Dust-suppression solutions provider 88Chemco is saving clients costs in the mining, oil and gas, and plantation industries with its chemical technologies and engineering methods, including fine-particle engineering, which was launched in July last year, says 88Chemco CEO Sebastian Karsas.
He adds that 88Chemco has concluded business studies to quantify its clients’ cost savings in terms of water, fuel and wear and tear on road-haul vehicles.
“One of our mining clients used to use about eight water-cartloads a day in their dust- prevention processes. However, their watering frequency was reduced to two water cartloads a day when they started using our fine-particle engineering solution,” reveals Karsas.
He tells Engineering News that 88Chemco not only supplies a dust-suppression agent but also offers packaged solutions, including road-performance engineering, evaluation, performance management and monitoring hardware.
Karsas explains that fine-particle engineering uses chemical, mechanical, civil and mining engineering technologies to create solutions for total dust and fine-particle management to provide a variety of services, including dust suppression for haul roads, stockpiles, tailings and train veneering, road stabilisation and erosion control.
“Rather than having to contract different companies to provide some of the services, which increases costs for the client, we offer a full range of solutions, scaling our fixed costs and, ultimately, saving clients money.”
Karsas adds that, unlike many of its competitors, which only supply products or only provide engineering design or environmental monitoring services, 88Chemco realises the value of supplying products, such as dust suppression agents, with packaged solutions, including evaluation and performance management services and the monitoring hardware to supplement its offering.
“The fact that we are a fine-particle engineering company means we do it all. We supply products and provide engineering designs – all of which goes hand in hand.”
Karsas tells Engineering News that the implementation of smart technology has benefited 88Chemco and its clients.
“It means that the data cannot be manipulated, as everything is done automatically,” he says, adding that smart technology also enables 88Chemco to understand objectively what is happening on site, regardless of whether anyone is physically on site managing the programme.
The company’s approach to dust control includes continual research and development to develop new technologies and evolve existing technologies for increased performance and cost reductions, Karsas says.
“We believe that dust control should be cost effective, which is why we associate ourselves with reputable international partners, such as chemicals company BASF, with our products developed and manufactured at their ISO-accredited facilities.”
Karsas believes that South Africa is a leader in global dust-suppression technologies and that the market proves this, as many of the company’s products and services enquiries come from overseas clients.
He adds that the company’s approach to doing business is defined by its experience in the marketplace. “We match the appropriate chemistry for each project to ensure that the solution fits not only performance parameters but also economic parameters.”
He says the company is not biased towards any particular product, as it supplies most of the products currently used in the dust control sector.
“We supply almost all the different dust suppressants globally because of our partnership with BASF, which gives our products the required stamp of quality. We focus on what is required and on the associated economics.
“In addition to selecting the appropriate chemistry, we also lower our margins and increase our dosage rate, providing as much product as possible to maintain a performance and economic edge.”
Karsas adds that the company has received some positive feedback, especially in terms of clients’ appreciation of how 88Chemco’s products and services have helped them save water in their operations, which he believes is encouraging.