Valve distributor TTV Fluval group of companies is celebrating 18 years of success in the South African market, further illustrated and encapsulated by this year’s numerous successfully completed projects resulting in a total invoicing for valves and actuators amounting to more than R180-million.
The group imports and supplies branded and specialised valves, actuators and accessories to customers in the mining, petrochemicals, marine, naval, offshore oil and gas and process industries of Southern Africa.
Commenting on the group’s recent success, group CEO Frank Olsen states that, as with other South African companies, TTV Fluval has and continues to face multiple challenges pertaining to the global and local economies. However, while other CEOs may be sceptical, Olsen claims that he is positive that the company can continue to face these challenges and surpass expectations.
“As a group, we believe that the mining sector will improve and that the oil price will rise boosting the petrochemicals sector. When this happens, we will be ready.”
Reflecting on TTV Fluval’s success over the years, Olsen recalls some of the more memorable projects completed. These include the supply of subsea valves to national oil company PetroSA’s Mossel Bay FO Fields for R60-million, a valve supply project for a Madagascar nickel mine worth R12-million, the Saldanha Bay liquid petroleum gas terminal and sea intake valves project worth R35-million, South African multinational petrochemicals giant Sasol’s autothermal reforming plant project worth R9-million, the Mozambiquan Temane Pande gas pipeline project worth R12-million, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Etoile copper plant project worth R9-million, mining major Vale’s Moatize coal wash plant worth R12-million, the South African Navy’s valves maintenance project worth R40-million, petroleum company BP’s fuel storage terminal upgrade worth R10-million, and the Namibian desalination water treatment plant worth R15-million.
Olsen formed Anderson Valves in October 1998 as exclusive agent of Spanish butterfly valve manufacturer TTV. Soon thereafter Anderson Valves secured a partnership with a Spanish petrochemicals valves manufacturer, Fluval. “We were importing from Spain in pesetas. When the dollar strengthened our rand was hedged with the weakening pesetas. Then came the euro and our competitive advantage was gone. We had to be alert to survive and grow the business as an importer carefully watching the fluctuations of the rand.”
He adds that the company’s strategy has always been “controlled risk-taking to ensure growth and continued trade profitability”, as maintaining a profit is essential to long-term business survival, which ultimately benefits both the company and the client.
With the addition of the Fluval brand, the company was able to access Southern Africa’s petrochemicals industries. In 2000, the two Spanish manufacturers were invited to form a company in South Africa together with Anderson Valves under a new name: TTV Fluval.
Over the years, additional agencies were secured from Europe, the UK, South Korea and Germany. Through these arrangements, the group has been able to enter new market sectors, such as marine and naval, subsea and offshore oil and gas. “This diversification is ultimately what made it possible to achieve our desired growth,” Olsen states.
He notes that additional factors driving growth include an excellent relationship with customers and principles overseas and an informed and friendly staff complement. “Over the years, key staff have acquired shares in the group, giving them direct managerial involvement as owners in the business.”
The group has offices and warehousing in Johannesburg, Sasolburg and Cape Town. It also owns specialised automation company Torqmatic Systems, which is focused on valve automation in electric and pneumatic valve actuation. Olsen notes that, “Korean company Torqmatic Systems’ products complement TTV Fluval’s mechanical valves package with smart valve automation brands.”
He cites a range of the company’s smart valve positioners, such as Power Genex; TMG Valve Gearbox; HKC’s pneumatic rack and pinion- and scotch yoke-type actuators.
TTV Fluval manufactures parts of the assembly in their workshops to control quality and ensures speedy delivery to customers. Olsen notes that, in Cape Town, the company trades through it subsidiary Fluval Ukuvala. The group’s newly remodelled head office is located in Germiston.