Country, region and language selection

International websites


Americas / Oceania

Africa and Middle East

Asia / Pacific

The KSB team in the Libyan desert

Sauerkraut in the desert

During their assignments around the world, KSB service engineers have shown a great deal of flexibility. Only when it comes to food are they unwilling to compromise – for example in Libya in 1980. 

In El-Sarir in south-east Libya, KSB pumps were to be used to transform an area of desert into fertile land. The service team had to install and commission 30 pumps in the Libyan wasteland 800 kilometres south of the Mediterranean port of Benghazi in the shortest possible time. The service engineers and their Libyan helpers lived in a hastily created camp, with facilities purchased such as a waste water and drinking water system, emergency power generators and a small petrol station. 

The catering and living area was equipped with air-conditioning units because daytime temperatures could rise to 50 degrees Celsius in the shade. The team lived in container rooms which each measured 10.5 square metres and accommodated two service engineers. A shower, toilet and sink installed between the accommodation units were shared between four service engineers. The kitchen measured 14 square metres, the shared dining and recreation area was about 34 square metres. 

A Frankenthal cook conjured up German-style dumplings in the desert

Not everyone was satisfied with the culinary skills of the Libyan chef. A member of the KSB team recalls that the men were very unhappy with what was served up by the native chef at meal times. The engineers complained and moaned so much “that the chef felt frustrated by the harsh criticism and fled”, reported the editor of the staff magazine. 

But they also didn’t want to just eat warmed up tinned food. They sent an SOS telegram to Wilhelm Herting, a chef who was renowned in Frankenthal. After a long journey, the 58-year-old chef arrived in Libya and took stock of their food supplies and what ingredients were available to order. Herting then set to work and conjured up German-style dumplings, rump steaks à la Lambsheim, schnitzel, liver dumplings with sauerkraut and marinated pot roasts with raisins. The 20 KSB engineers were in seventh heaven. Herting’s assignment in the Libyan desert lasted five weeks.