WearCheck, a South African Condition monitoring specialist, has expanded its African footprint into West Africa with the opening of an oil analysis laboratory in Ghana.
The entry into the extractive sector is partly due to the growth of the country’s mining industry which is attracting huge investment to the sector.
Since its inception in August 2013, the Tarkwa-based Wear-Check oil analysis laboratory has successfully serviced mines in the surrounding areas.
The laboratory is strategically situated near Goldfields.
The company’s Ghana-based division, Wearcheck Ghana, which incorporates the laboratory, is geared to service the local mining industry, including the country’s largest gold mine, the Tarkwa gold mine, which is owned by Africa’s biggest gold producer, Gold Fields Ghana.
WearCheck Managing Local businesses in the mining industry and other potential clients were invited to the August launch, which included a guided tour of the laboratory and an explanation of oil analysis. Director Neil Robinson said the capital investment in building and equipping the laboratory was about USS 75O, 000.
“The concept of analysing oil samples from a machine or component is similar to that of taking a blood sample from a person — the results determine the ‘health’ status of the unit and the-condition of the lubricant,” he said.
He added that WearCheck’s skilled diagnostic team analyses the results and advises companies on how to rectify any abnormal findings.
In addition to the mining industry, other Ghanaian industries, including the construction, automotive, shipping, aviation, Industrial, electrical and petrochemicals industries, are set to benefit from Wear Check’s services, says Robinson, who regards the laboratory in West Africa as the next step in the company’s ongoing strategic expansion.
“The stable Ghanaian economy and political environment were important factors in our selecting Ghana as a starting point in West Africa,” he said.
Robinson added that WearCheck plans to initially introduce the concept of oil analysis to a few key customers with the company capacity for processing samples being developed as demand increases
The WearCheck network currently spans nine countries and includes ten laboratories, all located in areas best positioned to service particular industries or industry clusters. Demand for WearCheck’s services has played an influential role in determining new locations for laboratories, he said.
WearCheck Ghana offers an on-site sampling service and a 24-hour sample turnaround time. Oil samples are processed in the laboratorY, which has the full complement of laboratory equipement as do all WearCheck laboratories.
All laboratory work in Ghana is overseen by laboratory supervisor Daniel Boakye — a Ghanaian national who has undergone extensive training at WearCheck’s facilities in South Africa and Zambia.
“All the laboratory staff conduct sample testing at the branch have incorporated experience gained from one other local oil analysis laboratories,” says Robinson, adding that I underwent training, valued at R100 000, at the Zambian facility in Kitwe, owing to the similarity two operations.
Source: B & FT
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