Innovating since 1933
SOCEA traces its history back to 1933, when its pipe factory was built in Oelegem (Belgium). The site has been the heart of the company ever since, making innovation, research and development its top priority.
The French group Pont-à-Mousson (now Saint-Gobain) establishes the Société Anversoise de Fabrications Industrielles (SAFI). In Oelegem, 20 km east of the Belgian harbour city of Antwerp and along the Albert Canal, a manufacturing plant is built to produce steel core concrete pipes. These pipes are the very best in leak and vapour-proof high-pressure water pipes.
The plant is destroyed during World War II but subsequently rebuilt.
The plant is shut down temporarily because of a dramatic decrease in the demand for steel core concrete pipes. However, the installations continue to be maintained to enable a rapid restart when demand resumes.
The plant resumes its activities under the name SOCEA. It wants to tender for the 1050 mm diameter steel core concrete pipes required for the Elst-Espinette water supply around Ghent. One year later, production is diversified to include reinforced concrete jacking pipes and other products. From now on, SOCEA promotes itself as a leading supplier of integrated solutions for pressure conduits. The company invests heavily in research & development for new production techniques.
SOCEA starts producing reinforced concrete pipes, jacking pipes and steel core concrete pipes with large diameters (more than 2500 mm). In the late 1970s, SOCEA supplies steel core concrete pipes for the cooling water circuits at the Doel and Tihange nuclear power stations. Production is further diversified to include gravity drainage pipes and prefab tramways.
SOCEA is taken over by Denys but continues to operate independently, supplying most of the leading contractors in the European market.
Following a management buy-out, SOCEA becomes an independent company within the group Denys Global. It ranks among the top players in Europe when it comes to large diameter pipes. R&D remains a top priority and enables the development of innovative ideas and project-specific solutions.