Valves stockist and distribu- tor Heaton Valves Africa in August supplied two 24" class 300 Langley gate valves to petrochemicals company Sasol’s Secunda-based synfuels operation in Mpumalanga, says Heaton commercial executive Grant du Plessis.
He tells Engineering News that the valves were required for Sasol’s oxygen tie-in project, which will use a 5 000 t/d air separation train to supply oxygen and nitrogen to Sasol’s proprietary synthetic fuels and chemicals manufacturing process.
The gate valves will be used to isolate oxygen along the line.
The valves, manufactured by UK-based valves manufacturer YPS Valves, are part of YPS’s range of special service valves.
Du Plessis explains that YPS came from the UK in March to engage with Sasol during the design process of the valves, based on Sasol’s specifications. The valves were required to operate under 40 bar pressure at 130 °C in the presence of 99.5% oxygen, which necessitated features such as the valves’ Monel trim.
Monel is a nickel-copper alloy with high-tensile strength and resistance to corrosion, and this is one of the specifications for the valve trim which is quite rare, explains Du Plessis.
He notes that one of the strengths of the Langley range is Langley valves’ ability to fast-track manufacturing lead times. Du Plessis adds that this was one of the reasons Sasol procured these valves.
Meanwhile, Du Plessis tells Engineering News that Heaton undertook a similar project in June last year, when it supplied Langley cryogenic valves as part of a project to upgrade Sasol’s oxygen trains in Secunda.
Du Plessis notes that separate contractors installed the valves for each project, though both projects required the valves to undergo nondestructive examinations at YPS’s manufacturing facility in Korea, where YPS can conduct low- temperature cryogenic testing.
In addition to the plant in Korea, YPS has two other manufacturing facilities in the UK and China.
Heaton is the sole supplier of the Langley range of valves to the Southern African market. Langley products comprise mostly gate, globe and check valves made of stainless and nickel alloy steels.
In addition, the Langley range includes zero-emission bellows-sealed valves.
The valve sizes mostly range between 2" and 42", while their pressure classes range between 150 lb and 4 500 lb.
Du Plessis tells Engineering News that the Langley range is mostly sold to the oil and gas industry, including Sasol, where the valves are suited to the demanding applications.
Du Plessis adds that one of the significant challenges in the valves industry is end-users’ vary- ing specifications. He concludes that, despite Heaton being a stockist and supplier, owing to its extensive product range and industry knowledge, the company is able to develop specialised flow solutions according to the needs of its customers.