Posts Tagged ‘Cintec’

George Osborne, Chancellor

George Osborne, Chancellor

In yesterday’s Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne stated that he would introduce a new tax allowance to encourage investment in shale gas that halves tax rates on early profits!

Such encouragement is to be welcomed everywhere, especially here in Wales. Our dependence on fossil fuels, coal in particular, is still of great concern as our supplies reduce and we are actually importing coal from other countries, whereas 100 years ago we were exporting high-grade Welsh coal around the world. We have below our beautiful landscape enough reserves of gas to satisfy our nations needs for many decades.

There are many opposed to this form of gas extraction which does involve drilling and causing possible water contamination as chemicals are used during the fracking process. However, in the UK there are very stringent requirements and safeguards to ensure that the gas is extracted safely and with minimum disturbance to the environment.

Indeed one of our clients, Cintec International has developed a range of products to mitigate many of the concerns faced. From strengthening of bridges with access to drilling sites, to water tight lagoons to carry the vast quantities of water needed during the fracking process , to actually producing a water-tight fabric sock to go around the drill holes. Cintec are already in discussion with exploration companies in the UK and Canada who are very interested in Cintec’s solutions.

With a tightening of regulations and safety of paramount importance, open, honest discussion with all parties concerned can surely only result in fracking taken very seriously as an answer to Wales’s energy needs in the future. Let’s embrace the opportunity and not kick it into touch through ignorance and vested interest.


Crowds line the banks at the Henley Royal Regatta

What a wonderful day I had last week, soaking up the atmosphere (and a few glasses of Pimms!) at Henley Royal Regatta with good friends Alun Davies, Robert Llewellyn Jones of Media Wales and Peters Jones of Cintec. We saw some very spirited performances from Welsh oarsmen representing various clubs, including Patrick Lapage, stoke of Harvard University, who subsequently won his final yesterday by 1 foot, beating my club Leander in the Ladies Plate Event. I returned home exhausted but stimulated by the tremendous efforts put in by many rowers determined to beat the selected crews in their event, and there were some surprises.

My day was completed as I sipped my last glass of wine of the day and turned the television on to watch the Wimbledon highlights, and probably the finest game of tennis ever played! The Czech Republic’s Luka Rosol, ranked 100 in the world, beat the famous Rafael Nadal of Spain, the world number 2, in a game with all the excitement and passion you could ever expect from the sport. My faith in someone’s ability to win whatever the odds has been totally restored! Luka’s concentration, calmness, courage, fitness and technical ability was unbelievable! I shall never ever doubt either my own or anyone else’s chance to win at whatever level, in whatever competitive situation we may find ourselves, as demonstrated on Thursday on the green grass of Centre Court.

A smiling Luka Rosol after beating world number 2 Rafael Nadal

Let’s hope that there are many more such examples to come in the week’s ahead, as our Welsh representatives in the GB Olympics team take on the world’s best. Good luck to you all, make your nation proud, as Luka’s parents and supporters showed most visibly after his victory!

PS. I must also mention the brilliant efforts from Rhys Williams, who won gold in the hurdles at the European Athletics Championships, and golfer Jamie Donaldson, who after 255 attempts finally claimed his first tour title at Royal Portrush. Well done boys!

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A south Wales engineering company is using 21st Century technology, including air bags, to help preserve one of Egypt’s

Giant inflatable air bags are being used to make the 4,700 year old pyramid safe

most imposing landmarks, dating back to 2,700 BC.

The Pyramid of Djoser is Egypt’s oldest step-built pyramid. But it was at risk of collapse after an earthquake in 1992.

Newport specialist engineers Cintec, who have previously provided solutions to structural problems at landmarks such as the White House and Windsor Castle, were set the task of helping it last another 4,700 years.

The team has now completed phase one of the work at the site at Saqqara, south west of Cairo.

It involved using pressurised air-filled bags, in order to hold up the roof of the 60m high pyramid, while more permanent repairs are carried out.

