Afrox officially opens new R200m air separation unit in Pretoria
Afrox has officially opened its new R200-million air separation unit (ASU) at its Pretoria West site. This is just a part of the capital investment of a R1.5-billion three-year programme to boost customer service levels as well as to support the company’s growth strategy in South Africa and emerging markets of sub-Saharan Africa, says Afrox Managing Director, Brett Kimber.
This newly commissioned ASU is designed and built to exacting global standards. The atmospheric gases plant will produce high purity oxygen, nitrogen and argon to service the merchant and medical markets in this major bulk business area, as well as in neighboring countries.
As a result of market changes, in 1999 Afrox discontinued the supply of gaseous oxygen and nitrogen and operated one of its two 750 tonnes-per-day (tpd) ASUs at its Pretoria West facility in maximum turn-down mode. Operating these large plants in turn-down mode is highly energy inefficient, and taking into account the age of the plant, Afrox saw this as an ideal opportunity to replace an existing plant, originally commissioned in 1987, with more modern and efficient technology by installing a new 200 tpd ASU, says Kimber.
Afrox’s parent company, The Linde Group’s engineering division was responsible for the design, supply and building of the new ASU, importing the best in modern technologies to the South African industry. The ASU is remotely controlled from a global operations facility in the UK, ensuring optimal output and quality products. This also included integrating an existing nitrogen liquefier unit into the new ASU at the site and linked production from the ASU to existing cluster storage tanks. The cooling water system, the electrical supply and instrumentation have also been upgraded.
Three cold boxes, an air compressor, coolers, pump skids and PPU skids were shipped from Germany to Durban and then transported to Pretoria by road on a flatbed. The main cold box was 48m long, making it a challenge to transport as an abnormal load and to lift into position on site. For road transport, cargo permits were required for each district as well as a police escort all the way from Durban to Pretoria.
“The number of role players involved also rendered this project highly complex,” comments Kimber. “However, execution was streamlined and activities fell into place as scheduled.”
A proudly South African company, Afrox is the total solutions technology partner – dedicated to providing customers with superior products of the highest standards, quality and purity.
Issued by: Serendipity Events, Promotions & Exhibitions
On behalf of: Afrox
Editorial contact: Loll Thomson (011) 467 2133
Mail to: loll@
Client contact: Simon Miller (011) 440 4090
Mail to: Simon.Miller@afrox.linde.com
Date: 10th April 2013
About Afrox: www.afrox.com
African Oxygen Limited (Afrox) is sub-Saharan Africa’s leading supplier of gases and welding products. Established in South Africa 84 years ago, the company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1963 and listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange in 1995. Today, as part of The Linde Group, a global leader in gases, engineering and technology solutions, Afrox operates in South Africa and in 10 more African countries, meeting the product needs of a wide range of customers drawn from sectors as diverse as heavy industry, healthcare and hospitality. Within the sub-Saharan markets in which it is active, Afrox manages five operations on behalf of The Linde Group. Throughout all regions, Afrox supplies the full range of large-volume on-site and bulk gases, cylinder gases, scientific and medical gases, refrigerants, packaged chemicals, helium and associated products. Based in Johannesburg and employing nearly 3,500 people, the company also serves it markets with gas equipment, welding consumables and safety products.
About The Linde Group: www.linde.com
The Linde Group is a world-leading gases and engineering company with around 62,000 employees in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2011 financial year, Linde generated revenue of EUR 13.787-billion. The strategy of the Group is geared towards long-term profitable growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. The Group is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.