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Sulzer wins contract for Siberian oil pipeline

The crude oil is to be transported from fields in eastern Siberia via pipeline to Asia (Reuters)

Swiss engineering company Sulzer says its pump division has won a large order from Russia's Transneft for oil pipeline equipment.

The deal, worth around SFr50 million ($40 million), is part of a major infrastructure project transporting crude oil from eastern Siberia to the Pacific Ocean.

The order includes main pipeline, vertical booster and vertical loading pumps, according to a company statement.

Leeds-based Sulzer Pumps UK, the British subsidiary, is in charge of the project to manufacture, assemble and test the pumps. No further production details were released.

Sulzer said it has extensive experience in designing and building pumps for transcontinental pipelines.

"A factor for the selection was our expertise and our ability to provide customised solutions in a harsh Siberian environment," a company spokeswoman told swissinfo.

The pipeline project was announced earlier this year. It is expected to carry 1.8 million barrels of oil each day, according to Sulzer.

Construction work by other companies started in April and the first phase of the two-stage project is to be finished by 2008.

Boom

State-owned Transneft, which holds a monopoly on Russia's pipeline network, is building a 4,130-kilometre pipeline from Taishet, Irkutsk region, to the port of Perevoznaya, on the Pacific Ocean.

Most of the pipeline will be laid underground and 32 pumping stations had been designed, said Transneft.

The company said the system will have "minimum rate environmental influence". Nevertheless, because of protests by environmental organisations, the pipeline route will be moved 40km north of Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater lake in the world.

Last year Sulzer boosted sales by nearly a quarter to SFr2.5 billion as a result of increased investment activities in the oil industry. The main market for Sulzer has been in the United States amid a rise in oil prices.

Sulzer is one of several Swiss firms which manufacture and maintain equipment for oil and gas production which profited from an oil boom.

swissinfo

Key facts

Sulzer is active in machinery and equipment manufacturing and surface engineering in more than 120 locations around the world.
Its core divisions are leading suppliers of the oil, gas, power generation and car and aerospace industries.
The company was founded in the town of Winterthur, outside Zurich, in 1834.

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