe manner with minimal damage to the surrounding area. It is particularly useful in urban, industrial or environmentally vulnerable areas, where obstacles such as buildings, roads, waterways, trees or mountains may need to be crossed. Horizontal directional drilling has proved to be ideal for laying transport lines, cables or pipes for electricity, sewerage or telecommunications without spoiling the beauty of Suriname.

Another technique that has emerged as a great success for Hedi Infra is leak detection. As subterranean networks are such expensive undertakings, any form of preventative maintenance is preferable in order to ensure that a costly investment for any company is also a durable one. The leak detection method employed by Hedi Infra allows the company to inexpensively and effectively inspect leaks in pipes, saving both the company and its clients a substantial amount of capital.

The technological gap that exists between Suriname and the United States or Europe can be easily bridged by training local experts and permanently presenting novel technological applications, in addition to the already established techniques employed by the local skilled workforce, as demonstrated by Hedi Infra. Through this training, Hedi Infra wants to continue contributing to the nation’s development with pioneering, efficient, and relatively inexpensive technological solutions that will increase investment in various industries, not just the oil sector, such as infrastructure, construction and tourism.

Over the coming years Hedi Infra aims to become the knowledge center and local provider of all subterranean and overhead utility networks, with plans to expand throughout Latin America and the Caribbean in time.

Mr. Druiventak views the expertise and knowledge of European and American companies as the key to Hedi Infra’s long-term success and hopes to encourage more skilled visitors to come to Suriname. “We would like to see more students from the United States and our South American neighbors in Suriname. It will create a bond, a serious opportunity for our people to develop themselves to a higher scale, and ultimately create an environment where more of these countries are investing in Suriname,” he says.


Ricardo Moreira Ramalho
13/09/2012  |  3:21
100% of 1

The Guyana basin is the second most attractive under-explored basin in the world, after Brazil, with a potential of 15.2 billion barrels of oil and were a discovery to be made, production targets would be estimated at 50 million barrels per year.

Brice Choi
28/01/2013  |  0:53
100% of 1

Ensurge Gold will provide capital and technology to the project, while Amery Group will provide access to 7,500 hectares in Sara Creek, Suriname. What is Hedi in charge of?