Regular planned inspection and maintenance shutdowns are critical for reliable and safe production at all industrial plants. This also ensures long-term structural integrity and operational effectiveness.
A leader in this regard is Skyriders Access Specialists (Pty.) Ltd., which specialises in using rope access for elevated structures. “This is particularly cost-effective, as no additional time is wasted in erecting traditional structures in order to gain access for any maintenance work. It enhances overall site safety during shutdown periods,” Marketing Manager Mike Zinn comments.
An example of a highly successful rope-access programme has been Skyriders’ involvement with Eskom’s planned inspection and maintenance shutdown outage programme at a power station near Ogies in Mpumalanga.
Here the scope of work comprised: clinker inspection and removal (safe access permit), internal boiler slope washing, installation of life lines for other contractors, and safety-net installation. The main scope of work, however, comprised the non-destructive testing (NDT) inspection of internal boiler pressure components, pulverised fuel pipes, electrostatic precipitation hoppers, and coal bunkers.
Production was increased in certain areas of the boiler as the Skyriders team used rope access to inspect the relevant components in the different areas. Rope access also allowed the team to access the boiler immediately once it had been deemed safe to enter.
Zinn reveals that the Skyriders’ team on-site comprised 40 people, with the planned inspection part of the project completed on-time and with minimal quality comebacks. This commenced on 4 August 2016, and was completed on 2 October 2016, whereafter the unit was synchronised. The next planned shutdown is scheduled for early this year, Zinn adds.
Skyriders provides cost- and time-saving solutions to clients in the power generation, petrochemicals and mining industries requiring rope-access aided inspection, NDT and maintenance work to be carried out in difficult-to-reach and high-up locations.
Services include inspection visual, ultrasonic wall thickness, concrete inspection, maintenance and repairs, the application of coating systems, work-at-height safety systems, welding, and confined space rescue and standby. When external contractors have been tasked with work in a confined space, Skyriders can assist with safe entry and exits, the issue of permits, gas monitoring and rescue.
Skyriders (Pty) Ltd., established in 1998, is a leader in the South African rope access industry, providing cost- and time-saving solutions to clients in the power generation and petrochemical industries requiring rope access aided inspection, NDT, and maintenance work to be conducted in difficult-to-reach, high-up locations.