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NEWS 22 / 11 / 2022

IWC completes another cooling tower project for SASOL

Ten months later and another successful natural draft cooling tower refurbishment under the belt.

The scope of this project was similar to that of Cooling Tower 245B, with the replacement of the internals of a natural draught cooling tower (removal and installation of new splash grid fill). The work also encompassed civil remedial works with repairs to the concrete support beams, columns and corbels inside the tower shell. The splash grid fill is suspended from these beams with stainless steel hanging wires.

This was a “first of its kind” project for Industrial Water Cooling with a move to include nightshift work inside the cooling tower in order to deliver the project ahead of schedule.

Night work inside a partially live cooling tower poses different risks compared to the normal day shift rosters, which the IWC team were used. This meant considerable time was needed to adequately plan and put adequate steps in place to ensure the work could be completed safely for all concerned.

Various lighting solutions were explored to compensate for extreme hot, cold, wet and windy conditions experienced in the cooling tower. Water resistant floodlights were used to light up the beams inside the towers, and plant lights lit up the outside tower and other areas. Each team member working under these conditions was also provided with a headlamp in case of emergencies.

In conjunction with the Behavioural Transformation team from Sasol, we conducted extensive behavioural transformation diagnostics to interview and gain insights from the employees to ensure that the IWC team were properly prepared for the project, to ensure success.  The interviews included gaining insights from each employee on how they felt about night shift, the success rate and any concerns that they might have.  All questions were addressed in a feedback session outlining the supporting facts and information to ensure employee understanding and buy-in for the project.

We also provided guidance on how best to prepare for the new nightshift conditions, which included tips on eating and sleeping and acclimatising 48 hours prior to a shift.

Additional resources were mobilised with the addition of the night shift and all new resources were trained and integrated into the team. The team included a working compliment of existing, experienced employees with new employees, to ensure continuity of capability. This brought about the peak manpower on site to 215, including subcontractors.

As with every project, challenges were expected and indeed experienced. The agile nature and responsiveness of the project team meant that these were dealt with expeditiously, and once again showed the level of team work necessary to deliver time and time again, to our valued client, Sasol.

The project was completed safely and a month ahead of schedule. The team has performed wonders displaying their dedication and willingness to succeed.

Congratulations on a job well done!

Cooling tower refurbishment services