The crisis has a positive disciplinary effect
dipl. eng. Sergey STOYANOV, MSc, General manager of Install Engineering SV LTD. and chairman of the Chamber of Installation Specialists in Bulgaria (CISB)
The crisis has a positive, disciplinary element
“Install Engineering SV” LTD. is a manufacturer and supplier of complete pipeline networks for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) as well as for industrial applications for underground and above ground installations.
The pre-insulated pipes of “Install Engineering SV” LTD. are constituted of service pipe for conveyance of the working fluid, insulation layer from polyurethane foam with the lowest heat transfer coefficient: 0.022 – 0.028 W/mK, providing up to 70% reduction of heat losses, and outside pipe coating, protecting the insulation and the service pipe from the surrounding conditions.
The service pipe can be made from: carbon black steel, stainless steel, copper, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), etc. The coating is made from high density polyethylene (HDPE) for underground installation; spiral wound tin pipe for above ground installation. Depending on the specific purpose, all types of combinations of service and coating pipe are possible. Pre-insulated pipes for conveyance of steam and high temperature fluids are produced with double layer of insulation – mineral wool or polyurethane foam. Special applications are also possible – pipeline with heaters, electric heating and more. Piping systems with special functions can be made depending on the type of heat and cold media, operating modes and features of the site.
So far, the production capacities of “Install Engineering SV” allow the production of pre-insulated pipes with outer diameter (DN) up to 450 mm. The company invests in new production lines and thanks to that, the company will soon expand its production capacities for these pipes – up to DN 630 mm. On this occasion, we are speaking with the company’s General Manager dipl. eng. Sergey STOYANOV, who is also chairman of the Chamber of Installation Specialists in Bulgaria.
- Mr. Stoyanov, is it hard to invest in production in times of financial crisis?
Positive side of crisis is that it led to certain discipline. It disciplined expenses, workers, employees and managers. In such moment all processes need to be optimized in order to fit within the limits that the situation warrants. For employers, one of the main problems in times of crisis is to keep the qualified personnel. The easiest thing would be to fire them and release them on the labor market. Our specialists, for example, are highly specialized; we have invested a lot of resources in their qualification and education and therefore we want to keep them. For this purpose, we need to work effectively. Expanding our production capacities will have a beneficial effect on this matter.
I have to emphasize, though, that we planned to introduce the new production lines a long time ago, therefore this decision is not forced by the financial crisis. Before, we have applied with a project for financing from EU funds for SMEs, we lost a lot of time and ultimately our project did not get approval – because of a formality in the documentation. In the meantime, we achieved significant progress – as opportunities for the company – and decided that we can expand production on our own. One of the new extrusion lines will allow us to produce pre-insulated pipes with diameter up to 630 mm. This will not only complete our product range, but it is also a unique project for Bulgaria. The second extrusion line is dedicated to production of pipes for conveyance of mineral water. Bulgaria has rich deposits of mineral water and we produce pipes for these fluids, which pose specific requirements. Until now, we executed such projects with stainless steel pipes – which are relatively more expensive. The new extrusion line will allow the production of pipes from fiber-glass reinforced polypropylene (PPR-GF). It is tougher, flexible, maintains higher operating temperatures, resistant to aggressive fluids, such as mineral water, and is ultimately cheaper than the conventional stainless steel pipes. This new technology – fiber-glass reinforced polypropylene (PPR-GF) - i.e. three layers, stops the expansion of the plastics materials. The coating pipe, insulation and the service pipe are not moving independently from each other, but the whole installation performs as one. This is the meaning of pre-insulated pipelines.
-What is the size of the investment?
The total size of the investment, combined with construction works, is roughly 2 mln. BGN. We have already delivered two extruders: one for production of polyethylene pipes and another one – for polypropylene pipes. Those extruders are modern and powerful (for example, the extruder for production of polyethylene pipes has electrical power of 500 – 600 KW and production capacity of 800 kg per hour). The rest of the components, necessary for production – heat shrinkable casings, fittings, compensators, valves – are delivered from worldwide leading producers of such products.
Through expanding the production capacities, we will ensure long term personnel employment. We will also reduce the costs for import from abroad, since we will be able to cover up to 80% of the necessary components’ specter. In this way, we will then reduce the cost price of the final products, because the costs for transport and labor expenses will be cut. As a result, the competitiveness of our company and products will increase.
-Can you briefly explain the advantages of the technology that you are working on? Give an example with one of the completed projects.
This technology has many advantages. For example, for the pre-insulated pipes, it may turn that they are unique not only for the country, but for the Balkans as well. We have completed many projects. The first one was in “Medika – Sandanski”, where we installed over 2 km of underground pipelines. They are conveying steam and because of this, the temperature amplitudes are big. If stopped, steam can reach temperatures even up to 0 degrees and then it must be heated to 200-240 degrees Celsius. When we were working on this project, such thing has not been done. Investors were very pleased. 10 years from then, there has not been a single complaint from this project. If such project has to be done in the conventional way, the construction part would have been more expensive than the pipeline itself, because you have to build concrete channels and collectors. What we are doing is excavate the trench in the ground, install the pipes and then bury the hole. Eventually, the insulation is much better than the classical method. We make the insulation with mineral wool (which is practically a barrier for the high temperature) then – polyurethane insulation (which neutralizes all temperature variations), and finally – hydro insulation with high density polyethylene (HDPE). Eventually, the underground pipeline works without any heat losses.
