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Amiblu is a 50:50 joint venture whose goal is to develop and deliver world-class GRP pipes and fittings to sustainably solve the world’s water and sewer challenges. Amiblu combines Amiantit Europe and its Flowtite Technology, and Hobas Europe, part of WIG Wietersdorfer Holding, and is the specialist in drinking water, irrigation, storm- and wastewater, hydropower and industry.
The two businesses have distinct expertise that complement each other perfectly. Hobas is a leader in ‘centrifugally cast’ pipe systems, and Flowtite in ‘continuous filament wound’ pipe systems. Amiblu’s headquarters is in Klagenfurt, Austria, and the company has production facilities in Germany, Spain, Poland and Romania. It has a R&D centre in Norway and employs around 1,500 people.
Our licensee partners around the world, plus an extensive network of sales and engineering offices, add a further global dimension. The result is that wherever our customers require a sustainable, high performance solution, Flowtite Technology and Hobas come together to deliver precisely what they require.
In 1927, in Sandefjord, a small shipping town on the coast of Norway, Odd Gleditsch started a manufacturing plant for vegetable oils called Vera Fabrikker, this plant was the cradle of Flowtite pipes.
Linseed oil was an ingredient he needed in the production of paint for the Jotun paint company. In 1965, a group of engineers at the plant started experimenting with polyester resin and glassfiber. Along with the Danish company Drostholm, they invented the continuous winding method for the manufacture of GRP pipes and tanks. The material was revolutionary – it did not corrode, it was light, and thanks to the GRP sandwich construction, it achieved strength, stability, and durability.
Owens Corning took over 100 % of the company from Jotun in 1993. In cooperation with Owens Corning, Vera Fabrikker developed Flowtite GRP pipes and tanks as they are known today. Flowtite now operates pipe factories on five continents.
It all began quite modestly at the Basle Dye Works in 1957 where wooden cylinders were employed for the dyeing process. These kept splintering and deforming after some time putting the expensive textiles at risk. Seeking a suitable replacement for the cylinders, the factory’s engineers developed a centrifugal casting method using glassfiber reinforced plastics (GRP). Thanks to the method and material, they achieved perfectly concentric cylinders with a precise outer diameter and smooth surface – just as required.
GRP had previously been used for shipbuilding, automobile and aircraft industry. However, its resistance to both corrosion and chemicals also made the material highly suitable for other applications. The Swiss, renowned for their vision and pioneering spirit, recognized its benefits and soon employed centrifugally cast pipes for conveying water – a new company was born: Hobas. The pipes laid at these early times are still in use today. Step by step, the products were improved, the manufacturing process was automated, the product range extended, and tailor-made fittings were added to the portfolio.
|1957||First production of centrifugally cast GRP pipes in Switzerland|
|1968||The Amiantit Group was established in Dammam, Saudi Arabia|
|1968||First production of continuously wound pipes at Vera Fabrikker (Jotun) in Norway|
|1971||Owens Corning buys GRP Technology from Vera Fabrikker|
|1984||Joint venture of HOBAS and the Wietersdorfer Group|
|1987||Hobas opens pipe plant in the USA|
|1988||Owens Corning aquires 90% of the shares in Veroc Technology (later Flowtite Technology)|
|2001||Amiantit aquires Flowtite Technology|
|2003||First production of non-circular GRP pipes in Germany|
|2007||50-year anniversary Hobas|
|2016||Hobas and Amiantit (Flowtite) announce the companies’ intent to merge|
|2017||50-year anniversary Flowtite|
|2017||EU Commission approves the merger|
|2017||Amiblu is established with ownership of Hobas and Flowtite Technologies|
|2018||Amiblu opens a state-of-the-art production facility for GRP fittings in Poland|