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African Petrochemicals is South Africa’s leading quarterly print and digital trade magazine for the past 16 years. Featuring all the latest petrochemical industry news, special reports, technological advances and much more.

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Skyriders assists consulting engineer with smokestack inspection

Rope-access specialist Skyriders recently showcased the extent of its inspection techniques by assisting a consulting engineering company with tests needed  prior to the design of a modification to a large smokestack for a major petrochemical producer.

Marketing Manager Mike Zinn explains that rope access was necessary to perform various concrete inspections and sampling on the smokestack, such as carbonation testing, cover meter testing, and taking core samples for laboratory testing and analysis, whereafter the holes from which the material was removed had to be patched properly. The inspection data was then handed over to the consulting engineer for report and recommendations.

An expert six-person Skyriders team undertook the scope of work over a three-day period. “We worked hand-in-hand with the consulting engineer, which ensured the right areas where inspected,” Zinn adds.

The testing was essential to determine if the smokestack was structurally sound in order to be able to accommodate the modifications in terms of wind load, among other factors. The petrochemical producer is also expected to install instrumentation needed for gas monitoring, which should result in an additional scope of work for Skyriders.

While an instrumentation specialist will be called upon for the actual installation, Skyriders will be responsible for securing access and for any work-at-height for the necessary piping, tubing, and cabling. “We are often called upon by other service providers to assist with access in order to be able to offer clients cost-effective solutions for their specific inspection and maintenance requirements,” Zinn concludes.

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