Once the ball valves had been manufactured, staff at ARMATURY Group went to a lot of trouble to ensure they would reach their destination in pristine condition.
The valves, spare parts and all the documentation were put into about 100 crates, some of which measured up to 510 x 270 x 190 cm. Such large loads are considered as oversized and had to be transported on low-bed trailers complete with flashing beacon lights!
In all, 43 trailers were needed for the whole delivery and 22 of them were low-bed trailers.
Once loaded, the lorries left Dolní Benešov in the Czech Republic, which is where the ARMATURY Group has its headquarters and a key production facility, and headed for the port of Antwerp in Belgium.
Here the crates were transferred to a cargo ship. Seven days later they were unloaded at the port of Oran in Algeria, before continuing their journey inland to the construction site for the gas pipeline.
The final customer is Sonelgaz, which is the biggest producer and distributor of electricity and gas in Algeria.
Commenting on the transport arrangements, the head of logistics Miroslav Bedrunka said that special packing was needed because the valves passed through several different climatic zones.
“We therefore used so-called seaworthy packing. All valves were covered in a waterproof film, vacuum packaged and further protected with silica gel. The handling activities were performed with great care, as these DN 700 valves are about 5 meters long and weigh 7 tons each! Getting the crates ready took us twenty-five working days.”
Still, ARMATURY Group is no stranger to preparing valves for export. Almost 70% of production is exported world-wide, with Africa seen as a new and promising territory.
“For example, since 2013 we have already supplied over 860 valves – in particular ball valves – to Algeria for gas transport and storage. We are confident that other deliveries will follow,” said commercial director Libor Kremel.
In addition to Algeria the company has also shipped valves to Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda, Sudan, Morocco and Egypt.
Finally, asked about any specific details for the latest valve delivery, Ondrej Konecny (sales manager Africa) commented as follows: “Because the valves are to be buried they had to be fitted with extended stems for remote operation and the whole assembly had to be insulated using a special ecological coating which provides high corrosion protection as well as mechanical strength. If readers would like to know more, please drop by our stand at the Valve World Expo at the end of the year in Dusseldorf, Germany.”