During the lockdown in June, rope-access specialist Skyriders undertook an inspection of pulverised fuel (PF) piping at Tutuka power station near Standerton in Mpumalanga for electricity utility Eskom during the Unit 6 outage.
The six-day project was completed successfully by a specialist team using ultrasonic (UT) wall-thickness testing, a Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) technique, explains Skyriders Marketing Manager Mike Zinn.
The company has a contract with Eskom to carry out inspection and maintenance at Tutuka power station on a standby basis, as and when required. It has been carrying out general rope access maintenance and inspection at Tutuka since 2005.
Although scaffolding has been used in the past, rope access has proven a more efficient means of gaining access to high-elevation structures such as boilers and smokestacks. Rope access is also significantly faster and cheaper, as well as more flexible.
Time constraints are a particular challenge in the power generation sector, where any maintenance required has to be carried out either during outages or planned shutdowns. Skyriders has successfully provided rope access and NDT services to Eskom for a couple of decades to date.
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.