IWC export manager Eric Juncker tells Engineering News that petrochemical and power plants worldwide must refurbish their natural-draught cooling towers, but cannot afford to shut down a complete tower for maintenance. With isolation assemblies that have been designed, patented and manufactured by IWC, distribution pipes can now be isolated individually, while the cooling tower continues in operation. The scope of work undertaken by IWC at Sasol's Secunda site entails the installation of the assemblies to isolate the flow of water to a maximum of 10% of each tower area, the removal and replacement of existing PVC pipes as well as the removal and replacement of the fill material in the isolated area. GEA is responsible for the thermal design and supply of the new packing.
Juncker explains that IWC is a corporate member of the US-based Cooling Technology Institute (CTI) and that the company will be presenting its isolation-assembly procedure at the yearly CTI conference this month, along with its joint-venture partner.
IWC was founded in 1986 and became a black-empowered company in March last year.
The company provides cooling towers for power-generation plants, mines, petrochemical plants, sugar mills, steel mills, foundries, paper mills, food and beverage producers, the refrigeration industry and other applications. The company can accommodate requirements for both open and closed-circuit towers, manufactured from a whole range of materials.
Juncker points out that the all of the company’s products are 100% local, from material supply to final design and construction. The smaller units are manufactured at the company’s head office and factory in Kyalami, Johannesburg.
IWC invests significantly in research and development, and makes use of local and international facilities for the testing of newly-designed products, says Juncker.
“We have all the necessary equipment and expertise to undertake the thermal-performance evaluation of cooling towers in accordance with recognised international test standards,” he adds.
In addition to the 30-plus large mechanical draught cooling towers constructed over the last 15 years, IWC recently commissioned a 15-MW bulk air cooler for Gold Fields' Kloof gold-mine. The company has offices in Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth, and enjoys an increasing market share countrywide Juncker explains that, despite the strong rand, the company’s export sales have increased by as much as 10% yearly over the last three years. The company began exporting in the late 1980s – first to neighbouring countries and then to the rest of Southern and Central Africa.
It is now expanding its geographical sphere into West and North Africa, as well as other regions, including parts of Europe.
IWC’s management remains optimistic about future prospects in South Africa.