Another advantage of our technology is that we are producing the product along with the hydro insulation. For above ground sections, it is made from aluminium foil – it has relatively light weight, it is easily installed and has high quality, because it is made in factory. The wool, for example, is hygroscopic, which determines her high thermal conductivity percentage. In contrast, the polyurethane is produced in factory, together with the hydro insulation. It has significantly better thermal qualities and it is not influenced by atmospheric conditions. It is also cheaper as a final product. In addition it is long lasting – under ground, these products have at least 40 years guaranteed exploitation life, as well as above ground, if they are not exposed to a direct sunlight. The biggest advantage, though, is that no heat is being lost.
-You are the chairman of the Chamber of Installation Specialists in Bulgaria. What are the Chamber’s latest initiatives, through which you are trying to assist the industry’s development?
The Chamber is aiming to protect its members’ interests, in unison with the development of the Bulgarian economy. One of our interesting events lately is the initiative for legislative changes, related to the use of water-water heat pumps.
Everybody knows that at the moment in Bulgaria there are candidates for the construction of 12,000 MW renewable energy sources. This is not an accomplishable task, but the interested people are a lot, because the photovoltaic plants offer the possibility of investing as much as 0,20 BGN for 1 KW and in return, generally speaking, to get roughly about 0,80 BGN. But while this return is more of an “administrative” one, with heat pumps it is the same coefficient of real effectiveness (investing 1 KW energy returns 4 KW heating or cooling power).
However, water companies are putting water meters on the well and thus render the investment useless, although water passes through the pump and returns in the ground without changing its properties. In Germany, this issue was settled in court – the court ruled that since the characteristics of water and its quantity are not changed, therefore it should not be paid. In Bulgaria, this case can be resolved through legislative changes. We initiate those changes. In this regard, the Chamber of Installation Specialists in Bulgaria is working on a project of GCI-UICP to expand the application of heat pumps in the Member States of the European Union. From approximately 75 milion heat pumps worldwide, 50 million are located in Japan, China and USA. EU lags behind in this respect, let alone Bulgaria. Our efforts as a member of GCI-UICP and as professional organization, committed to the development of the Bulgarian economy are aimed at creating favorable legal conditions for the use of this energy efficient equipment.
dipl. eng. Sergey STOYANOV, MSc, has graduated from VMEI – Sofia, in “Industrial heating”. Until 1990, he was working in the field of energetic. In 1990 he is co-founder of “Install Engineering” and becomes its General Manager in 1992.
He is also co-founder of the former National Installation Union, now Chamber of Installation Specialists in Bulgaria, whose chairman is for a second mandate in a row.
Since 1990 “Install Engineering” is working in the field of developing and producing pre-insulated piping systems and components. The company’s main activities are towards two directions: production, installation and trade with pre-insulated pipes, components and compensators; installation and trade with heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, heating installations, substations and precise air conditioning.
The company’s main office is in Plovdiv. The production facilities are stationed in Brani pole, where the company has 10 acres warehouses and production facilities of 2 acres. The company also has a network of distributors in the country and warehouses in Shumen, Burgas, Rousse, Sofia. “Install Engineering SV” LTD. is a representative of many worldwide leading companies in the industry: POWERPIPE – Sweden (pre-insulated pipes); BRUGG – Germany (flexible pre-insulated pipes); SALLING PLAST – Denmark; CANUSA – Canada/USA, TYCO ADHESIVES/RAYCHEM (heat shrinkable polyethylene casings and components); T-COMP – Denmark (axial compensators); UNIFLAIR – Italy (precise AC for telecommunication, server and control rooms, water cooling aggregates (chiller), heat pumps); SABIANA – Italy (heaters, fan coils, radiant heaters, air conditioning chambers, chimneys); UNICOMFORT (biomass boilers); ERENSAN – Turkey (boilers, steam generators); INTERTHERM – Greece/USA (AC).
“Install Engineering” SV LTD. has produced, delivered and installed more than 350 000 m of pre-insulated pipes and over 100 000 m2 of heating insulations for heat exchangers, fittings, heating stations, walls, containers in the food industry and for polyethylene panel-based air conditioning.
The Chamber of Installation Specialists in Bulgaria (CISB) is an industry wide organization of companies and specialists working in the field of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and electrical sector, gas and water supply.
CISB member companies and professionals are engaged with project-research work, expert advisory services, installation activities, production facilities and equipment trading, brokering, etc.
CISB is established in April 1995 and is a member of GCI-UICP – Brussels and in the National Chamber of Crafts.
http://www.energiaiecologia.com/index.php?id=266&cat=14 – “Energy and ecology” Journal, issue 114/March 2010