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Maritzburg Spearheads Engineering Firm’s Kzn Expansion

Pietermaritzburg is the perfect base from which to spearhead an expansion into one of South Africa’s most promising investment destinations. That’s according to Johannesburg based engineering firm WEC Projects which is hoping to tap into Kwa-Zulu Natal’s growing economy. “KwaZulu-Natal is a most sought-after province when it comes to interesting municipalities in our biogas waste-to-energy plants. The burgeoning population and impressive economic growth means there is growing interest in renewable energy. This is especially so amongst KZN municipalities whose waste water treatment plants mean they are literally sitting on a fantastic energy source,” said Graham Hartlett, Sales and Marketing Manager for WEC Projects. WEC Projects estimates that, nationally, a whopping 30 megawatts annually could be saved by South African municipalities should their water treatment plants decide to switch off Eskom and switch on the electricity-generating potential of methane-rich biogas. WEC Projects has implemented South Africa’s first biogas to power plant on a municipal waste water treatment works. For Johannesburg Water. Biogas is produced as a by-product of sewage treatment and holds the potential to reduce waste water treatment plants’ dependence on Eskom by fueling gas engine generators. “We want to bring the benefits of biogas to KwaZulu-Natal and Pietermaritzburg is the perfect place from which to ramp up our investment in this province. Its more central location compared to Durban and the fact that it is a regional centre for heavy and light industry makes it ideal for us,” Mr Hartlett added. Aside from its interest in biogas plants, WEC Projects also supplies industrial, agricultural and mining clients with modular packaged water treatment plants. These plants typically take raw water from client facilities and treat it to potable drinking water that meets the standards laid down by the World Health Organisation (WHO). As a specialist contractor in the water and wastewater treatment industry, WEC is an expert supplier of these packaged treatment plants and hopes to increasingly make it presence felt in KZN. “By turning raw water into something that meets global health standards, we are well aware of just how important our plants can be to the people they will ultimately service. This is especially true in KZN with its significant rural population,” said Mr Hartlett. Mr Hartlett explains that the packaged water treatment plants supplied by WEC are ideal for rural conditions, since they are containerised which means reduced build time on site. The units are manufactured, assembled and tested prior to being sent to the site. Moreover, since the treatment facilities are modular, WEC can bring in additional modules as and when these may be required. Heading up WEC Projects’ new Pietermaritzburg office is Paul Graydon who will help turn the firm’s existing limited footprint in the province into something more substantial.