Home > Focus On
THE EXPORT SUPERVALVE DISTRICT
One hundred percent exports and an excellent reputation acquired over time, thanks to the quality of the raw materials and cutting-edge technologies used in production: with these credentials, the valve district in Colico, in the province of Lecco, is preparing for another successful year.
The synergistic project of the five companies comprising the district began several years ago, explains Luciano Sanguinetti, founder and owner of ATV, the leading producer. “It started back in 1979, when I was making valves for refineries, energy and steam,” says Sanguineti. “I decided to make slight changes to our production, involving a second company and making use of facilities that were already available. Then, more recently, we were joined by three other companies.”
Due to increasing requests, the Colico oil and gas district now work in virtually every part of the world, particularly northern Europe, the United States, the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, West Africa, East Africa, South-East Asia and Russia, and although Chinese competition makes its presence felt, he does not appear particularly worried. “The Chinese are probably the largest manufacturer of valves per volume, but often fail to provide the quality that is needed,” Sanguineti specified. “In fact, one of their leading companies prefers to use our products for projects requiring superior quality products and cutting edge technologies.”
The five Italian companies of the Colico oil and gas district still need to improve their “assault” on the Middle East, where offshore activities are carried out in relatively shallow waters, whereas Italian-made components are preferred for deep waters, due to their reputation for reliability and safety.
“However, things are starting to change even there,” continues Sanguineti. “For example, Saudi Arabia is now working on resources in the Red Sea, at 1,500 metres below sea level. This is already a fairly substantial depth, at which no large-scale end user would risk relying on operators with no experience in the field.”
“In general,” he concludes, “Italy is one of the leading countries in the production of oil and gas valves, thanks to the presence of infrastructure supplying the highest quality raw materials, such as the steel, which is forged rather than cast.” This is also one of the reasons why the small town on the shore of Lake Como is a familiar and respected destination for industry experts, who go there on behalf of “giants” such as Total and Shell.