Babcock is helping to keep South Africa’s power going, following the award of a mill maintenance contract at a major power station. Babcock’s diverse scope of work for the five-year contract covers the day-to-day upkeep of the milling plant as well as outage repairs, quality and inventory support, and on-site training and upskilling of the surrounding local communities.
The fossil fuel power station relies on its milling plant to produce pulverised coal in order to obtain optimal combustion and power generation performance. The mill operates 24-hours a day and is responsible for the grinding, drying, transporting and classification of the coal.
Mills Maintenance Specialist for Babcock, Simon Mathe, says that the reliability of the mill is essential to ensure correct coal fineness, dryness and throughput, with the performance of the milling plant significantly impacting plant efficiency.
“The milling plant is an integral part of the power station and consists of many dynamic parts which all need to work together smoothly to ensure successful operation,” explains Mathe.
Babcock’s scope of work is for complete and comprehensive maintenance for the milling plant including regular and periodic inspections, service repair, maintenance and refurbishment of the plant and all associated equipment, 24-hour availability to repair breakdowns, as well as performing inventory management support services.
“The milling plant operates around the clock, so daily inspections and immediate attendance to breakdowns is vital. We have strategies in place to deal with maintenance backlog challenges and will streamline the process by ensuring optimum quality combined with open and timeous communication with the client,” says Mathe.
He explains that this should, in time, allow for more preventative and predictive maintenance, resulting in fewer breakdowns and significant cost savings for the mill. “Predictive maintenance is data-based and provides valuable information and insight into why a breakdown occurred, allowing Babcock to anticipate and eliminate any issues going forward.”
Titus Mtsweni, Contracts Manager for Babcock, says maintenance at the milling plant began on 1 March this year. “We will be employing and training operators and workers from local communities for this contract, and upskilling them in line with the requirements of our client.”
The power station is located in a remote area, where employment opportunities are limited. “Babcock understands that engagement with and involvement of local people on this project is critical in order to contribute to the community’s economic and social needs,” says Mtsweni.
To this end, Babcock will offer hands-on, in-service training as well as external training at specialist companies, where workers can acquire specialised skills in the fields of laser alignment, oil analysis, root cause analysis, and bearing and gearbox maintenance.
Besides formulating and implementing a turnaround programme to stabilise the milling plant’s availability, Babcock will support the client in listing and identifying spare parts requirements, in addition to scheduling orders in conjunction with the mill’s service demands. The company will also run refurbishment workshops for the overhaul of equipment and machinery, as well as some elements of fabrication.
Mtsweni adds that in line with Babcock’s commitment to ensuring that everyone ‘goes home safe every day’, Babcock will also be rolling out its highly successful safety programme that encourages all employees to uphold the organisation’s outstanding safety standards and records.
“Babcock has extensive experience in the milling industry, and also holds Original Equipment Manufacturer status for the Babcock E-type mill, a compact and ergonomic vertical spindle coal mill,” says Mathe.
As one of the most established and experienced steam generator and industrial plant suppliers in Africa, Babcock has successfully completed multiple projects in the power generation sector. Its major industrial clients include the state electricity utility as well as large companies in the petrochemical sector, sugar and the paper and the pulp industry.
Babcock provides companies that produce steam in any manner with engineering service such as design, failure/incident analysis, maintenance and a host of other services, supported by best-in-class technology and a skilled workforce.
Contact Simon Mathe, Babcock, email@example.com