Leading petrochemical and valve specialists Heaton Valves Africa (HVA), who has had the privilege of aligning themselves with top-end international and local industry brands, was recently involved with the management, product supply and replacement of the only coker valve plant in operation in South Africa.
Sasol initially approached Heaton Valves Africa in May 2010 for the manufacture and supply of a new coker ball valve - which consists of four ports and a diverging function - to replace the existing valve since the commissioning of the coker plant 17 years ago.
"Sasol's existing valve is still operational and within specification, but is reaching the end of its life span. Even though spare replacements are done on the valve during shut downs, more spares get used than they should during these shut downs, and we know that shut downs are occurring more frequently too," says Clinton Parsons, Engineered Products divisional manager of HVA. He says that the second valve is planned to be kept on site as a spare to assist in limiting plant shut down periods at Secunda.
HVA pride themselves on supplying only the very best quality and safety-approved products. On receipt of the coker ball order from Sasol, the coker ball valve underwent various processes to ensure the valve was 100% suitable for the plant. Now delivered, HVA will further assist Sasol when Sasol Secunda finds the appropriate time to shut down the plant.
HVA, in collaboration with engineering manufacturer Rotork, will oversee the installation, commissioning and actuation of the valve. Managing director of Heaton Valves Africa, Grant Harris stated that HVA is the only official agent in South Africa for Velan Valves, who manufactures the coker valves required by Sasol in Montreal, Canada. "Moreover, we will continuously be involved in the maintenance of the valve. Our fully-fledged supply service to Sasol, Sastech and their associated EPC's on specialised maintenance and project applications, means HVA offers specifically developed and managed services for Sasol's various engineering departments on valve and plant solutions."
Support in various areas
Harris added that HVA supports and maintains Sasol in high performance manual and automated triple eccentric valves, steam and energy, pressure relief, tank protection, flame arresting and combustion engineering arenas and supply engineered products of the highest quality to all Sasol plants and business units.
"We are proud in the fact that Sasol values our industry knowledge and management thereof. Our product specialists and international principals assist Sasol and its partner contractors in product selection and we aim to assist Sasol in keeping abreast of international trends and standards. Our involvement on the Sasol Secunda coker valve project is a primary example of such support and expertise."
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