Babcock International keeps the fires burning with mill maintenance contract

Babcock is helping to keep South Africa’s power going, following the award of a mill maintenance contract at a major power plant . Babcock’s diverse scope of work for the five-year contract covers the day-to-day upkeep of the milling plant as well as outage repairs, quality and inventory support, and on-site training and upskilling of the surrounding local communities. 

Babcock International keeps the fires burning with mill maintenance contract

The fossil fuel power station relies on its milling plant to produce pulverised coal in order to obtain optimal combustion and power generation performance. The mill operates 24-hours a day and is responsible for the grinding, drying, transporting and classification of the coal.

Babcock’s mill maintenance specialist says that the reliability of the mill is essential to ensure correct coal fineness, dryness and throughput, with the performance of the milling plant significantly impacting on plant efficiency.

The milling plant is an integral part of the power station and consists of many dynamic parts which all need to work together smoothly to ensure successful operation.

The scope of work is for complete and comprehensive maintenance for the milling plant including regular and periodic inspections, service repair, maintenance and refurbishment of the plant and all associated equipment, 24-hour availability to repair breakdowns, as well as performing inventory management support services. 

The milling plant operates around the clock, so daily inspections and immediate attendance to breakdowns is vital. Babcock has strategies in place to deal with maintenance backlog challenges and will streamline the process by ensuring optimum quality combined with open and timeous communication with the client 

This should, in time, allow for more preventative and predictive maintenance, resulting in fewer breakdowns and significant cost savings for the mill. Predictive maintenance is data-based and provides valuable information and insight into why a breakdown occurred, allowing Babcock to anticipate and eliminate any issues going forward.

Maintenance at the milling plant began on 1 March this year. Babcock will be employing and training operators and workers from local communities for this contract and upskilling them in line with the requirements of the client.

The power station is located in a remote area, where employment opportunities are limited. Babcock understands that engagement with and involvement of local people on this project is critical in order to contribute to the community’s economic and social needs.

Besides formulating and implementing a turnaround programme to stabilise the milling plant’s availability, Babcock will support the client in listing and identifying spare parts requirements, in addition to scheduling orders in conjunction with the mill’s service demands. The company will also run refurbishment workshops for the overhaul of equipment and machinery, as well as some elements of fabrication.  

In line with Babcock’s commitment to ensuring that everyone ‘goes home safe every day’, the company will also be rolling out its highly successful safety programme that encourages all employees to uphold the organisation’s outstanding safety standards and records.

Babcock has extensive experience in the milling industry, and also holds Original Equipment Manufacturer status for the Babcock E-type mill, a compact and ergonomic vertical spindle coal mill.

As one of the most established and experienced steam generator and industrial plant suppliers in Africa, Babcock has successfully completed multiple projects in the power generation sector. Its major industrial clients include electric utilities as well as large companies in the petrochemicals, sugar and paper and pulp industries.

Babcock provides companies that produce steam in any manner with engineering service such as design, failure/incident analysis, maintenance and a host of other services, supported by best-in-class technology and a skilled workforce.


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