NewTech Services and Varel International announced the completion and launch of a new plant in Kurgan, Russia, manufacturing PDC (polycrystalline diamond compact) drill bits. With its state-of-the art technologies and manufacturing tools, the facility will become one of the most modern PDC plants in the world and the most advanced drilling tool producer in Russia. The official opening ceremony was held in Kurgan on August 2 in the presence of the regional and municipal authorities, representatives from the majority of Russia’s oil and gas companies, and heads of drilling and oilfield service companies. The Kurgan plant is the brainchild of the Varel-NTS joint venture, which specializes in the manufacture and servicing of polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) drill bits for the Russian and CIS markets and beyond. The facility combines Varel’s high technology engineering and manufacturing with the strength of NTS’s considerable expertise in drilling technology, its market experience and understanding of customer requirements. “In the plant’s initial development phase Varel’s transferred our proven and recognized technologies and trained key personnel at our manufacturing facilities in France. In addition to creating the facility technology transfer, we are providing ongoing engineering and administrative support to the plant”, said Varel’s International Vice President of Eastern Hemisphere Operations Bernard Pontneau. “We are proud of this new venture, and we are confident that it will become a significant part of our global manufacturing network”, he added. “We have completed the initial phase of collaboration between the two companies. The plant is in place and it is operating successfully. We now have the capability to manufacture an efficient and reliable product here in Russia for the highly competitive drill bit market. We are confident in the long-term success of this venture, which will benefit the Kurgan region, our customers – the consumers of the plant’s products - and both partners in this joint project”, added NTS President Mark Sadykhov.