Time constraints are a challenge when working for power producers, as they have tight schedules, and there is always pressure to complete the maintenance shut downs as quickly as possible, writes Skyriders marketing manager Mike Zinn.

Safe access to power stations is complicated by their large facilities containing boilers, cooling towers and smoke stacks, making scaffolding

Maintenance project at Matimba power station
Maintenance project at Matimba power station

time consuming and expensive to erect. The rope access offered by Skyriders is not reliant on scaffolding, which allows trained technicians to complete tasks safely and quickly.

Rope access is one of the most efficient ways to carry out maintenance as the systems allow rapid rigging and derigging. As the technician on the rope is the person carrying out the work, only one team is needed to construct the rigging and then carry out the maintenance. The system also provides teams with the flexibility needed to complete tasks at various locations quickly.

Skyriders has successfully completed recent maintenance work at three of Eskom’s power stations, Matimba, Medupi and Tutuka, using rope access. The work at Matimba required working at a height of 250 metres. The steel erection at Medupi made use of rope access as it was a quicker and cheaper alternative to scaffolding. The recent work at Tutuka required industrial vacuum cleaning work on hard-to-reach structures that were inaccessible using scaffolding.

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