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MARKETING: Impala Platinum Wins Stainless Steel Awards


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Impala Platinum Refineries Ltd has been named the overall winner of the Stainless Steel Awards 2008.

“Impala Platinum's massive new autoclave is described as a breakthrough in the leaching process in the mining industry. It was entered into the product category, the biggest and most varied category of all, and it aroused the most debate,” said chairman of the Stainless Steel Awards judging panel, Michael Coulson.

Impala Platinum’s Second Stage Leach Autoclave was manufactured by Metso ND Engineering. Completed in 2007, the autoclave is the first of its kind in the world. Made of duplex SAF2205 stainless steel its performance and reliability far outclass the older design. It provides a safer working environment and reduces maintenance time and costs.

The entry from Impala Platinum was one of 42 entries received from across South Africa. It also won the Best Stainless Steel Product Award.

“The high quality of work completed within an increasingly challenging environment is a testimony to the capability of the South African stainless steel industry,” says Sassda chairman Sampie van Rooyen. “The astounding number of entries goes to show that the industry is dedicated and enthusiastic in promoting their innovative thinking. This level of enthusiasm is encouraging for a stainless steel market.”

“The entries were generally of a high standard, reflecting a surprising versatility in the use of what to the layman may seem a fairly limiting material. Both in scale and function they traversed the gamut, from small domestic appliances to huge pieces of industrial machinery,” says Coulson.

The Best Stainless Steel Project was awarded to Rebcon for the Timeball Tower at New Point Waterfront Development in Durban. The 50m tall tower at the Durban harbour is made from the most corrosion-resistant stainless steel to ensure limited maintenance and a long life-cycle at the most competitive price.

Gillet Exhaust Technology trading as Tenneco, won Best Stainless Steel Services. Gillet manufactures world-class catalytic converters. Since the company began in 1993 it has grown from a mere 300 000 converters a year to a forecast 4 million converters a year business by 2012.

The Innovation Award was won by Hazleton Pumps for their high voltage flameproof submersible pump. The device is able to pump acidic liquids containing solids at a rate of more than 1 200 litres per second while being totally submerged in a potentially explosive environment. It is made of duplex CD-4MCu stainless steel.

The Student Award went to a deceptively simple but effective solution - Boipuso Isaac's portable stainless steel galleries. While Sergio Vieira, the runner up, is to be commended for his hydrojet tank cleaner. It was made as a project at Chaswill Process Technology and was bought by Nestle.

The Achievement Award was given to three long-serving members of the stainless steel industry. Jack Moody, Sakkie Nel and Dave Rowlands all received certificates for their outstanding commitment and unselfish contribution to the industry.

The awards, which recognise exceptional achievements in the stainless steel industry, have been held every second year since 1998 and are the highlight of the stainless steel industry. They are open for entries from local as well as international individuals and companies involved in the production, conversion, distribution, use or recommendation of stainless steel.

As the official platform for the stainless steel industry in southern Africa, Sassda used the awards banquet to announce the establishment of a bursary scheme. Together with Sector Education Training Authorities and foreign agencies, Sassda will team up with its members and the stainless steel industry to tackle the desperate shortage of artisans in South Africa.

Bursaries will be provided to students from universities, technical universities and technician training programmes around the country who are either currently or looking to study:

University: Metallurgical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Architectural.

Technical University: Metallurgical, Mechanical, Structural and Architectural.

Technician Training Programmes: Welders, Boilermakers, Sheet Metal Workers, Electricians, Fitters and Turners and Millwrights.

“The Stainless Steel Awards will therefore become an integral part of adding value to the industry and upskilling technicians in the stainless steel industry,” says Van Rooyen.

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