However managing director of Cintec, Peter James, says this is just the first step in a project which has been complicated by the recent political upheaval in Egypt

Peter James, Cintec Engineering

We were all packed and ready to begin work in January, just when the Egyptian government began to fall,” said Mr James.

“We’ve had to sit on our hands for another four months before getting the go-ahead; all the while hearing stories of looting, and worrying about how much additional damage was going to be caused.”

“Fortunately, even though most of our computers and equipment were stolen, the pyramid itself wasn’t touched; which is just as well considering how unstable it was when we got in there.”

Mr James, who started his career as a buildings inspector for Cardiff Council, said, even with the amount of preparation they’d done, they still weren’t prepared for quite how badly damaged the supporting ceiling of the burial chamber really was.

“The earthquake had essentially shifted everything sideways, and an 8m section, in the shape of an inverted cup, had dropped out.”

“Until we got the scaffolding in place, we had no idea what was holding up the remaining 60m of stone.

“It was a lethal and massive game of Ker-Plunk; trying to hold everything up, without dislodging anything further.”

Inside the Step Pyramid

The air bag technology Cintec employed, was originally created by Mr James to aid in the safer disposal of IEDs in Afghanistan.

It works on the principal of surrounding an explosive with a bag, strong enough to withstand an explosion or collapse, but with such precise control over the pressure, that it only just kisses the surface of an object, without adding even greater forces to unstable materials.

However in the case of the Pyramid of Djoser, Mr James was forced to adapt his technology; substituting a water filling for compressed air.

“We’d originally planned to use our Water Wall system, but as soon as we got a good look at the chamber, it was clear that inflating the bags with water wasn’t going to work.”

Location map

The pyramid is at Saqqara, south of Cairo

The rocks in the ceiling were too jagged, and posed an unacceptable risk of deluging the 4,500-year old pyramid, which has been bone-dry since it was built.

“But also we hadn’t realised that there were secret tunnels running under the chamber’s floor, so I didn’t think it would be able to take the weight of water-filled supports.”

Knitted together

“So we used the delays to stress-test our system with a compressed air filling. We needed them to withstand 12 Kilonewtons per square inch, but they actually did better than we could possibly imagine, comfortably supporting 28!”

The step pyramid was built above the tomb of pharaoh Djoser, a warrior who reigned in the Old Kingdom in the third dynasty for 19 years. Mummified remains were excavated in the 1930s.

Eleven air pillars now hold up the pyramid’s roof, with another six, flatter, bespoke columns currently being manufactured to support the lower corners of the burial chamber.

Once stable, Mr James and his team will perform a permanent repair, threading the latest in thermo-dynamic steel rods diagonally through the steps of the pyramid, in such a way that the six levels will be knitted together without being visible.

The steel, which Cintec have previously used to improve the bomb-resistance of major landmark buildings around the world, is designed to expand and contract with the pyramid, under the extreme temperatures of the desert.

Their final task will be to reclaim as many of the fallen original rocks as possible, and re-point them with authentic 2,700 BC mortar.

“The really tricky parts are the visible bits of the pyramid.”

“Underneath the surface we’re able to use 21st Century technology to make it as strong as we know how to, but on the outside it needs to be 100% authentic.”

“That’s involved finding the strongest blend, by testing hundreds of combinations of mortar, all entirely made from components which would have been available to the ancient Egyptians.”

This article has been taken directly from BBC Wales News: 

For Further information on Cintec please contact Rob Petersen on or 02920549597





Aftermath of Italian Earthquake 2009

Cintec International has been appointed as the only British company to actively participate in the three-year collaborative European NIKER research project. The aim of the project is to protect the artistic value of cultural heritage sites from earthquake induced damage through the use of ‘stitching’ , the industry’s term for the reinforcement of structures.

Earthquakes can cause dramatic and devastating effects to both people and structures, not only in the Southern Hemisphere as the recent Christchurch, New Zealand disaster has proved but also in Europe.  The 2009 earthquake in Abruzzo, Italy is a prime example of how earthquake damage, whether involving casualties or cultural losses, is high in European historic centres.

