When a major petrochemical company in Mpumalanga identified an opportunity to carry out some essential maintenance work on two storage tanks during the lockdown, it turned to rope-access specialist Skyriders to provide the best solution possible in the limited time available.
Not only did Skyriders carry out the maintenance work successfully, it also did so in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible, thereby assisting the producer in reducing its maintenance requirements and boosting productivity.
The scope of work for Skyriders consisted of the internal cleaning of two large-size tanks that were 12 m high and 42 m in diameter. An eight-person team undertook the project over a 12-day period during the lockdown, explains Marketing Manager Mike Zinn.
“Our services were called upon at short notice, which meant that we first had to comply with all of the necessary Covid-19 regulations as an essential service provider, in addition to adhering to the producer’s own strict health and safety requirements.”
A particular challenge on one of the tanks was the presence of an internal floating roof that moves up and down depending on product level in the tank itself. Made from a lightweight material that was highly susceptible to damage or denting, Skyriders had to come up with a solution that both circumvented and protected the floating roof.
This was an ideal project to showcase the benefits of rope access, as the Skyriders team was able to gain access easily through the roof of the tank by using the roof elements. It then simply abseiled around the interior in order to clean the roof structure itself, as well as the side walls and guiding columns, without coming into contact with the delicate internal floating roof at all.
Skyriders even provided rope-access assistance to a sub-contractor tasked with vacuuming out the water and debris resulting from the high-pressure cleaning process. “We were able to complete the project slightly ahead of schedule, without any incidents whatsoever,” Zinn concludes.
The rope access specialist has accumulated considerable expertise in the petrochemical industry, due to its reputation for cost-effective solutions that maximise limited maintenance budgets, as well as adhering to the highest health and safety standards, particularly with regard to working at height.
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 who require rope access aided inspection, NDT and maintenance work to be done in difficult to reach, high-up locations.