Mitech, local designer and manufacturer of a wide range of valves for the process control industry and a BBBEE Level 3 contributor, has received a substantial order for Rubber Lined Butterfly Valves for Umgeni Water’s storage and purification plants situated between Pinetown and Durban.
The valves are used to isolate the reservoirs, either in opening or closing, to allow the water to pass through to individual municipalities. Water entering the reservoir will also be passed through the new valves which are able to cope with pressures of up to 16 Bar.
In order to secure the order, Mitech had to comply with stringent requirements and the company’s 100% localisation was a key factor in acquiring the contract. According to Jacob Mtolo, Mitech’s MD, “This order is a significant breakthrough, not only for Mitech, but for all South African valve and actuator manufacturers. It underlines the willingness of SOCs to support locally manufactured products and the readiness of local manufacturers to produce world class, quality products”.
Mtolo continued, “The Government’s preferential procurement policies state that 70% of the total content of valves and actuators must be sourced locally. This definitely played a part in gaining the order and there is a positive transformation in some state owned companies’ attitude towards supporting the DTI’s program of localisation. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done on convincing SOCs that we need to create jobs and that the quality of products produced by local valve manufacturers compares with the best in the world.”
The order was for a total of 42 valves ranging in sizes from 300 mm to 1.6 m. The Rubber Lined Butterfly Valves are robust, corrosion resistant and feature an EPDM liner. During the manufacturing process different techniques were applied, including the bonding of the rubber lining. Mitech’s new 4 000 m2 factory lends itself to these techniques and has an on-site autoclave allowing for quicker turnaround times. The Rubber Lined Butterfly Valves are manufactured from special materials including the WCB carbon steel body and duplex stainless steel shafts and disks to cope with the chlorine content in the water, as well as the EPDM Liner to eliminate leakage.
“Valves and actuators were designated by the DTI in March 2014, and since then, we have definitely seen a growth towards local supply. Local orders are on the increase and we are certain that it is a process that will continue. With this in mind, Mitech hopes to secure additional rubber lined butterfly valve orders from other Water Authorities and Municipalities ” concluded Mtolo.
Umgeni Water was impressed by Mitech’s capabilities, its compliance with local content, the creation of new jobs, as well as quick delivery and excellent back-up service.
The acceptance of SOCs to buy locally manufactured valves provides them with shortened lead times, decreased downtime and assurance that by buying local, the products conform not only to local standards but meet international requirements. The Umgeni order will further strengthen Mitech’s position as a top supplier of valves, both locally and internationally.