Local metals fabrication and refurbishment company Starplex 393 is manufacturing 33 pressure vessels in which to store ammonia for local gas distributor Pro Gas Solutions.
Company co-owner Robbie Roberts says the construction of the vessels, ranging in capacity from 1.3 m3 to 6.5 m3, will take between 10 to 12 weeks and is scheduled for completion in mid-August.
He tells Engineering News that the contract for the fabrication of the vessels is worth “several million rands”.
The company is also manufacturing ten tanks and ten tank stands for a project in Angola, which are scheduled to be delivered to the customer by the end of August.
Roberts explains that, should the client in Angola be happy with the quality and workmanship of the tanks, Starplex 393 is likely to receive more follow-up orders that would be a game changer for the company.
He tells Engineering News that the company was awarded another “multimillion-rand contract” in January to refurbish ten heat exchangers for a local oil refinery.
“The heat exchangers are scheduled to be completed by the end of August,” says Roberts, who adds that the company also undertakes refurbishment work for this local refinery.
Further, he points out that Starplex 393 is also manufacturing a 25 000 ∙ bullet-shaped holding tank for a sulphuric acid user in Zambia. The holding tank is scheduled for completion and delivery by the end of September.
Roberts highlights that Starplex 393 co-owner Lee Cachia is working “tirelessly” with staff to ensure all the company’s fabrication works are completed on schedule and within budget.
He notes that the company’s key customers include provincial bulk water services provider Rand Water, agricultural and agroprocessing group Tongaat Hulett and paper and packaging group Sappi.
Roberts highlights that Starplex 393 does not face any challenges in sourcing the required steel for the construction of the pressure vessels, as it is “reliably supplied by steel merchant Macsteel Service Centres South Africa (MSCSA)”.
“We buy MSCSA’s ASME SA516 grades 60 to 65 and 70N carbon steel plate for use in the fabrication and refurbishment of our boilers and pressure vessels,” states Roberts.
He highlights that this grade of steel is in accordance with local and international standards for the manufacturing and refurbishment of heat exchangers and pressure vessels.
“This is particularly important when storing ammonia, which is stored at . . . about –30 °C.”
Roberts adds that the company also specifically manufactures low-frequency nozzles for use in low- temperature applications.
He points out that the refurbishment of heat exchangers and industrial radiators forms a large part of the company’s operations.
Roberts adds that the company places significant emphasis on ensuring that all refurbishments are high quality, cost effective and completed in the shortest possible time.
“We understand that time is money and a quick turnaround time is crucial for our customers.”
Locally sourced materials and goods are used whenever possible. Starplex 393 buys all its tubes from Vereeniging-based heat exchanger, tubing, flanges, fittings and piping supplier Engineering Fabricators, with which it has a long-standing business relationship.