POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa is an important power generation and distribution event, as it enables the entire spectrum of the power supply industry to convene in one place, from end-user and supplier to service provider, says industrial rope access provider Skyriders marketing manager Mike Zinn.
Scheduled to be held from July 17 to 19 at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Johannesburg, this yearly event brings together up to 3 000 key industry stakeholders from Africa and abroad for debate and analysis.
It also attracts a broad range of delegates, including regional electricity distribution companies, power producers, utilities, oil and gas companies, energy and engineering consultants, government and regulators, environmental agencies, development agencies and investors.
Zinn enthuses that bringing together these roleplayers is a unique facet of the event because, usually, in the power supply industry, the gatherings are small.
Skyriders intends to use the event as a platform to meet with clients, as it will also enable Skyriders to glean a sense of what trends and developments are unfolding in the power generation and distribution industries, and what the future holds for these.
The company is well established in the power generation and distribution industries, having served these since 2000, informs Zinn.
For power distribution, Skyriders assists in inspecting electricity pylons and other associated transmission infrastructure. For power generation, the company is also involved from a maintenance and inspection perspective.
Skyriders services companies in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Indonesia. Zinn indicates that the Madagascar and Indonesia power generation markets are “relatively stable”, which enables the company to secure work and undertake it easily in these regions.
However, securing work locally has been a challenge. “With many industries feeling the economic squeeze, there is often not an adequate budget, and the focus is centred on managing the most critical maintenance requirements, not leaving any scope for aspects such as preventative maintenance,” explains Zinn.
He notes that the challenges faced in operating in the power generation and distribution industries are twofold: firstly, finding the right people who have the skills sets to undertake the work required for power generation and at other sites; secondly, power generation and distribution industries are 24/7 operations that require personnel to be available at all times to assist and maintain infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Zinn mentions that Skyriders will soon start a new project in the power generation industry, for a large coal-fired power station, in Mpumalanga. The company will undertake nondestructive testing and maintenance, which are expected to take about one-and-a-half months.
He also notes that the company is providing new technologies for the power generation and distribution industries as part of its service offering. The company is using collision-tolerant drones for inspections across the industries it serves to assist in inspecting difficult to reach areas such as heights and/or confined spaces, and boiler burner areas on site in, for example, the power generation industry.