A ‘Vital’ service to the petrochemical sector
22 November 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201917113
THE petrochemical industry plays a significant role in the local economic growth so desperately required in South Africa currently. The sector is under pressure from many reasons including the trend towards the reduction of operational carbon footprint and a proliferation of new technological developments.
That’s according to Glen Pringle, Director of Vital Engineering, who said these represent new and dynamic opportunities for the industry to exploit, if it can evolve to keep pace with industry developments.
“Looking at this exciting industry further afield, there are myriad positive developments throughout the rest of Africa.
“Increased oil and gas exploration, potential new refineries and extensions to existing refineries are planned along the East and West African coasts. This is a clear indication that the greater petrochemical sector is definitely not stagnant.”
Pringle said the company, having been a key supplier of a wide range of products including gratings, stair treads, pressed pattern floors and safety handrails to the petrochemical, mining and other industries for the past 80 years, was well acquainted with the needs of the industry - and with developments in materials technology.
“The petrochemical industry furthermore has very specific requirements of the construction materials used, depending on the particular context or application.
“Vital’s glass-fibre reinforced resin (GRP) or aluminium gratings are suitable for non-spark environments.”
He added that Petrochemical plants also produce certain products that could be either mechanically or chemically aggressive and corrosive, acidic or alkaline in nature - representing yet another set of limitations and specific requirements regarding the construction materials of choice.
“As we thoroughly understand the properties of our products, which are influenced by factors such as manufacturing method, structural configuration and chemical additives, we can lend valuable support to our clients, so that the correct products are specified, leading to enhanced plant lifetime and performance - and, most importantly, reduced safety risks.”
Vital Engineering’s products which are particularly popular in the petrochemical industry typically include its mini-mesh or solid top GRP products, aluminium or stainless-steel patterned plate products, and expanded metal products for applications such as safety guards, lock-out areas, and secure areas on petrochemical plants.