Bogdan Radulescu: Sterling SIHI Group, a global provider for pumps and services, was acquired by Flowserve Corporation
- Written by Lavinia Iancu
World leader for over 80 years in the field of pumping of liquids and gases, Sterling SIHI Group designs and manufactures hydraulic pumps, vacuum pumps, compressors, complete and complex technical systems for many applications in various fields, for a wide range of applications. We have talked to Mr. Bogdan Radulescu, General Manager Sterling Fluid Systems Romania, about the dedicated solutions for the oil and gas industry, the challenges and impediments in 2014, and about the basic rules of the company for customer satisfaction.
Q: Which were the milestones in the history of Sterling SIHI Group?
A: I am pleased to let you know a few milestones in the history of our Group:
1920 The SIHI (Siemen & Hinsch) company was founded in Germany by the association of two important engineers of the time - Siemen and Hinsch. In the same year the Darwins foundry specialized in steel and special alloys and LaBour pumps company join the group.
1970 In Toenning, Germany, the first complex installations under the brand SIHI Engineered Systems are born. In the same year SIHI purchases the company HALBERG Maschinenbau GmbH (Ludwigshafen, Germany).
1980 Thyssen Bornemisza Gruppe (TBG) buys Darwins, LaBour and also 50% of the SIHI Group. Remaining 50% of SIHI shares retained by the Siemen Family. HALBERG takes over the pumps manufacturer Balcke-Dürr AG.
1991 Research company (SIC) was created in Itzehoe, Germany.
1996 100% shares of SIHI acquired by TBG to form Sterling Fluid Systems Group.
2000 Restructuring of Sterling Fluid Systems in focused Market Divisions.
2009 Rebranding of Sterling Fluid Systems Group into well known SIHI B.V. Achievement of the MEREGALLI Pumps plant - Italy.
2012 The new headquarter of the Ludwigshafen Factory is now known as the HALBERG Maschinenbau.
2015 Flowserve Corporation acquires Sterling SIHI Group with all its factories, segments and divisions, including the mechanical seals and the magnetic couplings - natural consequence of the profitability and of good organization proved during the past 95 years.
Q: How was Sterling Fluid Systems Romania founded and what is, more specifically, its field of activity?
A: Sterling Fluid Systems Romania was set up in 1999 - as the exclusive subsidiary of Sterling Fluid Systems Multinational Group in Romania, directly subordinated to Sterling Fluid Systems Austria. The headquarters is in Bucharest, 105-107, Mihai Eminescu St., District 2, RO-020074.
The development of our business and the increase of clients portfolio has determined, in 2006, the opening of the second office in Ploiesti, as Ploiesti is the core of the Oil and Gas Industry in our country, the place where most design companies in the oil field are located, as well as the refineries and our main customers. The address is Ploiesti, 90, Democracy Bvd., RO-100554.
The main activities of our team in Ploiesti are the service and maintenance activities.
Sterling Fluid Systems Romania branch holds the Quality Certificate ISO 9001: 2008.
Operation fields: the supply of Sterling SIHI pumping equipment to the chemical industry, processing industry, oil and gas, food, beverage, bio fuels, cosmetics industries, medical sterilization vacuum systems, to the automotive industry, pharmaceutical industry, plastics industry, as well as to the energy industry.
Q: How long have you been active in this field and why did you choose Sterling SIHI?
A: In 2000 I received the challenge to manage the Sterling Fluid Systems subsidiary in Romania and thus I joined Sterling SIHI as General Manager.
I came with the experience in the field of international elite of pumps manufacturers, after four years working with Flowserve - Ingersoll Dresser Pumps.
I had the opportunity to work for two years with the Marketing Process Department of the Ingersoll Dresser Pumps Arnage factory in Le Mans, France. Subsequently, two years I worked with the IDP Group representation in Romania.
Q: What are the main areas with absorption potential for the products and services provided by Sterling SIHI?
