Today “Chamsa” produces all the different irrigation systems available on the market. The group has 9 factories: two pivot plants located in Le Mans (France) and Alcázar de San Juan (Spain), two drip irrigation plants located in Ciempozuelos (Madrid) and Alcázar de San Juan (Spain), a sprinkler plant in Ciempozuelos (Madrid), an aluminium smelting plant in Cobeña (Madrid), sprinkler plants in La Muela (Zaragoza) and two aluminium extrusion plants in Ciempozuelos (Madrid) and Arrúba; (Logroño) with five extrusion presses and a capacity for an annual production of 35,000 tonnes.
The Group’s history began in the city of Zamora in 1947 when Mr. Miguel Colino Luis began making motorised pump units driven by petrol and diesel, under the brand name “TH”; he then had a brick-making factory and entered the construction industry in 1960. By 1965, the sale of the motors used for driving irrigation systems had fallen due to a period of drought and Mr. Miguel entered the area of sprinkler irrigation sales by becoming the distributor for the company Humet Hidráulica SA from Santa Perpetua de la Moguda (Barcelona), whose owner, Mr. Jose Humet Creus, was the first Spanish manufacturer and a real pioneer in the development of irrigation systems.
When the founder’s son, Miguel Ángel Colino, joined the Company in 1970, a real expansion began in the field of sprinkler irrigation and other sectors.
Import-export companies were then set up and the Company began to build a strong presence in the automation, agricultural machinery, electric devices, agricultural and finance sectors, etc.
In 1973, the Company purchased Talleres Ibérica Metalodiesel, SA (Timsa), a Spanish manufacturer of irrigation systems and, with local partners, fifteen subsidiaries were set up in the main irrigation regions. In 1977, to strengthen its financial future, the Group acquired a significant stake in the bank “Nuevo Banco” and subsequently in “Banco de Levante”, where Miguel Ángel Colino was director and a member of the executive committee. The Group then had a workforce of almost 1,000 employees, spread over fifty different companies.
Since 1978 there has been a significant fall in the sale of irrigation systems, automobiles and other sectors. The Group had to restructure and downsize, realising assets to pay off the debt and the President, Mr. Miguel Colino Luis, retired on his 70th birthday.
In 1980, Miguel Ángel Colino became independent and, supported by his two main colleagues, Manuel Blanco and Jose María Fernandez, he founded the entity Grupo Chamartin, S.A.
The crisis in the irrigation sector had a major impact on all manufacturers, with Humet Hidráulica going into bankruptcy at that time, Ibérica de Riegos SA suspending payments and Riegos Hölz SA and other companies doing the same thing.
Grupo Chamartin SA, reflecting on all the events that had taken place, realised that the only solution for the future was to operate internationally and become involved with new products and new markets each year.
Therefore, given that the national sprinkler irrigation market was shrinking year by year, the group began to expand worldwide and at the same time it expanded in Spain by buying some plants that were in difficulty.
Between 1985 and 1995 it took control of Ibérica de Riegos, Tubibérica, Riegos Hölz, Riegos Wright and Aspersores Zaragoza. In 1994, Alueuropa was established, which is now the Group’s most important Company, as this is where all the aluminium tubes used in sprinkling are manufactured.
“The company was created following the closure of the factory that Inespal Extrusión had in Alicante. One of our companies was a major client of this factory, which was the exclusive manufacturer of a product that was vital for us. Following the closure, and with the aim of continuing the supply of this product, it was suggested that we could buy a press and the ageing furnace required for the production process, the company being divided up into 70% for ourselves and 30% for Inespal Extrusión. After 2 years, once the desired objective had been achieved, we bought out their stake”, explained Miguel Angel Colino, president of Grupo Chamartin S.A.
From 1986 onwards, exports represented more than 50% of turnover and, with the help of state aids, companies were set up in other countries, i.e. Chamsa France, Chamsa Rega do Brasil, CIA Hispanoamericana de Riego, Riegos Portugal. A stake was acquired in the English company Wright Rain and a polyethylene pipe factory was created with the French firm Méridionale des Plastiques SAS. Between the years 1990 and 1998, with the participation of the Brazilian subsidiary, in collaboration with the state Company “Codevasf” and the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, the company installed more than 50,000 hectares of sprinkler irrigation equipment in the North-east of the country.
“These have been the most significant sprinkler irrigation projects up to now and led to the creation and start-up of our own aluminium extrusion company”, commented Miguel Angel Colino.
Since the years 2000 and 2002, the Group has signed several important supply contracts for sprinkler irrigation materials destined for Iraq., via a company manufacturing pumping units for the Egyptian army. During this period, more than 700 containers and over 1 million aluminium pipes were supplied.
The Group purchased the French pivot manufacturer “2IE International” in 2004 and the irrigation division of the Uralita Group (“Ura-Riego”) in 2005.
The purchase of “Ura-Riego” enabled the Group to gain a market entry for the manufacture of the famous “Pathfinder” drip tapes, the “Uragota” tubes and the “Urapivot” pivot, with the stake in “2IE International” allowing them to have two pivot ranges and a real presence in the French market.
Some of these acquisitions enabled the Group to move into other irrigation sectors since sprinkler irrigation product sales were falling more and more each year in many countries.
On the other hand, the purchase of the “Riegos Wright” assets allowed the Group to become involved in the drip irrigation sector as an exclusive importer in Spain for the Greek firm Eurodrip.
These acquisitions meant that the Company was able to diversify into a wide range of products and markets, to such an extent that by 2016 drip irrigation already represented 25% of sales, traditional sprinkler irrigation 30%, the two pivot plants 30% and other products accounting for the remaining 15%.
There are now 500 people employed by the whole organisation, with 300 working in the aluminium sector, 150 employed in the irrigation division and 50 people in the remaining activities. The consolidated annual turnover is 150 million euros. The year 2006 saw the third generation becoming involved in the business, which is giving a strong impetus to the expansion and renovation of the human resources department.