The benefit of rope access for routine industrial inspection work was again demonstrated when Skyriders, a leading rope access specialist, successfully completed a project for Easigas in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape.
The company specialises in mega projects such as petrochemical tank farms, towering smokestacks for mines, and gigantic boilers for power stations, but is also increasingly finding application for its services in the burgeoning industrial maintenance and inspection market, highlights Mike Zinn, the company’s marketing manager.
“While our bread-and-butter work remains largescale projects in the power generation and petrochemical industries, we find that smaller companies like Easigas are turning to us to provide unique, cost-effective solutions for their inspection and maintenance needs,” says Zinn.
Statutory requirements mean that the two gas spheres operated by Easigas in Gqeberha have to be inspected routinely by an independent authorised inspection authority. Here, the scope of work was simply to fit the inspector into a harness and rig a rope access system so he could be manoeuvred into position inside each of the spheres to carry out his duties safely and efficiently.
The project took a fast two days to complete for both gas spheres, with a Skyriders rope access team travelling directly from Johannesburg. “The major benefit for the client is a significant saving in time and money, especially when you consider it takes five to eight days simply to erect the scaffolding necessary to provide access to the gas spheres,” notes Zinn. Rope access, on the other hand, is a faster and responsive access method with less risk attached.
While the company does not have an operational base in the Eastern Cape, Zinn says it is definitely a market the company is looking to make inroads in, due to the presence of the Port of Ngqura and a major automotive industry.
“It is a competitive sector in terms of access service providers, but the high standard set with regards to quality and safety by our teams sets us apart. The fact that Easigas approached us in Johannesburg is testament to our extensive reach throughout South Africa at present,” concludes Zinn.