In the past, unscheduled shutdowns affected South Africa’s liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), but this year, local production is steady, says LPG supplier Easigas.
Easigas commercial technical manager Dave de Wit points out that supply should improve, considering the development of terminal facilities such as the Saldanha LPG import terminal, in the Western Cape, and Easigas’s Port Elizabeth terminal.
“In our opinion, LPG demand is growing, particularly in the residential sector. With electricity prices increasing, more people will revert to using alternative sources for electricity generation such LPG.”
The lack of greenfield projects and irregular local gas supply, owing to it needing to be imported constantly, further contributes to the delay in supply.
Meanwhile, Easigas started implementing a value-adding initiative in March, which entails offering energy optimisation and consultation services for customers using the company’s LPG in their industrial applications.
De Wit says this service is especially beneficial for smaller companies that do not have their own energy departments to fulfil plant optimisation services.
“We are already assisting existing customers with their efforts to conserve energy and achieve cost savings. Those who sign up for new business will also benefit from the inclusion of this service.”
He adds that the service is supported by Easigas’s vast pool of knowledge and expertise pertaining to the use of LPG.
“Because Easigas has the capability and experience to evaluate a customer’s gas equipment, we can also assist in optimising their energy use,” De Wit points out.
The company’s plant optimisation service includes advice on equipment. Burner efficiency, for example, is dependent entirely on how the burner system controls the air/gas mixture. Easigas can advise on equipment suitable to manage this, in order to allow the burner to operate at high levels of efficiency at all times.
“At times, burner systems are neglected and over time the combustion system becomes less efficient and, therefore, more expensive to operate. The Easigas team would then carry out an inspection and assist the customer in restoring the boiler to full efficiency,” De Wit concludes.