Steinmüller Africa Director, Moso Bolofo, talks about the company’s 60 year legacy and its ongoing service offering to boiler- and process-steam operators in South Africa and across the African continent
Steinmüller Africa has been in this country since 1962 and as such has a 60-year legacy, largely in the power generation sector. The steam generation expert started with the now old stations of Grootvlei and Hendrina, then went on to the other baseload stations of Kriel, Duvha, Tutuka and Majuba. In recent times, Steinmüller Africa, has been subcontractors to Hitachi for the fabrication of the Medupi and Kusile boilers, which are supercritical boilers that operate at main steam conditions of 240 bar at 560 °C, with reheat temperatures up to 570 °C. This requires Level 1 high-pressure pipework, which is an area of expertise for us,” Bolofo said.
Steinmüller Africa, also operates in other industries that use steam in their production processes, such as pulp and paper, sugar industries, or for the generation or reticulation of that steam in the petrochemical plants and the fuel refineries. From doing all the fabrication and following up with the installation and commissioning of several early boilers, the company has progressed to become a key service provider for ongoing plant maintenance. Steinmuller Africa also functioned in the mothballing and de-mothballing the return-to-service plants such as Camden, Grootvlei and Komati Power Stations.
Our large-scale facilities in Pretoria North have world-class fabrication equipment, such as our steam headers; and the Cojafex Induction Bending Machine for pipe spools, both of which are unique to the African continent. The company’s Pretoria facilities have 50 000 m² of under-roof fabrication workshops, with a lifting capacity of up to 50 t. Its bays up to 35 m wide and 700 m long and a pressure component production capacity of 1-million hours per year. Steinmüller Africa’s Piping Division in Pretoria is a true one-stop shop for all induction bending requirements. It offers induction bending of pipes 48-850mm in diameter and a maximum wall thickness of 120mm with a maximum radius of 4 600mm.
The team also provides shop fabrication after bending, which entails heat treatment, pipe end preparation, spool fabrication, surface preparation and packing. Advantages of the bending facilities are high accuracy of shape, custom-made individual bends and less butt-welds using complex bends. Based on the requirements and application of the material, it might be crucial to heat-treat induction bends. Steinmüller Africa has furnaces with accurate temperature up to 1 200⁰C. We also specializes in electrical post-weld heat treatment, which is crucial to the quality and integrity of welding on high pressure parts and pipelines. Steinmüller Africa’s history proves the claim of being an end-to-end service provider, that really does look at the whole lifecycle of a plant, from conceptual design, manufacture and installation and, thereafter, to the maintenance and all the way through the service life until de-commissioning.