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PIPING Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Carl Vreugde, Senior Director and Managing Partner at Urecon, Tommy Lorenzen, Export Sales Manager at Logstor, and Ron Gawer, Director of Energy Operations at Stanford University, about European standard hot water piping in North America, 40km of piping at Stanford University, and the district energy trends of the future. Urecon, a Canadian insulated pipe manufacturer, has been in business since 1969, producing factory-insulated pipe systems with a focus on freeze protection. “We make systems for the municipal, industrial, and mining sectors, often in Canada’s far north,” explains Carl Vreugde, Senior Director and Managing Partner at Urecon. “We specialize in providing engineered thermal piping solutions for cold climates, with or without electric heat tracing, as well as piping for hot climates where chilled water is used in cooling.” The company recently built an ultra modern production facility in Montreal, Quebec which doubles as corporate head office. Urecon also has a manufacturing plant in Edmonton, Alberta. In the early 1990s, Urecon recognized a need for hot water piping systems in North America. “The North American producers at the time were building steam distribution systems, which is a completely different design,” says Mr. Vreugde. “At that point, we established a partnership with Danish company Logstor, who were, and still are, considered the leaders in pre-insulated pipe systems for low-temperature district heating. This turned out to be a perfect complement to the Urecon range of products.”

“We’re the market leader in Europe for pre-insulated piping systems,” explains Tommy Lorenzen, Export Sales Manager at Logstor. “Our main markets as a supplier are Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and Finland, and we have production facilities in Denmark, Poland, Finland, and Romania. Outside Europe, we have distributors like Urecon. They operate as our representative, taking care of the North American market.” Logstor was, in fact, founded by the inventor of pre-insulated pipes. “The founder of the company was a local coppersmith in a small Danish town,” says Mr. Lorenzen. “In the sixties, he saw a new material on the market, polyurethane foam, and he thought: ‘Would it be possible to insulate pipes with this?’ So he did some experiments in his kitchen with his wife, and he found it was possible, and he and his wife developed the company like a family business over the years. Constant development of the insulation properties and improving the energy efficiency of the system remains a core value at Logstor.” MARKETPLACE ACCEPTANCE Initially, the low temperature European-style projects in North America were SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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Sustainable Business Magazine