PMPS READY TO PARTNER SHALE GAS INDUSTRY ahead of fracking in the Karoo 24 As South Africa seeks to replace its dwindling offshore gas reserves, plans to kick off shale gas exploration in the Karoo basin are at an advanced stage. Ahead of such a possible mammoth project, PMPS, a packaged metering and pumping solution provider in South Africa, is well positioned to partner an industry where optimal reagent usage is of utmost significance. The South African government may reportedly award its first licences for shale gas exploration in the Karoo region in the near future. As South Africa seeks to stake a claim in the global shale gas market, exploration will ascertain the size of the reserves, already believed to be among the top five largest globally. As mammoth as it sounds, and despite the possibility of the project creating up to 700 000 new jobs, environmental objections and the requirements for ecological responsibility are still issues to contend with before fracking in the Karoo can become a reality. Having been in the reagent dosing field for more than six years, where it has established itself as a provider of durable equipment, complemented by solid and reliable backup service across some of the most demanding applications, including mining, petrochemical and agriculture, Packaged Metering & Pumping Solutions (PMPS), is more than ready to partner the gas industry. “Our strategy is to be the leader and reliable partner to the gas industry to ensure that reagents used in the fracking process are optimally dosed, installations are secure and spill-free, and above all to provide reliable installations with minimal downtime,” says David O’Neill, Technical Director at PMPS. Minimising environmental burden and downtime During the fracking process, water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure to allow the gas to flow out to the head of the wall. This is where some of the concerns around fracking emanate, with opponents of hydraulic fracturing arguing that environmental impacts include risks of ground and surface water contamination. Under its ‘Optimum Chemical Usage, these are some of the concerns PMPS will be able to address to help the shale gas industry minimise its environmental burden. “When we say ‘Optimum Chemical Usage’ we mean industry minimum,” explains O’Neill. “This is done by ensuring accurate dosing and continual remote monitoring. Not only does this reduce the environmental impacts, but is also a critical component in the life-cost analysis of chemical injection.” O’Neill argues that it is also a misconception that underutilisation of chemicals in the fracking process is desirable, as it will have less negative impact. “Not so,” he says. “For example, a simple chemical, such as anti-scalents, if under-applied or interrupted due to excessive equipment downtime, the pipes would start to scale up, resulting in reduced bore, and the requirement for higher pressures to move the product,” explains O’Neill, adding that ultimately, this means lower efficiencies and higher energy requirements. Once the pipes are scaled to certain levels the requirement for acid washing or similar processes to de-scale the pipes are required, ultimately increasing the chemical effect on the environment. Another cause of downtime is interrupted power supply, especially to the remote regions where this type of equipment is commonly installed. To counter any possible downtime, PMPS offers fullypackaged solar-powered dosing systems, which provide the company with a unique advantage in this industry. Key partnerships To achieve its stated ‘Optimum Reagent Usage’ strategy, PMPS has entered into some strategic partnerships with some of the leading players in the industry. “We have signed an exclusive agency agreement with Solar Injection Australia (SiA), a leading manufacturer of high pressure dosing pumps specific to the industry,” says O’Neill. SiA’s range of products is a great complement to PMPS’s existing, industry-known brands, namely: OBL Metering pumps (API675), Novarotors Progressive cavity pumps and Greenpumps’ magnetically coupled centrifugal pumps. Meanwhile, PMPS’s partnership with SiA enables the company to apply its strategy moving forward, according to O’Neill. The SiA injection pumps provide: Low downtime due to correct selection and minimal maintenance: Maintenance intervals are especially important during production when faced with many wells spread over large gas fields, as is often the case with unconventional production. In many instances, well-heads are located on third-party private land and therefore site visits become a key negotiating point. There are a number of ways to influence maintenance intervals, including selecting the correct gear-motors for the application; the use of life-time lubrication in the gearboxes; selecting the correct seal material for the chemical being injected; using 316 stainless steel in all wetted areas leak detection devices; and the ability to communicate remotely with equipment in the field. Choosing a chemical injection pump that can deliver on these makes good economic sense. System with solar Panels BEnergy Duplex Pump Optimal Control: Flow meters provide a closed-loop control, ensuring injection exactly matches the amount of chemical set and therefore are the most accurate way to control dosing. Ensuring the chemical injection pump can cycle at relatively slow speeds of around 60 cycles per minute. Quality: SiA Pumps combine quality manufacture with unique design features such as Dual-Seal technology, which reduces leaks and prolongs seal life to maximise reliability in the field and push out service intervals. The use of a reciprocating single acting positive displacement chemical liquid ends with 1” of stroke provides more accurate dosing control, as does the in-built stroke adjustor, exclusive to SiA pumps, which allows turn down of between 0-100% of displacement. Remote monitoring and control is also available, with standard systems able to be upgraded easily over time as more sophisticated control is required. “The whole requirement regarding quality is sometimes more demanding than the actual installation of a dosing pump,” notes O’Neill. Support matters Apart from just offering equipment, PMPS is currently in the process of setting up a satellite office to provide customer support and ongoing maintenance, specifically in the Karoo region. Meanwhile, O’Neill notes that supplying equipment to the petrochemicals market is particularly demanding, as all equipment and installations for this market need to adhere to the specific taxing documentation requirements. “This includes material certification for components, pressure test certificates, as well as witness testing, among others. PMPS currently employs 13 people – six of whom are dedicated to manufacturing, installation and service – and provide ongoing maintenance on a national scale,” concludes O’Neill.
