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Igor Efremov: the Pipeline of our cast-iron to ensure environmentally safe transport of water

Игорь Ефремов: Трубопроводы из нашего чугуна обеспечивают экологически безопасную транспортировку воды

Igor Efremov, General Director of Lipetsk pipe company “Svobodny Sokol”. The company is the only in Russia and CIS manufacturer of pipes made of ductile cast iron with nodular graphite (ductile iron) in a range of diameters from 80 mm to 1000 mm and the largest supplier of pipe products for the sector of drinking water supply and sanitation. Production capacity — up to 300 thousand tons per year.

— Igor Viktorovich, how do You consider whether the commercial property transactions and the quality of utilities?

None of the announcement of the sale of commercial properties was not specified which pipes in the building. High, indicates a recent upgrade communications. But the trend in the supply of quality drinking water is gradually created. Counterparties in real estate transactions begin to take into account the lifetime of the networks and their performance, it begins to affect the value of the object. Additional options networks are laid already during the construction. For example, in MIBC “Moscow-city” have a backup station of drinking water and, if necessary, the quality can be increased to artesian. In a skyscraper “West” of the complex “Federation” are applied ultrasonic technology to fix leaks and will automatically stop the water flow in the accident.

I hope that in the future the growth of literacy of consumers in water supply issues will force developers to abandon attracting its cheapness fake – counterfeit tubes.

— And a condition of engineering networks-it is reflected in the object class?

The availability of the latest water – heat and electricity – one of the most important factors assigning the class object “A”. There is a professional joke about the fact that the business-centre of class “B” is the same “A” grade, but after a few years of use: quality networks tested by time, and not always it is high on the networks, who yesterday was perfect and new. Class “C” is usually outdated and worn-out utility systems.

— Is there a fundamental difference, what tubes are used at the facility — steel of high-strength cast iron or plastic?

If you compare the cost per running meter of steel tubes and pipes of ductile cast iron, the latter clearly losing. But the life of cast-iron guaranteed to reach more than a hundred years, and that of steel is 15 to 20 years. And in General the aggregate cost for the construction of the pipeline taking into account the installation of pig-iron production is a priority. So, when laying polyethylene pipes require additional measures, such as careful alignment of the trench, backfilling with sand to prevent damage and deformation of the pipe. When using products from high-strength cast iron with nodular graphite (ductile iron), no further action is required. Also among the plastic tubes a lot of counterfeit and falsification. Most likely defective pipe fails after a couple of years. Unfortunately, now the network sale in the concession for 5-10 years, and the tenants are not interested in the installation of quality pipes.

— You had to deal with the fact that the state of the system directly affects the sale of the object?

A good example is the former hotel “Odessa”, now Radisson Blu. Company Radisson, going to buy this object, studied the system of water supply — in Europe there is a water quality standard, which must comply with all five-star hotels. We were in the pipes in this location and have concluded that, in “Odessa” is used ductile iron pipe. This fact allowed to conclude a deal and even raised the price of the object.

— That is to say, the quality of engineering systems is reflected in the capitalization of real estate?

Depends on how long you plan to operate the facility. For all illustrative example of the construction of cottages, when at equal cost, you can pick up the pipe-life of 20 and 100 years. Zealous owners, of course, choose products with a long time, and it capitalisim the facility, minimizing operational costs and making it more attractive to potential buyers.

— In Europe, too, tend to save money by using in the construction of municipal infrastructure polyethylene is ductile cast iron?

No, in Europe is safety and quality of the water does not save, and navigate almost exclusively high-strength cast iron. And yet there are very common driven piles of ductile cast iron. It’s a reliable system to create various foundations in the construction of residential, commercial and industrial real estate especially in countries where because of the geological features of the ground is not stable. They flawlessly serve at facilities in Austria, Germany, Spain and Portugal. Moreover, often use our Russian pile products LTK “Free Falcon.” Representatives of the European construction companies and independent experts quite often come with inspections for the company to inspection for compliance with the requirements of European quality standards for pipe and piling products. For example, we only have this year visited the Austrians, the Swedes and one independent Italian expert.

— Returning to our realities, who today is a major consumer of pipes made of ductile cast iron in Russia?

All modern units are constructed using ductile iron. For example, the innovation center “SKOLKOVO”, as well as all transport hubs in Moscow, transportation in residential complex “Solntsevo-Park” station Shcherbinka. No major development company today can not do without such pipes and piles, they are used in their projects “Plane of development”, PIK (Morton), SU-111 and “absolute”. The same products were used in the reconstruction of stadiums “Spartak” and “Luzhniki”.

— What savings in payment of utility bills can give a replacement tube?

If we are talking about a large object in a few tens of thousands square meters, the annual utility bills after replacing the tubes may be reduced by the amount of one million rubles and even more.

In various regions of Russia, 80 % of the networks have already exceeded their useful life and worn-out network is guaranteed to lead to massive vadapathira: on the way to the customer flows up to 50% of costly water of potable quality. All this, including endless repairs, shall be included in utility tariffs, which grow infinitely. Paving quality pipe, the owner object will save money on the repair of networks. And attract tenants, including tariffs for housing and communal services, it is necessary to note that rates will be established and all unscheduled costs.

Is it feasible to save money is to not change the entire network, but only, say, a certain section of the pipe?

It all depends on the condition of the pipeline and the material from which it is built. But even a piece of ductile iron pipe century will lie. And for ease of installation on older pipelines have transition joints which enable to connect the pipe of ductile cast iron pipes of other materials.

— What is the advantage of products from ductile iron?

A simple example: in St. Petersburg trouble-free operated about 160 km of cast iron pipes pre-revolutionary bookmarks. And it’s been more than a century. The intervening period allows you to confirm the fact that the operating life of cast iron pipes not less than one hundred years. Claimed by the manufacturers of pipes of other materials service life of 50 years has not yet been confirmed in practice, these data were obtained by laboratory research. These materials do not yet have real historical confirmation of its useful life. In addition, the pipe of ductile iron over time become even more reliable. This paradox is explained simply: the cast iron pipes become stronger due to formed on the surface layer graphitization. And internal cement-sand coating does not change even after decades. As a result, the pipelines of ductile iron not only remain sealed, but also provide environmentally safe transportation of water.

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