Czech Ace Up Rimera’s Sleeve The managing company upgrades its MSA plant, boosting production capacity and expanding its product range

By Elena Zhuk, February 22, 2014

In mid-December, Rimera held a ceremony to unveil a new workshop at its MSA plant (Dolni Benesov city, Czech Republic), marking the end of a two-year-long first stage of the factory’s modernization. Rimera, ChTPZ Group’s oilfield services division, acquired one of the oldest global producers of pipe valves in 2006, adding to a portfolio of trunk pipeline equipment manufacturing assets (Rimera already manages the Chelyabinsk Pipeline Bends Plant, SOT).

Trunk pipeline equipment manufacturing provides the greatest share of ChTPZ Group’s revenue. Last year, it accounted for 44 percent of turnover. The Group’s other oilfield services assets include producers of oil production equipment, pipeline and oil production equipment servicing companies, as well as a geophysical company. 

The first stage of MSA’s modernization was marked by substantial investment reaching about €11.2 million and the implementation that was executed without interrupting the manufacturing process, MSA head Vladimir Kononov noted at the opening ceremony.

Working Together Toward Same Goal

The Czech plant’s upgrade fits the trend Rimera has been setting in recent years in Russia. The company opened a new finishing center at Pervouralsky Novotrubny Plant (PNTZ) in 2009, followed by Zhelezny Ozon 32, an electric furnace workshop a year later. In 2010, Rimera also launched Vysota 239, a new workshop for large diameter pipes at the Chelyabinsk Pipe-Rolling Plant (ChTPZ). 

The MSA project is executed with significant support from the Czech government, which has pledged to invest €2.8 million in 2013–2014. The state funds are expected to be recouped in five years after completing the modernization.

“Only owing to government support have we been able to execute the electric furnace workshop and Vysota 239 projects in the post-crisis period. The same thing happened here – the project was implemented thanks to the support of the Czech government, which provided almost 25 percent of investment,” Rimera board member Alexander Fyodorov told reporters.

According to Rimera Board Chairman Vitaly Sadykov, the company will invest in 2014 an additional $200 million in various upgrade projects throughout ChTPZ Group. Next in line for modernization is the Alnas plant in Almetyevsk, Tatarstan, which produces electric submersible pumps. The modernization process in Almetyevsk is already under way. 

However, public-private partnerships expand beyond the industrial sector, covering educational projects as well, notes Fyodorov. The PNTZ Education Center, created on the basis of the Pervouralsk Metallurgical College, trains specialists for all companies of the group, including MSA. Students learn “white metallurgy,” which had been first introduced at the launch of the Vysota 239 workshop. Having successfully implemented the principles of “white metallurgy” and the new work and manufacturing philosophy in Russia, the group is now doing the same in the Czech Republic.

Top Brass Tighten Up Screws

In 2014, MSA’s production is set to grow by 20 percent, with particular emphasis on valves for nuclear power industry, said Kononov. Production of this type of valves is the main purpose of the new workshop whose construction and equipment cost the company 458 million rubles in 2013 alone.

At the opening ceremony, the