SIGMA Group, one of Europe’s leading industrial pump manufacturers, has specified Thordon Bearings’ grease-free bearings for installation to the specialized pumping sets destined for flood defence and irrigation projects across Egypt.

In total, Thordon is supplying 64 of its water-lubricated Composite bearings for use in 49 SIGMA BQBV vertical diagonal pumps specified for projects along the Nile River and the Sinai Peninsula.

SIGMA has already delivered nine 800-BQBV pumps for projects in North Sinai, while twelve 1400-BQBV pumps are scheduled for installation at the El-Hammam agricultural wastewater treatment facility later this month. Twenty-eight 1500-BQBV pumps are also being built for the mammoth Mostakbal Misr project (a project for agricultural production in the Western Desert) with deliveries taking place from June 2023 through to April 2024.

“Pumps installed on the river Nile operate in very abrasive water. As a result of these harsh operating conditions, the bronze bearings these pumps are typically fitted with last only 1 to 2 years. SIGMA wanted a much more robust, abrasion-resistant solution,” said Josef Hozák, Managing Director, Eribos, Thordon’s authorized distributor in Czech Republic (Czechia).

“The new contract follows the success of bearing installations to SIGMA pumps dating back fifteen years,” said Malcolm Barratt, Thordon Bearings’ Regional Manager – Southern Europe & Middle East. “Based on the large amount of sand in the pumped liquid and the success of Thordon’s bearings in muddy and abrasive environments, as well as the strong relationship Thordon’s distributor Eribos has with SIGMA, the pump manufacturer chose Thordon’s Composite material for its pumps.”

With a much lower friction coefficient than rubber, Thordon’s Composite bearing material has been specially developed for use in very abrasive aquatic environments. It is also much easier to install and maintain than any alternative bearing solution in the market.

“It is by far the best bearing solution for pumps operating in harsh environments,” Barratt said.  “Based on current wear rates, a 10-year wear life is projected before a replacement is required. By using Composite in its pumps, SIGMA customers benefit greatly from reduced maintenance and plant downtime, resulting in significant savings to operational expenditure.”

SIGMA is currently working on its second major pump project in Egypt – the El Hamam project. All twelve SIGMA 1400-BQBV vertical pumps, each of which is fitted with two Thordon Composite bearings, will pump 6 million m2 (64.5 million ft2) of agricultural water from the north of the Nile to irrigate a 2100km2 (810.8mi2) area 120km (74.6mi) to the west, in the Western Desert.

The company is also starting work on the Mostakbal Misr project, which will see 28 SIGMA 1500-BQBV vertical pumps used to irrigate 500,000 acres around Egypt’s northwestern coast region.

SIGMA’s early adoption of Thordon’s bearings in the Egyptian pump market has led to widespread adoption in industrial and hydro pumps across the region and beyond.

“The bearing supply agreements we have recently signed with major pump manufacturers in Europe and Asia are a direct result of the robust performance of Thordon’s water-lubricated bearings in pumps operating across Egypt,” said Barratt.

Thordon Composite bearing installed in the SIGMA pump

About Thordon Bearings

Thordon Bearings designs and manufactures a complete range of journal bearing and seal systems for application across a number of sectors, including marine, offshore, clean power generation, mining and other pump and land-based industrial sectors. Thordon Bearings’ polymer bearing solutions offer excellent wear life, reduced noise and low operating friction while providing a dependable, long-lasting, environmentally friendly alternative to grease and oil-lubricated bearings. Thordon systems and bearings are available worldwide through over 70 agents and distributors.