AES keeps the wheels of industry turning by driving energy optimisation and best practices

As the local manufacturing and industrial sector continues to be challenged by the ongoing power crisis and struggling economy, the optimisation of energy production processes is crucial in keeping the wheels of industry turning. Experienced steam and boiler operations and maintenance (O & M) service provider, Associated Energy Services (AES), has been proudly assisting industrial plants to achieve energy usage optimisation and best practices for over 25 years.

Managing Director Chris Paterson notes: “I believe our services have never been more important in the country than at this current time – particularly in the wake of the country’s declining gross domestic product (GDP). The current energy and productivity crisis requires agile, flexible and diverse solutions. As an innovative, reliable and well-established steam and boiler O & M service provider with a 25 year-plus track record, we can assist with energy efficiency optimisation through a wide-ranging portfolio of solutions.”

These offerings include the following:

  • Mitigation of risk and reduction of energy plant downtime;
  • Assistance with the care of assets over the energy plant’s lifetime;
  • Procurement of efficient fuel combustion;
  • Diversification of the plant’s energy resources;
  • Improvement in site operations; and
  • A reduction in carbon footprint.

Reducing plant downtime through effective O & M

Commercial Director Dennis Williams explains: “AES is passionate about mitigating risk and reducing plant downtime through effective operations and maintenance and the optimisation of thermal energy streams from coal, liquid fuels, biomass and gas, allowing our clients to optimise energy efficiencies, future-proof their plants and secure ongoing sustainability and profitability.

“O&M provision is critical in driving an energy plant to achieve successful and sustainable operations, allowing our client-partners to benefit from the ongoing availability of steam and reliability of assets at an equitable price.”

Williams explains that AES is fuel- solutions- and technology-agnostic, saying: “ We believe coal will be the mainstay in South Africa regarding power generation for the next 10 years at least, and the same goes for process energy, which also has a substantial fuel requirement. However, AES provides solutions to diversify the fuel mix and is agnostic around fuel – we can assist clients in diversifying by providing access to numerous fuel and technology-based energy solutions: from coal and LPG (liquid petroleum gas) to biogas, biomass and more.

“We are also able to mitigate fuel risk through an established fuel procurement offering. Being extremely stringent in terms of the quality of fuel which we provide, we assist in plant efficiency improvements, using less fuel and improving the plant’s carbon footprint.”

A variety of operating models

Williams continues: “The production of thermal energy is integrated into a client’s overall production. We always say that the boiler house is the metaphorical ‘heart’ of the operation, and if this is inefficient, it has a knock-on effect on the quantity and quality of the product produced – ultimately negatively impacting the bottom-line.

With resources and skills shortages playing a large role in today’s economic challenges, AES is able to offer the client fully-outsourced energy plant operation: including the provision of our own team members on-site for operations, maintenance and training. We can also present a ‘cradle to grave approach’, paired with the ‘build, own, operate, transfer’ model. We are flexible and work according to the client’s requirements.”

Powerful pioneering

Paterson explains: “AES operates across a broad range of industrial sectors, with a well-established national footprint. We promote optimised energy processes in the following industries: power generation, mining, chemical, timber, pulp and paper, textiles, dairy, poultry, food and beverage.”

Williams observes that AES is widely regarded as the pioneering local O & M service provider in the steam and boiler plant management and maintenance industry locally, based on its nearly three decades in operation as well as the size of its client base.

“The company officially began as AES in 1996, but some of its earlier operations actually pre-date this period and were then transferred to AES when it became a standalone operation,” he clarifies.

“Our client base is also larger than any of our competitors. Additionally, AES was the first to offer an industry uptime and availability guarantee, which once again speaks to risk mitigation, as well as our status as a pioneer and forerunner.”

People and safety first

AES subscribes to the highest ethics and operates according to strict safety standards, being ISO 9001, 14001 and 45001 certified.

Paterson comments: “AES is committed to quality, diverse and sustainable technology advancement and the development of human capital on an equal opportunity basis.  Our certification ensures that we maintain a focus on achieving, benchmarking and optimising our internally and externally-focused processes and activities.

There is no doubt that the current energy crisis requires robust, sustainable solutions. AES is determined to continue playing our role in supporting the South African economy through the optimisation and management of industrial energy efficiency, energy solutions diversification, carbon footprint reduction and risk mitigation,” he concludes.