Thordon secures bearing deal with Sigma for Egyptian pump projects

Sigma Group has specified Thordon Bearings’ grease-free bearings for its specialized pumping sets for flood defence and irrigation projects across Egypt.

Sigma incline pump fully assembled and ready to be installed.
Sigma incline pump fully assembled and ready to be installed.

Thordon Bearings is supplying 64 of its water-lubricated composite bearings for use in 49 Sigma BQBV vertical diagonal pumps specified for projects along the Nile River and the Sinai Peninsula.

Sigma has already delivered nine 800-BQBV pumps for projects in North Sinai, while twelve 1400-BQBV pumps are scheduled for installation at the El-Hammam agricultural wastewater treatment facility later this month. Twenty eight 1500-BQBV pumps are also being built for the Mostakbal Misr project, with deliveries taking place from June 2023 through to April 2024. Mostakbal Misr is a project for agricultural production in the Western Desert.

“Pumps installed on the river Nile operate in very abrasive water. As a result of these harsh operating conditions, the bronze bearings these pumps are typically fitted with last only 1 to 2 years. Sigma wanted a much more robust, abrasion-resistant solution,” said Josef Hozák, managing director of Eribos, Thordon’s authorized distributor in the Czech Republic.

“The new contract follows the success of bearing installations to Sigma pumps dating back 15 years,” said Malcolm Barratt, Thordon Bearings’ regional manager – Southern Europe & Middle East. “Based on the large amount of sand in the pumped liquid and the success of Thordon's bearings in muddy and abrasive environments, as well as the strong relationship Thordon's distributor Eribos has with Sigma, the pump manufacturer chose Thordon’s composite material for its pumps.”

With a much lower friction coefficient than rubber, Thordon’s composite bearing material has been specially developed for use in very abrasive aquatic environments. It is also much easier to install and maintain than alternative bearing solutions.

“It is by far the best bearing solution for pumps operating in harsh environments,” said Barratt. “Based on current wear rates, a 10-year wear life is projected before a replacement is required. By using composite in its pumps, Sigma customers benefit greatly from reduced maintenance and plant downtime, resulting in significant savings to operational expenditure.”

Thordon composite bearing installed in the Sigma pump. -

Sigma is currently working on its second major pump project in Egypt – the El Hamam project. All twelve Sigma 1400-BQBV vertical pumps, each of which is fitted with two Thordon composite bearings, will pump 6 million m2 of agricultural water from the north of the Nile to irrigate a 2100 km2 area 120km to the west, in the Western Desert.

The company is also starting work on the Mostakbal Misr project, which will see 28 Sigma 1500-BQBV vertical pumps used to irrigate 500,000 acres around Egypt’s northwestern coast region.

Sigma’s early adoption of Thordon’s bearings in the Egyptian pump market has led to widespread adoption in industrial and hydro pumps across the region and beyond.

“The bearing supply agreements we have recently signed with major pump manufacturers in Europe and Asia are a direct result of the robust performance of Thordon’s water-lubricated bearings in pumps operating across Egypt,” said Barratt.