A: Our company manufactures a wide range of pumping equipment for industrial applications. In the attempt to offer an example, below we summarized some of our customers, grouped by industrial divisions, clients with which we work since 2000:
• Pulp and Paper - AMBRO - Member of ROSSMANN Group, VRANCART, SOMES;
• Biofuels - BUNGE - PRIO Biofuels & PRIO Extraction;
• Food and beverages - EXPUR - Member of SOFIPROTEOL Group, Unirea Iasi, ARGUS Constanta, AGRANA AGFD Tandarei, CARGILLS Oils Craiova, Tuborg, Coca-Cola, Interbrews, SABMILLER URSUS Buzau, Heineken, ROMPAK, SUCMEROM, ARDEALUL - Member of ORKLA FOODS;
• Pharmaceutical industry - SWISS CAPS, B BRAUN, HELVETICA PROFARM, DACIA Plant Sebes;
• General Industry - Holzindustrie Schweighofer, CET Suceava – heat generating station completed and put into operation in 2013, Colgate-Palmolive, Holcim, Kronospan, Palplast, Pipelife Romania, Unilever, Michelin, Contitech Automotive, Cesiro, Apulum, TETRA PAK;
• Energy Industry - Sterling-SIHI pumping equipments are in operation in many Power Plants for cooling water application, such as CET Bucuresti Vest, CET Braila, CET Isalnita, CET Mintia Deva, CET Turceni, a.s.o.
Q: What solutions and products does Sterling provide for the oil and gas market?
A: An important activity carried out by our company in Romania is the oil and gas industry. I am pleased to mention that we have good cooperation with OMV Petrom, collaboration materialized over the years in framework agreements with all OMV Petrom Group’s divisions, namely:
A. Refining & Marketing division
Existing fuel depots - since 2001, we delivered pumping equipment for approximately 20 existing depots, such as Constanta, Tulcea, Craiova, Cluj, Timisoara, Arad, Cristian, Oarja, Bacau, Gheorghieni, Oradea, Zalau, Buzau, Bistrita etc.
New depots - in December 2007, Sterling SIHI Romania concluded a framework contract with OMV Petrom for the delivery of pumping skids to all the newly built depots, the framework contract being valid during 20.12.2007 - 31.12.2016. New deposits were completed annually as follows: Jilava (2009); Brazi (2010); New Isalnita (2011), Bacau (2013), Cluj (2014), modernizing the old depot Jilava (2015). B. Exploration & Production division
Pumping equipment for crude oil and salt water injection applications in several pumping stations in Romania (i.e. Ticleni, Bustuchin, Arad - Turnu Nord, Timisoara - Satchinez, Balteni, Pitesti - Vata, Draganu, Glâmbocel, Berca, Poiana Lacului, Suplacu de Barcau a.s.o.). C. PETROBRAZI Refinery Over the years we have delivered pumping equipment for various applications: Catalytic Cracking; Catalytic Reforming; TAME Plant; Demineralisation Plant; Isomerisation Plant; Propane, Propylene, Ethylene Depot, DAV Plant, Energetic Group.
Besides OMV Petrom, we’ve also been working with other partners in this area, such as:
RAFO Onesti refinery: ETHERS Plant was equipped with 100% Sterling SIHI pumping equipments. Also our equipments have been delivered for other plants such as: DAV, DGRS, Decocking.
KMG - Rompetrol Group: various applications for PETROMIDIA Refinery, ROMINSERV, VEGA Refinery, and LPG terminal in Arad, Bacau, Navodari within the Rompetrol Logistics Division;
ASCOM Group, Moldova: pumping equipments were delivered to various applications: process, LPG, FiFi, a.s.o. In Kazakhstan - Opornaia Gas Processing Plant - Borankol;
Callatis Mangalia Gas - LPG Terminal, LPG Octogon Terminal in Navodari, ROHE, Steaua Româna – Câmpina, SHELL GAS, ButanGas, LindeGas, Michelin Romania.
