From work at tank farms to power station boiler inspection, Skyriders’ five-year contract at a major petrochemical (petchem) producer in South Africa has progressed in leaps and bounds.
The access specialist began its association with the company by carrying out maintenance and inspection work on its fire water systems. “Over the years, our scope of work has branched out to include inspection in power station boilers,” Skyriders Marketing Manager Mike Zinn reveals. He adds that this is a good indication of not only the scope and size of the company in question, but the total value-add that a specialist service provider such as Skyriders can add to its operations.
While the tank-farm portion of Skyriders’ scope of work has a dedicated team allocated to it, any other requirements are assigned the necessary resources as and when needed. Apart from rope-access skills, the tank-farm team also has expert knowledge of deluge systems and general plumbing, especially as they are often required to join piping.
Bolting and rigging skills are also included in the mix of services that Skyriders provides. The latest development is that an Elios collision-tolerant drone from Flyability of Switzerland has been deployed for confined-space inspection at the petchem producer. “These areas are quite treacherous and dangerous, and pose a major health and safety risk,” Zinn highlights.
The drone technology represents the latest innovation in inspection systems from Skyriders, which always strives to be at the top of its game in the industry, and thereby set itself as a benchmark for the rest of Africa. For example, during its association with the petchem producer, it has managed to achieve ISO9001, OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety, and ISO 14001 Environmental Management.
“It is important for us to align ourselves with exactly the same standards as our client in terms of quality, health and safety, and environmental management,” Zinn adds. “We often find that our clients have specific processes and procedures that we are required to follow, and therefore it helps if we are all on the same page from the get go.”
The fact that the petchem producer is so safety-conscious and process-driven filters through to its entire supply chain and all of the specialist companies and service providers it deals with, which has the added benefit of raising standards in the industry as a whole.
“This is a perfect example of the kind of partnership we like to enter into with our longstanding clients, which is testament to our proven capabilities. In this particular contract, we have seen a traditional client committed to scaffolding advance to rope access and ultimately our latest drone technology,” Zinn concludes.
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