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This article originally appeared in the above issue of our print magazine. The digital version of the magazine can be read online or downloaded free of charge.
14 August 2017

Dewatering upsurge

Dewatering pump specialist Integrated Pump Technology (IPT), together with its leasing-focused sister company Integrated Pump Rental (IPR), have achieved phenomenal growth since their inception in July 2014 and January 2015 respectively. This can largely be attributed to the companies’ commitment to upholding their core value – delivering unparalleled service to its clients, supported by a range of superior quality products, writes LAURA CORNISH

In the space of just three years, IPT and IPR outgrew their original 1 200 m2 premises. To ensure the companies were positioned to maintain their growth momentum, they took occupancy of a new Jet Park-based facility in June this year which at 2 500 m2 is just more than double in size. “Both companies have performed exceptionally well and we want to ensure we continue with this momentum moving forward and are now positioned to do so from a premises which can comfortably cater to the growing demand for our products and services,” says MD of IPT Colin Adams.

IPT has the sole distribution rights in southern Africa to sell both the Grindex range of dewatering, sludge and slurry pumps as well as the Faggiolati range of submersible drainage and wastewater pumps. Its fully equipped workshop further facilitates local repairs, services and testing as well.

IPR has an extensive rental fleet of equipment which in addition to the Grindex and Faggiolati pump ranges includes the Sykes range of diesel pump units, the locally designed and manufactured SlurrySucker dredge unit, and a range of accessories including hose fl oats and pump floatation devices (also locally manufactured). The company also provides a full suite of on-site maintenance and repair work.

Achieving such significant growth in such a short timeframe is an even greater feat when considering the general state of the mining industry, which has typically spent the last few years focusing on cash preservation by sourcing cheaper, “less robust” products from less reputable manufacturers. “We have seen a noticeable migration from the industry moving back towards securing equipment from trustworthy OEMs such as ourselves who now realise that the cost of a high quality product extends beyond the purchase price,” Adams highlights.

And it is for this reason that both IPT and IPR’s businesses have defined the on-going recession in the market. “We knew from the outset that to compete with an extensive and well-established market we needed to deliver a superior sales and service business which is dedicated to providing clients with the right product for the right application at the right time; and thereafter to ensure we maintain that product throughout its operational life cycle – thereby preventing unnecessary downtime and optimised production,” MD of IPR Lee Vine continues.

A network in excess of 20 distributors in sub-Saharan Africa, individually selected for their service capabilities and accredited repair facilities, has further contributed to IPT and IPR’s growth – where demand continues to escalate in various countries including Tanzania, Namibia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). “With their own extensive stockholding, our distributors ensure we stay as close to our customers as possible, ensuring we offer superior service levels at all times,” Vine notes.

Additional growth opportunities in the pipeline

IPT and IPR are intent on growing their businesses further and will achieve this by expanding their product portfolios with additional niche dewatering products, expanding their customer base, further improving customer satisfaction and ultimately acquiring greater market share.

And progress in these areas is already well underway. “IPT is currently in negotiations to acquire a new distribution agreement with a European-based company that specialises in flame-proof dewatering pumps which once secured will fi ll a gap in our product portfolio,” Adams states. The company expects to finalise the agreement this year. IPR is working on enhancing its SlurrySucker dredge unit design and will launch this new product towards the end of 2017. “Our upgraded product will be capable of removing weeds and foreign waste materials during the dredging process,” Vine reveals.

Recent achievements

Both Adams and Vine discuss a number of exciting projects which were recently awarded to the companies. IPR has secured an order for eight CP150 Sykes diesel mobile pump units for a mining client in South Africa. The client had been renting the units previously and was so pleased with their performance that they purchased the pumps for permanent installation.

IPT has received an order for six 42 kW stainless steel Faggiolati pumps as well as a service and maintenance level agreement for 64 Faggiolati pumps for South Africa’s local power utility. “We are seeing an increase in stainless steel pump applications due to the poor quality of contaminated water underground,” Adams says.

“These recent orders signify the success we’re achieving through our agency agreements which have been in place less than two years. This clearly demonstrates the market’s growing awareness of our full product lines,” Vine adds.

The Grindex range also continues to generate new business for IPT. The company recently commissioned 32 25 kW and 37 kW Grindex dewatering pumps for a major nickel mining operation in Madagascar which are now operating in a process water application.

Although not mining-related, IPR’s most signifi cant rental project to date will see it dewater a 270 m long tunnel situated underneath the Vaal River. The tunnel ranges in depth between 56 and 60 m. “We will completely dewater the tunnel in just three days in a 24/7 operation using two Grindex dewatering pumps at either end of the tunnel, one in operation and one on standby on each end. Thereafter we will maintain a water-free environment for approximately 18 days while contractors repair the pipeline that has contributed to seepage into the tunnel. “This project shows our tenacity to meet the dewatering requirements of any client, no matter the nature of the work it entails,” Vine concludes.

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