12 October 2007

FRP Pipes to Be Installed in Brazilian Hydroelectric Facilities

Amitech, one of the largest Brazilian manufacturers of fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) pipes, has struck a deal to supply more than 1,128m/3,660 ft of FRP piping — at a value of $750,000 (USD) — to the small hydroelectric plants of Pequi and Sucupira now under construction in the Brazilian city of Jaciara, Mato Grosso. The company has been producing FRP pipe for industrial and agricultural customers since 1999 in Ipeuna, in the state of São Paulo, and is controlled by two international groups — Inversiones Mundial (Medellin, Colombia, 70 percent) and Amiantit (Dammam, Saudi Arabia, 30 percent). The new deal is the sixth in a series of similar arrangements under which Amitech has supplied pipe to small hydroelectric plants in the Brazilian market.

“We competed on this contract with steel pipe suppliers,” notes Leandro Montanher, Amitech’s sales coordinator. The FRP forced conduit pipes, which vary in diameter from 1.9m to 2.2m (6.23 ft to 7.22 ft), have several technical advantages compared to steel, including a much lower likelihood of mineral deposit formation, which can diminish flow capacity. The FRP pipes also are significantly lighter, which facilitates the installation process, thus reducing project costs. Another advantage is their high strength because the forced conduits at the hydroelectric plants will operate underground and have to resist soil overburden pressure.

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Lebanon Time-Line

Introducing Lebanon

Coolly combining the ancient with the ultramodern, Lebanon is one of the most captivating countries in the Middle East. From the Phoenician findings of Tyre (Sour) and Roman Baalbek's tremendous temple to Beirut's BO18 and Bernard Khoury's modern movement, the span of Lebanon's history leaves many visitors spinning. Tripoli (Trablous) is considered to have the best souk in the country and is famous for its Mamluk architecture. It's well equipped with a taste of modernity as well; Jounieh, formerly a sleepy fishing village, is a town alive with nightclubs and glitz on summer weekends.

With all of the Middle East's best bits - warm and welcoming people, mind-blowing history and considerable culture, Lebanon is also the antithesis of many people's imaginings of the Middle East: mostly mountainous with skiing to boot, it's also laid-back, liberal and fun. While Beirut is fast becoming the region's party place, Lebanon is working hard to recapture its crown as the 'Paris of the Orient'.

The rejuvenation of the Beirut Central District is one of the largest, most ambitious urban redevelopment projects ever undertaken. Travellers will find the excitement surrounding this and other developments and designs palpable - and very infectious.

Finally, Lebanon's cuisine is considered the richest of the region. From hummus to hommard (lobster), you'll dine like a king. With legendary sights, hospitality, food and nightlife, what more could a traveller want?

Introducing Beirut

What Beirut is depends entirely on where you are. If you’re gazing at the beautifully reconstructed colonial relics and mosques of central Beirut’s Downtown, the city is a triumph of rejuvenation over disaster.

If you’re in the young, vibrant neighbourhoods of Gemmayzeh or Achrafiye, Beirut is about living for the moment: partying, eating and drinking as if there’s no tomorrow. If you’re standing in the shadow of buildings still peppered with bullet holes, or walking the Green Line with an elderly resident, it’s a city of bitter memories and a dark past. If you’re with Beirut’s Armenians, Beirut is about salvation; if you’re with its handful of Jews, it’s about hiding your true identity. Here you’ll find the freest gay scene in the Arab Middle East, yet homosexuality is still illegal. If you’re in one of Beirut’s southern refugee camps, Beirut is about sorrow and displacement; other southern districts are considered a base for paramilitary operations and south Beirut is home to infamous Hezbollah secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah. For some, it’s a city of fear; for others, freedom.

Throw in maniacal drivers, air pollution from old, smoking Mercedes taxis, world-class universities, bars to rival Soho and coffee thicker than mud, political demonstrations, and swimming pools awash with more silicone than Miami. Add people so friendly you’ll swear it can’t be true, a political situation existing on a knife-edge, internationally renowned museums and gallery openings that continue in the face of explosions, assassinations and power cuts, and you’ll find that you’ve never experienced a capital city quite so alive and kicking – despite its frequent volatility.