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Local experts serve niche in pressurized equipment

South Africa’s oil, gas and petrochemical market is based on stringent global standards, and Efficient Engineering’s pressurised equipment division has shown it is up to the mark in consistently meeting these demands.

It has been little more than a decade since the division was launched, but the company has already established a customer base that has become accustomed to the highest level of quality and certification. According to Gerhard van Zyl, Business Unit Manager of the pressurised equipment division at Efficient Engineering, the company’s success is based on its imbedded experience, its specialised infrastructure, skilled artisans and its certification and compliance with global standards.

“From preliminary design through to fabrication and delivery, our customers are confident in our ability – having experienced our commitment to service levels for many years now,” says van Zyl. “

Technical requirements

He highlights that the oil and gas industry adheres to the strictest technical requirements, so the company has always positioned itself in line with the highest standards and protocols. This is supported by its fully integrated ISO 9001 quality certification and ISO 45001 occupational health and safety management system.

“In fact, customers in our sector will often also conduct detailed audits on our capability before trusting us with any of their contracts,” he says. “Our progress to date is therefore built on earning their trust, through our compliance and, consistent delivery of quality while providing cost effective results.”

Among the demands on the technical side are that fabrication must be guided by a full engineering package including quality plans, welding procedures and detailed equipment performance and testing specifications. Van Zyl says customers are also aware that the company has its own certified professional engineer with international accreditation to ECSA standards who signs off on its designs before these progress to a SANAS-approved inspection authority.

Quality and safety

“We have the infrastructure to conduct almost all tasks in-house and can therefore control quality and lead times very closely,” he says. “We also source the materials – which are often specialised to suit specific applications – from trusted local and overseas vendors.”

In the pressurised equipment segment, welding skills and compliance are vital to ensuring quality and safety, he emphasises. Efficient Engineering also has internationally qualified welding engineers, recognised by the Southern African Institute of Welding, who conduct the prerequisite in-process welding inspections during fabrication.

The market’s trust in the pressurised equipment division can be demonstrated through the completion of a number of impressive projects. In one of the leading examples of this, the company locally produced the largest liquid petroleum gas (LPG) storage ‘bullets’ yet to be fabricated in the southern hemisphere. These measured 70 metres long and six metres in diameter, weighing 580 tonnes each. Five were produced for a gas storage facility on South Africa’s west coast.

“The division is also involved in maintenance and replacement of plant and equipment during shutdowns, where our capabilities have created a real niche for us,” says van Zyl. “Customers really appreciate the pride that we have in our work, our attention to detail and our ability to work in line with their extremely demanding shutdown schedules.”

Its well-equipped Germiston premises includes column and boom welders that can operate up to six metres high and with a six metre reach and automatic state-of-the-art orbital tube-to-tube sheet welding equipment, as well as non-destructive hydraulic testing and coating applications in its dedicated, environmentally friendly grit blasting and painting facilities.

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