“Techint is in my blood”
Iskender travelled from Turkey to Argentina to work at the President Néstor Kirchner Gas Pipeline (GPNK, in Spanish) as the General Line Supervisor for Automatic Welding, a next-generation technology used for the first time in this country.
At the GPNK, everybody likes Iskender, an easy-going chap as well as an experienced professional who is passionate about his job. He confesses that, “Techint is in my blood.” His connection with the company goes back to 1978, when his father began working for Techint Engineering & Construction at the Shedgum-Yanbu gas pipeline in Saudi Arabia, one of the company’s major projects in the Middle East. Now, all these years later, Iskender is writing his own chapter with the company, thousands of kilometers from home in Latin America.
“When my father started working with Techint on the Shedgum-Yanbu pipeline, I was just one year old! He worked for all kinds of companies, but whenever he talked about his work, it was always Techint. As a small child, I had all these dreams about working with Techint—and 38 years later, they came true!” Iskender confesses.
As well as his dad, his brother and uncle also worked with the company. Iskender recalls an anecdote his father told him: “At the camp, my Dad was having all these headaches, and an Argentine doctor finally gave him some pills and an injection. Ten days later, the headaches were gone!” recalls Iskender.
Coming from far away
When Iskender’s boss at the BTC pipeline company told him they were about to accept a job for Techint, he was delighted. His first project was in Chile and later he went to Mexico. He arrived in Argentina in November 2022, along with another 44 Turks, to participate in the emblematic GPNK project which is making history for the country. He’s the General Line Supervisor for Automatic Welding, a next-generation technology being used for the first time here.
“When it was time to go to university, I said that I didn't want to study, I just wanted to go and work on the pipeline. To begin with, my Dad said no. But when I turned 20, I decided to stop everything I was doing and go and work on the pipeline anyway. My boss, Mr. Jihad, took me on and I started the job alongside his son, working on a pipeline in Turkey. After that, I went to India, Iran, Abu Dhabi, Kazakhstan and Russia,” he says.
Iskender loves travelling and the opportunity to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds. While in India, he was introduced to spicy food, and in Argentina, he was treated to an asado, meat barbecued on an open fire, which he finds super tasty. “Everybody working on the line invited me over, saying ‘Come round to my house, we’ll do an asado!’. They’re so friendly, they invited us to visit their houses, just like family. It’s wonderful!” he enthuses.
At a fast pace
After arriving in Argentina, Iskender and his team spent two weeks at the company’s Machine Park in General Pacheco, where they were trained alongside the other welders, before getting down to the tasks at the GPNK. “When we began work on the pipeline, we had a few problems with the material, because the automatic welding process is so fast. People at the GPNK thought I was crazy. I tried to do things the way I did in Mexico, to work fast and get high quality results—even though nobody thought it was possible—and we did it, about which we were immensely proud!” he concludes.