Rope access used to inspect fire water system at pulp-and-paper plant

When a pulp and paper producer required inspection and maintenance of its fire water system, it turned to rope access specialist Skyriders to provide a quick and cost-effective solution. Skyriders’ experience in the petrochemical and power generation industries stood it in good stead with this flagship project.

“Our experience and track record with hazardous and chemical environments made it a natural extension for us to continue work in the pulp and paper industry,” Skyriders Marketing Manager Mike Zinn comments. For example, the company was recently involved with a deluge system for a major petrochemical producer, which is a water mist system based on open spray heads attached to a piping system, connected to a water supply by valves.

Skyriders has an extensive track record in hazardous and chemical environments

The pulp and paper producer opted for rope access as this provided the safest and quickest access of its manufacturing facility for the mandatory inspection of its fire water system, which involved examining all of nozzles and hoses. Traditional scaffolding, on the other hand, is both time-consuming and costly to erect. Extra time for proper dismantling also has to be factored in upon completion of the project.

The pulp and paper industry is a particular growth area for Skyriders, as these plants invariably have their own smokestacks and even boilers, which all require regular inspection and maintenance. In addition, rope access is often required to install lifelines for other specialist contractors, for example.

Skyriders’ track record in this sector includes hard-to-reach inspection and repair work on ducting at the Sappi Ngodwana plant in Mpumalanga. “The benefits of rope access really come to the fore in these major industrial sectors, where access to facilities, in addition to the high health and safety requirements, is of paramount importance,” Zinn concludes.

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