Processing Magazine

Dow Chemical helps Sochi get ready for Olympics

November 27, 2012

SOCHI, Russia — The Winter Olympic Games in the Russian town of Sochi are still two years away, but preparation for the event is already in full swing. The Dow Chemical Co., one of the official Olympic partners, is helping the city improve its water supply infrastructure, the company has announced.

Dow has been operating in Russia for nearly four decades and is well aware of the problems that residents and businesses in Sochi and the Krasnodar region face on a daily basis. It has started a number of projects to ensure the area has a reliable and up-to-date infrastructure ahead of the biggest event for the city.

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Sochi''s old pipes have been replaced by new ones, with polyurethane insulation systems, made at the Dow Izolan factory in Vladimir. In addition, new pipelines for a central heating system for the Olympic venues in Sochi have been built. Dow Chemical is also involved in a series of cultural projects, such as the renovation of historically important buildings in Krasnodar including the Cathedral of the Christ Nativity, the Drama Theater and the First City Hospital.

The company runs 197 sites in 36 countries and employs a total of about 52,000 people. Dow Izolan was built in 2009 and is one of Dow''s most modern facilities. According to Gennady Vaskov, Dow Izolan''s commercial manager for rigid polyurethane foams, the pipes insulation for Sochi and Krasnodar meets the highest international standards. The systems are certified as conforming to European Quality Standard EN 253 and were developed according to all requirements of the Montreal Protocol. The products do not contain any agents that can harm the ozone layer in the atmosphere, Vaskov explained.

Dow Izolan provides its systems to a number of Russian producers of foam polyurethane pipes, which can be used in both underground and over-ground district heating pipelines. One of the biggest advantages of thermal insulation using rigid polyurethane foams is that it dramatically increases durability up to three times, while reducing heat loss up to four times compared to similar products. This can in turn contribute to lower maintenance and operating costs, Dow said.

Foam polyurethanes have a low level of thermal conductivity, so energy consumption is lower compared to other traditionally used materials like mineral cotton and foam polystyrene. Pipelines with such insulation can function for over 25 years, while other materials used for insulation need to be replaced every eight to ten years. The installation of heating systems is more cost-effective because it is a channel-free technology.

Arthur Eritspokhov, who is in charge of Dow''s Olympic operations in Russia, explained that the company is determined to support the Sochi Organizing Committee and local authorities in their ambition to build modern and sustainable infrastructure in the region. Dow will do its best to help the Games reach the highest technological level, while at the same time meeting international safety and ecological standards. Last, but not least, Dow will assist the Organizing Committee to ensure that athletes and fans have an unforgettable experience in Sochi, Eritspokhov concluded.