Van Leeuwen
Kerosene at European airports through our pipelines

Kerosene at European airports through our pipelines

Martin Sintmaartensdijk,
Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube, Zwijndrecht the Netherlands

Almost everyone has visited an airport at one point or another. Even though you cannot see them, they are of phenomenal importance: the pipelines designed to supply aircraft with kerosene (Jet Fuel). These pipelines must meet a wide range of requirements and we supply the pipes for this purpose.

In my view, projects at airports entail challenges in which Van Leeuwen's combined expertise fully comes to the fore. This is what has given me great job satisfaction for the past 23 years. In my current dual role as Team Leader and Account Manager in our Export department, I have had the privilege of supplying materials for many great projects for our customers abroad. However, I must say that the Jet Fuel projects for airports are the most challenging.

Modernization of infrastructure in Europe

It all began about 20 years ago, when various countries in Southern Europe decided to significantly improve their infrastructure. It was important not to overlook the airports in this regard. The airports being developed or modernized were looking for a committed party able to supply the right pipes that met the added requirements. We supplied pipes for various airports at the time, particularly in Portugal and Greece.

Not just a pipe

Jet Fuel is supplied to the airport via pipelines that originate from various facilities, including refineries and storage depots. These pipelines are often located underground and sometimes run right below passenger terminals up to the gates as their final destination. The aircraft are fueled here as soon as they are connected. As you can imagine, these pipes must meet very high quality standards and must be very well protected. This protection is amongst others provided by coating the pipes.

At Van Leeuwen, the expertise for these kinds of projects starts with the production of the pipes, because not all pipes turn out to be suitable for this type of treatment in actual practice. For example, the pipe's internal, as well as external surface is of extreme importance in applying a coating. We know exactly which manufacturers produce suitable pipes for these treatments.

Protection & Safety

The pipes that carry the kerosene are treated to protect the pipe and to enhance the flow of kerosene. We sometimes apply these treatments ourselves. For example the sandblasting . But the pipes are also subjected to treatments that we contract out to external specialized parties, for example exterior coatings, such as a polyethylene coating (PE coating). This minimizes rust formation and protects the pipe below ground. In addition, the pipes require a paint coating on the inside, which makes the pipe suitable for the kerosene medium. In addition, the coating ensures that the kerosene is transported through the pipeline without any problems, this is known as a 'flow' coating. Jet Fuel projects therefore involve a great deal more than just supplying pipes.

Cooperation is the key

Customers know what they need, but often do not know where to go and how to get it all done. Through means of our relationship with manufacturers and all kinds of external specialized parties we can contribute ideas for the customer and offer them a comprehensive package. This is where the challenge lies that I like to tackle and in which we truly differentiate ourselves from other suppliers. We continue to look for solutions, even for the most difficult assignments.

We deliver anywhere in the world

To complete our proposition, we are able to deliver pipes anywhere in the world. The employees in our shipping department have a 'bucket-load' of knowledge and experience.  Transport by truck, by sea in containers or by rail: anything is possible. We have developed our own container load plate for transport by sea. This makes it possible to quickly load treated pipes in a safe and seaworthy way into a container for overseas transport.

When a new customer ultimately decides to do business with us, it almost always results in a long-term relationship. Our product range, our expertise, our services and our network are a winning combination for Jet Fuel projects.



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