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M&D acquires specialist bulk tankage contractor Efficient TROTECH

21st April 2023


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M&D Construction Group has acquired 100% of Efficient TROTECH, the country’s leading supplier of bulk tank design, procurement and construction services to the petrochemical and energy industries.   

Established in 1993, Efficient TROTECH is the only recognised, local bulk tank builder in the country, boasting its own engineering, draughting, quality control and inspection capabilities, together with hydraulic jacking and boilermaking resources. These capabilities are harnessed to construct new, as well as repair and rebuild existing tanks that will conform to API 650, API 653, API 620 and EN 14015 standards. 

With this acquisition and its existing civil, mechanical and pipeline infrastructure capabilities, M&D is strategically positioned to play a key role in the development and construction of facilities that are needed to store the significant quantities of clean fuel that will be imported into the country in the foreseeable future. Only a small number of refineries will be able to comply with the new CF2 regulations that stipulate that sulphur levels in petrol and diesel must remain below 10 ppm. These new regulations, which were initially planned to come into effect in 2017, have been delayed several times with the latest extension to 2027.

Newly branded TROTECH will continue to operate as a stand-alone company and will be supported by the M&D Group to drive efficiencies and deliver better value to its clients. Ralph Wilson will continue to lead the company as MD. Wilson has more than 40 years of experience in bulk tank construction. He helped TROTECH to develop its bulk tank design, procurement, and construction capabilities and to grow its presence in the petrochemical and energy industry. 

The company’s extensive skills and experience are currently being harnessed by the majority of the oil majors and tank terminal operators in the country. 

TROTECH’s competitive edge remains its ability to self-perform, maximise efficiency and ensure reliability on all of its projects, irrespective of their size, duration and complexity. 

The use of automated welding equipment improves quality, bolsters productivity and reduces costs. 

TROTECH has also developed a significantly safer method of constructing storage tanks. TROTECH is the only company in South Africa to reverse build tanks. The tanks are built at ground level and then jacked to their final height one strake at a time after the various components have undergone intense quality inspection and control. Apart from being a much safer way to build tanks, it also significantly reduces the amount of scaffold required inside and outside the tanks, while also freeing up valuable space in the built-up areas where these projects are usually undertaken.

The company deploys Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL) scanning for the non-destructive examination of tank floors. MFL uses a magnetic field to detect corrosion and pitting in carbon steel. The biggest benefit of the technology is that it enables the location and estimation of defects over large areas in a quick and efficient manner. Scans only have to be undertaken on one side of the material and the technology, with TROTECH’s expertise, requires minimal set-up time.

Wilson credits most of the success of the company to strong design and construction teams consisting of loyal and dedicated people, a number of whom have been with the company for many years. 

In addition, the company continues to attract the best skills to bolster its ranks. TROTECH is particularly pleased with the recent appointment of Lukas Brink as Operations Manager. The registered Professional Engineer brings extensive experience in both the design and construction project management of refineries. Brink has a deep knowledge of the maintenance of pipelines, including pigging, defect assessment and rehabilitation.

M&D Group CEO Rukesh Raghubir says that TROTECH’s expertise enhances M&D’s cutting-edge multi-disciplinary construction services, and allows it to expand its offering to existing clients, while attracting new customers.

“TROTECH is a strategic fit, complementing the services offered by the various M&D divisions. The company has similar core values to M&D, which include ‘being safe’, ‘doing it right’, ‘finding the best way’ and ‘doing what we say’. Notably, TROTECH also comprises a team of loyal employees who have contributed to the company’s continued success over the years. Now part of the M&D Group, TROTECH is set to embark on its next growth trajectory. The M&D and TROTECH association will enhance both companies’ capabilities and will offer the petrochemical and energy industry a single point of contact for world-class multidisciplinary construction services. This contracting strategy will make our clients’ life easier by removing all interface risks between different disciplines of work when building a tank farm,” Raghubir says. 

The importation of clean fuels will require considerable port docking infrastructure and pipeline networks, both of which can be provided by M&D together with its marine subsidiary, M&DPLC Marine Africa, which it jointly owns with PLC Contracting LLC of Dubai, which has 25 years’ experience in marine construction. 

To better facilitate the use of resources and to enable rapid response to client enquiries, TROTECH, M&DPLC Marine Africa and an M&D team are housed in one office at the APEX Building in Century City, in Cape Town. 

“M&D is well positioned to continue growing its presence in the petrochemical and energy infrastructure market. This includes new areas of focus, such as the storage and delivery of liquid-natural gas and hydrogen as countries diversify their energy mix to greener technologies. At the same time, the interest shown in liquid petroleum gas as a means of reducing energy poverty and improving the health and safety of South Africans bodes well for the group. We are very excited by the potential that M&D’s increased capacity has to offer,” Raghubir concludes.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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