Last but not least, I want to mention the collaboration we have with EPC companies such as CONFIND, SYSCOM, PSE GmbH, Kremsmueller, as well as engineering/design companies TECON GmbH, Petrodesign, Petrostar, Comproiect, IPIP Ploiesti.
Q: In early January this year, Flowserve Corporation announced the completion of the SIHI Group acquisition. What news come along with this acquisition, how will it impact the company you manage?
A: I would like to begin with a phrase: Coming together is a BEGINNING; Keeping together is a PROGRESS; Working together is a SUCCESS!
Flowserve Corporation announced in early January 2015 it acquired SIHI Group BV - global supplier of designed systems of pumping equipment and related services for liquid systems.
All SIHI Group customers are aware that we are an internationally recognized manufacturer of pumps and quality compressors, of technological packages systems customized for a wide range of fields and we have production facilities in Europe, Latin America, Asia and North America.
By taking over SIHI, founded in 1920, Flowserve adds to its portfolio a business with a strong brand, top products for industry, modern facilities and a committed customer base.
Sterling SIHI commitments to our customers will not change. We want to further work with them so that they would work on the continuity principle – “business as usual”.
By itself, the taking over will not affect in any way our work - we will continue to run projects and contracts in which we are involved.
We also assure our partners they will be supported by the same highly skilled engineers, specialized in sales, and will continue to receive the same world-class products and services they have been used to.
January 8, 2015 was the first day with the new brand for our concern, namely FLOWSERVE SIHI Pumps. Otherwise, our name remains the same, Sterling Fluid Systems Romania, and all other legal/judicial issues remain unchanged.
In addition, we have the power and prestige of our global fame of Flowserve Sterling SIHI.
Q: What notable achievements can you count for last year and how would your plans continue in the coming period?
A: I am pleased to mention that, starting last year, we have participated to an offshore project called FRD LEBADA East NAG & LP Brownfield Project, developed by PSE Engineering GmbH, a project that will materialize in the
coming months in delivering pumping equipment. Regarding the work in the next period, we will be as always side by side with all of our partners, with all our technical and logistical support, in order to complete the projects in which we are involved, as well as those to come.
Q: What were the main obstacles and challenges in 2014?
A: Due to the drop in oil prices, a significant part of the initial projects have been reassessed and - some - were put off (temporarily or permanently), which resulted in cuts in investments. This reduction will be reflected in the need for equipment and spare parts - which remains the same - and that will be postponed to later dates, which will be a challenge regarding the possibility of providing them in shorter intervals than before.
Q: How are the investments divided within the group? Which segment has a higher weight, is the balance leaning towards innovation, towards manufacturing or are there other sectors preferred?
A: Investments are equitably divided in several areas of interest within our group.
We are innovative and we try to save energy.
For energy saving reasons all water pumps in future have to fulfil the eco-design requirements with respect to the pump efficiency (regulation EU 547/2012 in order to implement directive 2009/125/EC).
The measure for the quality of a pump size in respect to efficiency is the Minimum Efficiency Index (MEI). From the 1st of January 2013 all water pumps need to fulfil the value of MEI >= 0.1 and form the 1st of January 2015 the value of MEI >= 0.4.
Any water pump not meeting these requirements cannot be used.
Our water pumps of the series SIHISuperNova ZLN/ZLK/ZLI are in generally very efficient. These pumps met already these requirements of this new directive, even before it came into force.
We have been able to ensure that all of our ZLN/ZLK pumps of all sizes, do already meet the requirements for the next stage of the Directive, which will come into force in 2015 (MEI >= 0.4).
In order to be able to supply the most efficient water pumps on the market, we will continue to optimize our centrifugal hydraulics and go beyond the minimum legal requirements expected of us.
Q: The Sterling SIHI Group is known for safe and reliable handling liquids and gases. What are the company’s basic rules to meet industrial customers’ needs?
A: The basic rules in this regard remain: safety, promptitude, professionalism and flexibility regarding the possibility to ensure and meet the requirements and exigencies of our partners. All these are reflected in the reliability of our team, who treats with importance each project, customer or partner.