With a budget of approximately 3.5million Euros, co-funded with 2.7million Euros by the European Commission, the NIKER project, which stands for “New Integrated Knowledge-Based Approaches to the Protection of Cultural Heritage from Eathquake-Induced Risk”, proposes to tackle the problem by developing new high-performance elements and by complementing and enhancing traditional materials with industrial processes. The process relies on both experimental and computational tools, databases and the know-how of partners involved in the project. Validation will be performed under specific, real life conditions.

As a structural engineering company with headquarters in Newport, South Wales, Cintec commercialises patented anchoring and reinforcement systems across the globe. The company has maintained structures including, Windsor Castle, the European Parliament Buildings in Athens, the pyramid of Djoser in Egypt and has recently won a three-year contract to strengthen the façade of the Confederation Building which overlooks St.John’s, in Newfoundland, Canada and in 2002 Cintec was awarded the Queen’s Award for strengthening masonry arched structures.  

With the support of the University of Bath, Cintec’s objective as part of the NIKER project will be to develop a new type of anchor in which a dissipative device and a sensoring system will be imbedded to create new improved systems for connections with early warning techniques that signal an earthquake.  Such anchors will allow a controlled and repairable movement of walls within the structure enabling it to resist seismic forces. The completion of the project will result in a set of guidelines for end-users, giving instructions on new integrated materials, technologies and tools for systematic improvement of seismic behaviour of cultural heritage assets. Sara Paganoni, a PhD research student in seismic engineering from Bath University, has been assigned to the programme by the NIKER project and works with Cintec in a research capacity helping to develop the new anchoring system.

Peter James, Managing Director of Cintec says:

‘We are extremely pleased to have been chosen to take part in the NIKER scheme. Much of our own work involves maintaining and protecting key historical and cultural sites and thus we are extremely pleased to be able to further develop our advanced anchoring systems in order to mitigate the often devastating effects of earthquakes. We look forward to working with Bath University and many other European organisations on this new and exciting project.’


For further information, please contact:

Rob Petersen: Managing Director, Petersens:

029 20549597

Notes to editors:

About Cintec

Cintec International is a globally recognized leader in engineering research and development. Merging creative thinking with solid engineering principles, Cintec International has solved thousands of client problems all over the world. For further information:

Cintec Anchoring System

The Cintec anchoring system offers a remarkably versatile, proven approach to internally strengthen masonry buildings and structures.

The system works by pre-drilling an oversized hole in the structure and inserting an anchor body surrounded by a fabric sock. A cementitious grout is injected through the middle of the anchor under low pressure. It passes through a series of grout flood holes into the fabric sock, inflating the entire assembly like a balloon. For further information:

Niker Project

The project tackles the problem of earthquake-impact on Cultural Heritage (CH) assets starting from basic consideration that efficient protection, with substantial guarantee of compatibility and low-intrusiveness, can only be achieved on the basis of the ‘minimum intervention’ approach. This requires that the potentials of existing materials and components are as much as possible exploited in terms of strength and energy dissipation, and that candidate interventions are validated and optimized under specific, real life conditions. For further information:


The Engineer, 24th March 2011 :

Past Horizons, 8th March 2011:

South Wales Argus, 15th March 2011:

Cintec International’s head office in Newport, South Wales, is pleased to announce winning a three-year contract to strengthen the façade of the Confederation Building which overlooks St.John’s, in Newfoundland, Canada. This follows a contract to help preserve the World’s first Pyramid known as the Step Pyramid in Egypt, which has intrigued interest across the globe.

Completed in 1960 at a cost of $9 million, the building houses all departments, boards and commissions of the Provincial Government of Newfoundland with over 1,200 personnel located in it.

The contract has been awarded to Cintec’s Canadian Division under the direction of Robert Lloyd-Rees Chief Operating Officer by The Limen Group based in Toronto, ON The Masonry Contactor. Robert says of the contract win; “We are thrilled to have been awarded this prestigious three-year contract after a competitive tender process. Worth more than $500,000, the work will help to strengthen and preserve one of Canada’s best known regional seats of Government “.

