According to George Lysseos, General Manager of Pipelife Hellas, events had to take their turn before the firm could actually start producing pipes: "We started life in Athens as a joint company between Pipelife and an established Greek pipe company. The goal was to make PE pressure pipes for utility and agricultural applications. However, our former partner acquired a company that was directly in competition with the joint venture. Fortunately, Pipelife stepped in to buy and own the entire venture in 1995."
"Since then, we have not looked back!" says George. "We built a plastic pipe factory in Thebes, a market town not too far from Athens. Thebes was a major force in Greek history. Alexander the Great destroyed the city-state in 335 BC. Fortune often follows tragedy even after many years. So by 1998, Pipelife Hellas was turning out its first pipe lengths. Soon after, it qualified for certification according to ISO 90001 - 90020 for the production of plastic pipe systems and fittings."
"We moved our HQ from Athens to Thebes in 2005 following a reorganisation.
During this time, our company was certified in accordance with the European Regulation (EK 761/2004 EMAS) for its Environmental Quality Management System."
"Today, we employ 110 people who are totally committed to making a wide range of PVC, PE and PP pipes. Despite recent jitters in the Greek construction market, demand for our products remains very healthy and we are confident of maintaining our market share."
Andreas Lyris who is Commercial Director of Pipelife Hellas is equally confident. "For the last three years, we have worked hard to move closer to our customers and anticipate their needs. We lead in supplying pressure systems for water and sewer and produce pipes up to 630 mm either from PVC or PE100. In the Greek gas utility sector, we are one of the four main suppliers - producing PE80 pipes up to 225 mm."
"The geology of Greece favours our pipe systems. Nevertheless, their benefits have to be continuously communicated. Furthermore, our sales to the building and agricultural sector have increased significantly."
Andreas Lyris says that growth has been a result of production, flexibility and dedication to offer top quality products and services. "We have worked hard our customer portfolio," he notes. "And our experienced sales team has massaged every lead and found many new contacts. Greece with its peninsula reaching out to nine hundred islands requires a personal investment in terms of relations.
This investment seems to be paying off. The firm's order book is expanding as witnessed by the many major projects undertaken. One recent and interesting example was to supply 650 tons of PVC pressure pipe to ARTZAN. This scheme in Northern Greece is now delivering much needed water to irrigate thousands of farm holdings. A similar irrigation project called MELIKI in the North West of the country called for 560 tons of PVC pressure pipe.
'Making a difference'
Greece like Spain is wrestling with water stress. Pipelife pipes are therefore assisting municipal engineers to distribute this precious liquid more efficiently. The Costa Navarino resort is a prestigious development in the Peloponnese region. Here, the firm has supplied the main potable drinking network to service five star hotels, golf links, conference facilities and even shopping malls. And for the country's largest aquarium in Iraklion, 580 tons of Pipelife PE and PVC pipes were required!
The company's pipes are also replacing ancient plumbing traditions within and around the house. Greek champions for hot and cold water supply are the firm's PEX/ALU/PEX and PEX/EVOH pipes. And George Lysseos says that Greek Hotels such as the KAPSIS and CRETA SUN are totally fitted out with Pipelife Soil & Waste/Hot and Cold systems. "We are making a difference in Greece," George observes.
And what about those ancient clay pipes in Crete?
"Ornamental and quite dysfunctional," he insists. "We recently supplied 650 tons of PE 100 pipes for the FANEROMEN water dam on Crete. It will serve the farming interests of the island that includes the cultivation of grapes for winemaking. Wine is very much about history and reputation. Although the history of Pipelife Hellas in this marvellous and hospitable country is not so long, our reputation is being treasured."