W&O Supply, a supplier of marine valves, pipe, fittings, engineered products, valve automation and data management systems, has established operations in Brazil, with the first office located in Rio de Janeiro. “The growing marine and offshore industries in Brazil provide incredible opportunity for us,” said Michael Hume, President and CEO of W&O. “Establishing commercial operations in South America is a necessary step in implementing our growth strategies for this decade, and the new office in Rio is a key driver in cultivating a future network of operations throughout the continent. The inroads we have established to date with Brazilian shipyards, government agencies and offshore companies are quickly developing into successful long-term relationships.”
The Brazil business is led by Alex Piquer, W&O’s managing director for all South America operations. Alex has been with W&O for more than four years, serving in a number of capacities, applying his unique skill set and innovations from his broad industry experience to W&O’s international customer base. Most recently, he led W&O’s engineered products and valve automation division through a significant growth period while personally expanding the company’s marine activities in South America. In addition to the resources and operations located in Brazil, W&O’s South America operations are supported by a project management and service delivery team located at the company’s Jacksonville headquarters.
“The long-term vision for W&O’s operations in Brazil will be to have an extended branch network, comparable to W&O’s U.S. Gulf Coast region,” said Piquer. “The marine and marine-offshore markets are very competitive in Brazil, but by leveraging our existing business in the region with our existing network and global supply base, we are bringing a new level of customer service and marine solutions to the South American market.”
W&O recently opened two other international branches in Vancouver, Canada and Rotterdam, Netherlands. The new office in Rio de Janeiro is W&O’s fourth international location.