Specialist valve, overpressure, combustion, pipeline and product storage equipment supplier Heaton Valves Africa (HVA) is gearing up for petrochemicals giant Sasol’s major plant maintenance shutdown, planned for September next year in Secunda, Mpumalanga, which will also affect Sasol’s Sasolburg operation.
“This shutdown is planned for only every eight years and gives many suppliers the opportunity to do maintenance and replacements,” says HVA divisional manager for engineered products Clinton Parsons.
He adds that HVA will provide the expertise and product supply, which entails approved products that adhere to Sasol’s specifications and codes.
Parsons points out that the biggest challenge in supplying the synfuels industry is adhering to the strict specifications that petrochemicals companies stipulate and suppliers such as HVA often compete with unapproved manufacturers that offer cheaper, but subpar goods.
HVA’s petrochemicals division offers a large stockholding and has exclusive international distribution partner capabilities with leading valve brands such as Velan, Langley, OMB and HV for application program interface-designed gate, globe, check and ball valves.
Various carbon, stainless and alloy steel materials, with a variety of trim and end connection options are also available for various pressure classes, piping sizes and service conditions.
The company has a diverse range of services, including the sizing and selection of flow control solutions, steam system audits, optimisation and design, safety systems design, safety valve service, calibration and reconditioning, pressure testing, certification sourcing, specialist valve sourcing, logistics and project management.
HVA was signed the new distributing agent for pipeline equipment manufacturer TD Williamson (TDW), based in Oklahoma, in the US, in August. Parsons tells Engineering News that the process took about a year to finalise.
“It was a logical step for us to apply to be the distributing agent for TDW, since the company is symbiotic with what we do.”
He adds that HVA saw a gap in the market for TDW’s pipe repair service offering, owing to the abundance of old pipelines in South Africa that need to be repaired.
TDW offers a specialised process called hot tapping, which is the preferred method for maintenance, repairs or modification work on a pipeline. It requires making safe entry into a live, pressurised line, enabling pipeline owners and operators to isolate and bypass sections of a pipeline to complete projects without shutting the system down or losing product.
“All TDW equipment and products can be paired with the company’s hot tapping services, from installing corrosion monitoring systems to executing pipeline relocations,” explains Parsons.
He says that being a local distributing agent for TDW will benefit companies in the synfuels industry that would otherwise have needed to import TDW products, as this allows for less dollar capital spend and black economic-empowerment points for using local suppliers.
Additionally, HVA will offer a supplementary stockholding of products, whereas companies would otherwise have to stock TDW products themselves.
“In an emergency, companies cannot wait until the right equipment arrives from overseas to repair a ruptured pipeline,” says Parsons.
Three of HVA’s technical staff mem- bers will undergo formalised training at TDW’s office in Belgium, Europe, to increase their knowledge of the company’s product range and specialist pipe repair services.