AFROX UNVEILS WELDING SCHOOL AT LIV VILLAGE Afrox’s commitment to assisting young South Africans to acquire welding skills and knowledge recently culminated in the official opening on 7 September of the LIV Welding Academy, a custom container welding school that was developed by Afrox in partnership with LIV and the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW). The LIV Village provides holistic residential care for orphaned and vulnerable children with the objective of nurturing and educating the children to become valuable members of society. In addition to assisting in the development of the welding school, Afrox will also be providing welding equipment, consumables and gases, and trained instructors. Furthermore, Afrox has obtained CHIETA (Chemical Industries Education & Training Authority) and QCTO (Quality Control for Trades and Occupations) accreditation for the training programmes. Johann Pieterse, Business Manager for Manufacturing Industries at Afrox, says that the gases and welding company is very proud to be in partnership with such a worthwhile community project and that the Afrox welding training programmes will be the first to receive QCTO accreditation. “We have selected our inaugural 12 students for the LIV Welding Academy programmes and they will begin their training in October. They will be the first students to obtain a welding qualification with QCTO accreditation,” says Pieterse. He explains that there is an ongoing demand for qualified welders in South Africa and that Afrox’s aim is not to just train welders but also to give the LIV Welding Academy students a recognised South African and international qualification. Pieterse adds that Afrox also intends to certify the LIV Welding Academy as an International Institute of Welding (IIW) authorised training body in partnership with the SAIW who own the programme in South Africa on behalf of the International Institute of Welding. The LIV project follows on from the success of Afrox’s POPUP welding facility in Soshanguve which supports various technical up-skilling programmes with an emphasis on welding as an in-demand route to a sustainable career. This first-class tertiary welding facility was launched in 2016 and provides quality training focused on skills development that will contribute to a formal qualification. Pieterse says that Afrox is not only generating new knowledge that will benefit the welding sector broadly, but is also demonstrating a practical response to enhancing the skills levels of welding teachers by offering five welding process training programmes. Afrox has already trained over 40 teachers and provided safety training to 13 000 people in the mining, transport, fabrication, petrochemical and energy sectors. Enhancing local skills is the main driving force behind Afrox’s skills development programme and extends to schools to attract and inform pupils of the advantages of a technical career and encourage more young learners to study welding further at a tertiary level. To this end Afrox has partnered with the Department of Education to upgrade and re-equip 14 technical schools in the Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape in order to create awareness of welding as a career opportunity, strengthen the capacity of the schools and up-skill teachers. The company also makes bursaries and internships available to welding students. “Welding is the backbone of industry as it builds economies, infrastructure and whole nations. Afrox has invested tens of millions of rands into research and development over the years,” says Pieterse. “Our commitment to our welding schools and centres is very real as Afrox is dedicated to encouraging youth to take up this profession of the future and we hope to see thousands of young people graduate as welders over the years to come.” The smart overview to reduce complexity on your plant Create an inventory of all your assets, build a digital twin for each of them, explore potential for improvement and reduce complexity of your installed base. A first step to the digitalisation of your plant! Scan and register all your assets in a blink with a smartphone app or automatically via a smart gateway Visualise all your assets from everywhere in one simple web application Utilise recognition technologies as RFID or QR codes and reduce your reaction time during unplanned downtimes by getting the right information at the right time Get insights, identify standardisation and migration potential and reduce complexity of your installed base Gain further analysis with detailed advices from one of our experts on demand www.iiot.endress.com/en Explore our apps today Operations SmartBlue Kiosk Careers DC Values W@M Endress+Hauser (Pty) Ltd www.za.endress.com email@example.com Phone +27 11 262 8000 Fax +27 11 262 8062 25