Sasol has renegotiated a longstanding contract for the supply of low voltage (LV) electric motors with Zest Electric Motors, part of the Zest WEG Group. The contract, first awarded in 1997, has been renewed for a further five years.
“This contract covers Sasol’s South African sites in Sasolburg and Secunda, as well as Sasol Mining and includes products developed to meet the specific needs of its different environments, including flameproof motors for underground mining,” Gary Daines, Zest WEG Group’s sales and marketing director, says.
After the initial contract, Zest Electric Motors quickly established itself as a leading supplier of electric motors and although the initial requirement was focused on LV machines, the company has also supplied medium voltage (MV) motors over the same period, as well as VSDs.
Daines comments that at the time the original contract was awarded, Sasol was looking for a company that could offer strong support from a local base and that could meet strict Key Performance Areas such as technical support, accessibility of stock and training.
To support this contract, Zest Electric Motors established a dedicated branch in Trichardt and this branch has subsequently grown substantially in both stockholding and manpower. Under the company’s banner, it has also become an ISO 9001 accredited facility.
“In 1997 Sasol was the first in the industry to embrace the concept high efficiency motors which, back then was visionary, since the campaign to conserve energy had not really taken hold,” he continues. “With the more recent introduction of the new IE3 specifications that define minimum efficiency levels, Sasol took the initiative to standardise on the high efficiency levels available in the market. Sasol is at present our only customer to recognise the benefits of installing these electric motors to an IE3 efficiency class.”
“Since 1997 we’ve forged an excellent relationship with Sasol and the new contract demonstrates the excellent spirit of the affiliation and the value that we’ve added,” Daines says. “We’ve carried out an extensive list of value-add projects, undertaken together with Sasol personnel, in which we’ve gone into the plant and come up with cost effective solutions to specific issues. We regularly participate in Sasol’s meetings and several unique technical solutions have emerged from this engagement.
“Since this is a petrochemical application for LV motors, the certification of our products for hazardous areas is one that meets international standards. In fact, such intense product development has taken place in conjunction with Sasol, that the range today exceeds these world standards. As we see Sasol becoming a global player in the petrochemical industry, we’re seeing WEG products increasingly being used in their operations globally.
“We pay tribute to Sasol for their very stringent specifications that have set a benchmark in the petrochemical industry. Through their technical forums, we’ve certified our LV motor range with the SABS and Certex, together with our drives, to be used in conjunction with each other in Variable Speed Drive (VSD) applications. And, as a result of this certification, we’ve been able to supply other companies with this combination for hazardous environments.”
The company’s extensive stockholding in Trichardt has substantially reduced this demand on Sasol’s own stores, since a simple online order for a specific product results in a delivery to the Sasol plant in less than an hour.