Christian Haag: Pumps for the tallest building in the world

Low tem­­peratures in the desert state of Dubai
Carrying liquids has been the focal point of the work of pump manufacturer KSB for 138 years, whose competence centre is based in Halle. Much has changed in this period – the first pump made by founder Johannes Klein’s company was only able to carry a few cubic metres an hour for water and waste water technology. Today, a particularly high-per­­for­­­­mance pump power unit can put through more than 65,000 cubic metres in the same time. Achieve­­ments such as these are the result of consistent re­­search work in hydraulics, materials development and automation. By combining innovative technology with excellent service, we achieve what makes our customers suc­­cessful: considerably more perfor­­m­ance, safety and efficiency. Or to put it another way: in­­tel­­ligent solutions with a future.


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For example, our intelligent solutions ensu­re that hot water can circulate, they carry drinking water and remove waste water. Water pumps from our factory in Halle, the largest manufacturer in the city, are used in major re­­f­­erence projects, including skyscrapers all over the world. One example is the currently highest building in the world, the “Burj Dubai”.

The Emirate of Dubai has become one of the most exclusive states in the Persian Gulf. Giant shopping centres, a seven-star hotel and an artificial palm tree island situated off the coast of Jumeirah far exceed the bounds of the customary. Another trademark of this “Emi­­rate of Superlatives” is the “Burj Du­­bai”, the “Tower of Dubai”.
With a final height of 818 metres and 206 floors it is so far one of the highest skyscrapers in the world. Besides luxurious apartments, hotel rooms and of­­fices, there are also swimming pools, restaurants, an ice-skating rink, a three-storey aquarium, fitness studios and nu­­merous leisure facilities on a 7,000­­-­­square metre building area.

Cooling this massive building requires large quantities of water – a job for KSB! Overall we supplied 69 pumps so that the expensive air conditioning tech­­nology could function. Because of the great heat in Dubai alone, it is not easy to cool an 800-metre-plus building down to pleasant temperatures – in summer temperatures are over 50° Celsius with over 60 per cent humidity.
The power units are located both within the skyscraper itself and in a utilities building besides the “Burj Dubai”.
In the skyscraper, the pumps are located on several service floors and carry cooled water all through the building 24 hours a day. The utility building, the so-called cooling factory, produces large quantities of cooled water during the night, which our pumps then carry into the skyscraper during the day.

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Another reference project in Dubai is the “Mall of the Emirates”, the biggest covered shopping centre in the world outside the USA. Our pumps ensure that the “Mall” is suitably air-conditioned. With the adjoining in­­door ski hall, the shopping centre, which was opened in Sep­­tember 2005, is a unique piece of construction. Restaurants and shops selling all major internationally known brands are located on a surface area equivalent to 73 football fields. ­­­

In the adjoining and architecturally fascinating “Ski Dubai” hall, the world’s largest winter sports arena, 1,500 ski fans can ski down a 400-metre-long slope and five other ski slopes. Over 30 tonnes of new snow are produced each day. Temperatures in the ski hall are -10 Celsius, while desert-level temperatures dominate outside.
But desalination plants, which produce drinking water from the salty sea water, also use KSB pumps – for example on the artificial palm tree island of Jumeirah, one of the most ambitious construction projects in Dubai. Our products were al­­ready sought for the initial work. Some 100 million cubic metres of sand and stones were poured to reclaim land by using solid matter pumps from our US partner GIW In­­dus­­tries Inc.

To protect the island from the surf, a circular-shaped barrier reef was established with blocks of stone weighing up to ten tonnes. Today, on “Palm Jumeirah” there are luxury hotels, beach villas, apartments with a sea view, yacht ma­­rinas, leisure parks, restaurants and shop­­ping centres. KSB supplied the pumps for two desalination plants. Each plant produces 32,000 cubic metres of de­­salinated drinking water per day which are supplied to the accommodations, holiday camps and hotels.


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These orders were important references because it is expected that even more unusual buildings will be erected in the Arabian Gulf region in the near future. KSB is known in the region for the excellent quality of its products, the on-site service and the good contacts to plant manufacturers. The company has had a branch office in the Emirates since the 1990s. Over the last few years, enormous growth in orders for high-performance water pumps has been recorded as existing capacity was no longer sufficient.

We therefore began construction work on a new, 3,000-square-metre factory hall with an integrated testing area – in which we have invested 18 million euros – in 2008. Since January 2009, 64 employees have been producing RDLO power units in the modern factory building; these power units are used in such things as seawater desalination and for supplying water at the highest performance levels. The expensive testing area, which was integrated into the factory, will be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2009. The decision to expand manufacturing activities in Halle and not abroad was due, in par­­ticular, to the good working relations between the city of Halle and the state of Saxony-Anhalt.

As one of the major employers in the city, we are also involved in Halle’s social and cultural life. On the other hand, we receive corresponding support for our activities from the city and the state government, which enable us to continue to make our work fit for commercial challenges. We also want to remain an attractive and prospering employer in the future.

Haag_20_06Christian Haag is a mechanical engineer. He was born in 1967 and started his career as a trainee at pump manufacturer KSB AG. Thereafter he worked as a de­­vel­­op­­ment engineer and product manager in Halle. In 2004 he took over the manage­­ment of the order centre and the quote administration for the Central and Eastern European re­­gions, the Near and Middle East/­­Africa. Since January 2005, he has been plant manager and location spokesman.