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Opportunity Issue 99

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Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors and looks to provide its readers with first-hand knowledge about South African business. Opportunity also looks to present South African business to international markets that may have interests in investing in South Africa. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).


ENGINEERING Steinmüller Africa seizes maintenance and repair opportunities in power sector High-pressure heaters are vital to power generation. Many utility power plants are approaching the end of their design life, with engineers conducting lifeextension studies for boilers and related auxiliary equipment. Redesigning components and equipment to replace those which have reached the end of their useful life is becoming increasingly common. This is one of the many areas of expertise offered by Steinmüller Africa, a leading engineering, manufacturing, construction and maintenance service provider. Steinmüller Africa process engineer Keyur Patel says that heat exchangers, which form part of the auxiliary equipment that heats the feed water entering the boiler, are vital components that need to be maintained to ensure optimal functioning of the power station. “If the temperature of the feed water going into the boiler is lower than the design condition, the overall efficiency of the plant will decrease.” It is desirable to maintain the performance of high-pressure (HP) heaters and replace them when required to not only improve cycle efficiency but also prevent abnormal operating conditions for the boiler and thermal shock in the boiler. Patel notes that the company started the HP heater design development process in 2009. The ongoing development initiative entailed training a team which comprises six technical specialists – two engineers each from the process and mechanical departments and two 3D draughtsmen from the drafting department. The focus of development for the technical team was on specifying outcome requirements for the HP heaters, listing and familiarising themselves with the design codes to be used, generating process-flow diagrams, allocating responsibilities to team members and closing information divides between departments. The development initiative also included a long-term skillstransfer programme from an experienced German engineer, who was previously involved in the design of the majority of the HP heaters currently in operation at 10 local power stations. Patel comments that an important aspect was to ensure that the design complemented Steinmüller Africa’s internal manufacturing capabilities without excessive additional capital expenditure. The company, which is involved in the manufacture and maintenance of utility-scale pulverised coal steam generators, now offers turnkey solutions for header-type, tube sheet-type, shell and tube heat exchangers. Steinmüller Africa is also experienced in modelling dynamic heat and mass transfer, component sizing, mechanical design and vessel manufacturing. Based on the company’s current capabilities and its level of power sector exposure, it is a natural fit to provide the design, manufacturing and supply of the complete range of HP heaters and also low-pressure heaters in future. Steinmüller Africa recently supplied five HP heaters of the tube sheet-type to Arnot Power station in Mpumalanga. The company is also looking forward to receiving new work from the renewableenergy sector, especially concentrated solar plants (CSP). The CSP plants use the HP heat exchangers extensively to transfer the heat between the molten salt and the steam plant.

WE MAKE STEAM Steinmüller Africa (Pty) Ltd. is one of the enterprises in Bilfinger Power Africa (Pty) Ltd., the South African subsidiary of German based Bilfinger SE. For years, we have been adding value to the power, mining, paper pulping and broader industry through comprehensive valve supply, valve maintenance and heat treatment solutions. WORK Engineering design services Boiler pressure parts Commissioning, field and testing services Bellows Headers Induction bending of HP/HT piping Heat treatment (workshop and in situ) HP Heaters Piping technology Pipe supports Plant erection services Explosive welding

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