He concludes: “test anchors have already been installed to ensure that Cintec’s anchoring system is compatible with the structure of the building .The work will start once the weather improves.”

Peter James, Managing Director of Cintec, adds; “This new contract demonstrates, once again how versatile and sustainable our anchoring system is. Every project we undertake around the World has different requirements and we produce a tailor-made solution which satisfies our client’s specific needs. Robert and his team are to be congratulated on yet another very important contract.”




For further information, please contact:

Rob Petersen: Managing Director, Petersens:

Cerys Palmer: Senior PR Account Manager, Petersens:

+4402920 549597

Pyramid of Djoser (Step Pyramid)

A Newport-based structural engineering company has recently secured a contract to save the first pyramid ever built in Egypt.  Cintec has been enlisted by the High Council of Egyptian Antiquities to preserve the pyramid of Djoser, otherwise known as the Step Pyramid, which was built in the 27th century BC for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser by the mystical architect Inhoptep. A major earthquake in 1992 compounded the results of many other seismic events over the eons and has caused serious faults in this famous archeological structure. Partial collapse of the burial chamber ceiling as a direct result of the earthquake could ultimately lead the collapse of the pyramid’s central chamber if action is not imminently taken.

Cintec, a structural repair and reinforcement systems company with headquarters in Wales, has an extensive track record in preserving historical landmarks across the world.  The company has maintained structures including, the Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Iron Bridge Gorge and countless Castles and Churches in the UK in addition to The White House complex Washington DC and the Chicago Board of Trade Building in the USA, the Canadian Parliament Building, Thirteen historic mosques and buildings in Cairo, A pharonic temple Hibis in the Western Desert, and the Red Pyramid near Giza in Egypt, the European Parliament building in the centre of Athens, using its highly advanced and innovative engineering systems.   Such systems include stainless steel structural reinforcement anchors, which are surrounded with a special fabric sock and inserted into the body of the structure to be secured. The anchor is then inflated with a sympathetic micro grout designed for the purpose using a combination of pressure and vacuum to completely fill the assembly.

To support the partial collapse of the damaged ceiling, Cintec are using another technology it has developed, known as Waterwall.

Example of Air Bag

This recent development uses both Water and air technology, to mitigate the effects of improvised explosive devices in particular dirty bombs, provides anti-ram barriers and effective mobile barriers for instant relief from flooding.  Cintec’s team of experienced engineers will use a combination of these methods in order to temporarily secure the damaged ceiling while permanently repairing and protecting the Step Pyramid from further damage without altering the structure’s outer appearance. The overall value of the project is £16 million Egyptian Pounds.

Peter James, Managing Director of Cintec says:

‘We are extremely pleased to have been appointed for this project and are always looking for new methods to support and maintain historical landmarks across the globe.  We recognise the importance of both historical and religious structures to their culture’s and hope to continue to develop advanced reinforcement systems that will preserve archeological structures for future generations.  The Step Pyramid project is of particular importance to us as the entire structure could be destroyed at any point due to the damage on the ceiling and roof caused by the earthquake.  We aim to work as efficiently as possible on this project without comprising the design or strength of the structure.’

The reinforcement company is familiar with working under great pressure and was recently called upon by the Indian Government to strengthen the Mangi Bridge in Dehli before the beginning of the Commonwealth Games.  Not only did the Cintec team deliver ergonomically sound results, but they also managed to complete the project five days ahead of schedule.   Cintec is currently awaiting decisions on further projects throughout the UK, Europe and the rest of the world, amounting to over 10 million pounds.


Just some of our coverage:

BBC Wales News

ITV Wales News

The Daily Mail (online edition)

Wales Online

The Independent

The Independent 6th January 2011

For further information contact:

Rob Petersen, Managing Director

Petersens Ltd.


Becci Gould, Account Executive