Opening the door to one of Africa’s most exciting mining regions, Integrated Pump Technology appointed Congo Pump Solutions as its sole distributor in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) earlier in the year.
This important strategic step is boosting the footprint of the quality Grindex range of submersible pumps, according to Jordan Marsh, Managing Director at Integrated Pump Technology. Marsh notes that Congo Pump Solutions – as a local firm run by experienced Congolese personnel – has already made considerable headway in the country’s mining sector.
“Mines in the DRC operate in one of the world’s wettest mining environments, so the performance and reliability of their submersible pumps is a priority for mining companies,” he says. “In line with the success that the Grindex range has achieved in Africa to date, we have seen a good start to the brand’s penetration into the DRC.”
Trésor Kamazani, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Congo Pump Solutions, highlights that one of the leading mines in the country has Grindex making up about 70% of its on-site pump population. Among the main pump features catching customers’ interest, says Kamazani, are the integrated starters on the drainage pumps which include run-dry capabilities – as well as cooling jackets and agitators on the slurry pumps.
“An important aspect of our success to date, though, is our ability to understand and anticipate what our customers will need,” he explains. “We accurately forecast demand levels, and plan for those in our operational strategy. This allows us to have the necessary stock available and to deliver fast turnaround times when customers are in need.”
To ensure solid aftermarket support, the company has set up a workshop facility on site at its largest mining customer. A multi-purpose workshop is also under development to service Grindex pumps to the same high standard as is currently achieved in South Africa.
Congo Pump Solutions has supplied a range of Grindex submersible pumps mainly to DRC’s underground mines, many of which are expanding in response to growing demand for minerals globally. Popular among the underground drillers at the mining face is the Grindex Master H and Master SH 10 kW dewatering pump, and Master Inox pumps for corrosive applications where the water is acidic.
These typically pump water from the face to a collection point, where it is common for the 37 kW Grindex Maxi to be employed – pumping to a larger ‘fish tank’ repository. To dewater these, as many as six of the 90 kW Grindex Mega pumps have been put to work at a time, pumping water to a main pump station which dewaters to surface.
Kamazani also points to the take-up of Grindex pumps in slurry applications, where the Bravo range is suited for submerging in even heavy-particle slurry. “This has made the Grindex Bravo range a good choice for using around the process plant, where they must often deal with corrosive slurry,” he says. “These pumps are known for being strong, and range from the 4,7 kW Bravo 200 to the 70 kW Bravo 900.”
The sludge pumps in the Grindex range have also seen good market reception, with customers using them extensively around underflow thickeners in their plants. He notes that the stainless steel configurations of the Grindex Salvador, Sandy and Senior models are particularly appreciated where sludge is corrosive.