SA-made distillation columns for Swazi ethanol project

30 October 2018 | Web Article Number: ME201812441

Materials Handling & Bulk Handling
Metals & Alloys
SA-made distillation columns for Swazi ethanol project

MASS & Heat Transfer Technology (MHT)are in the process of completing the construction of five large Ethanol Distillation Columns for export to The Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland).

Four of the columns have already been delivered and the last is due for delivery soon.

The Roodepoort-based company was awarded the design and manufacture of the distillation columns by USA Distillers, situated on the banks of the Usuthu River near Big Bend in Swaziland. These five columns form the “heart” of the new USA 92-million litre per annum Potable Ethanol Expansion project which will make USA Distillers the largest producer of high grade Extra Neutral Potable Ethanol in Africa.

MHT Managing Director Christo van den Heever explained that the distillation process employed by USA Distillers makes their ethanol highly sought after by the international potable alcohol market.

The size of these columns ranges in diameter from 1.8m to 2.6m with overall lengths up to 37 meters. They are constructed in grades 304L and 316L Austenitic Stainless Steel and these free-standing columns can withstand wind velocities of up to 120 km/hr.

"What makes MHT unique in the supply of these columns is the combination of our process engineering knowledge & skills, our sophisticated mechanical design capabilities as well as the fact that we are a registered ISO-3834-2 and ASME VIII Div.1 Appendix 10 certified manufacturer of pressure vessels,” Van den Heever said.

“This brings all the critical aspects of design, fabrication and supply of such critical process equipment under one “umbrella” and we can therefore guarantee not only the quality of workmanship, but also the mechanical integrity of these columns as well as their process performance.”

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