Company receives certification, improves product quality

26th June 2020 By: Mc'Kyla Nortje - Journalist

Piping manufacturer Rare Plastics has received SANS 4437.2 certification – which is a duplication of ISO 4437.2 – for the manufacture of high density polyethylene (HDPE) gas pipe in May this year.

The company is the only South African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association member to hold this accreditation. Rare Plastics manufactures and distributes HDPE pipe, fittings and steel backing rings from its factory in Meyerton, Gauteng.

“Rare Plastics believes in setting the benchmark for quality in the industry, so achieving this certification ensures that we continue to strive for perfection,” says Rare Plastics MD Ashin Tasdhary.

This certification also enables the company to assure clients that they are buying a certified quality product, he adds.

Moreover, Tasdhary mentions that the market is easily duped into accepting inferior quality and/or noncertified products.

This can have far-reaching consequences for a contractor or client, especially in terms of conveying gas through a pipeline, because a failure on the pipeline could easily result in the loss of lives.

Meanwhile, the company is supplying more than 60 km of gas pipes, ranging in diameter from 90 mm to 355 mm, to natural gas producer Tetra 4’s Virginia Gas project. Tetra 4 is a subsidiary of natural gas developer Renergen.

He adds that the contract was awarded to Rare Plastics in November last year. “Initially it was anticipated to complete deliveries by the end of August – but owing to the lockdown in the country – this date will be moved out, with the completion date yet to been finalised.”

The project comprises exploration and production rights of 187 000 ha of gasfields across Welkom, Virginia and Theunissen, in the Free State.

The source of the project’s natural gas is primarily microbial. It originates from deep within the Witwatersrand supergroup, through groundwater circulating through large faults and contacting bacteria deep within the earth’s crust. This means the methane is a biogenic and a continuing renewable resource.

The natural gas contains one of the richest helium concentrations recorded globally. The natural gas is also very pure, containing, on average, more than 90% methane, and almost zero higher alkanes, which, in turn, reduces the complexity of liquefication.

Meanwhile, Tasdhary notes that this project has proven to be a learning curve for all parties in terms of understanding and agreeing to the standards, requirements and delivery of services. Nevertheless, he says cooperation among the parties – including independent third-party inspectors, consulting and project management engineers, as well as Rare Plastics – has been good.

Tasdhary points out that, as a consultant, contractor and/or end-user, it is important to choose a reputable and trustworthy supply partner to ensure that the quality of product required is received.

“Unfortunately, our industry has a tainted history, and there are many claims of pipes that have ‘been certified’ or ‘manufactured in accordance with’ – these are merely smokescreens. Insist on the manufacturer providing you with a South African Technical Auditing Service Certificate or a South African Bureau of Standards Certificate verifying their accreditation,” he concludes.