Established in 1987, Hydra Arc started from humble beginnings, now a leading South African welding contractor, specialising in the manufacturing, maintenance and refurbishment of pressure vessels, piping fabrication, steel construction, refinery and boiler maintenance.
Hydra Arc offers a full range of welding processes and materials from carbon steel to the exotic material grades. Three tales have contributed to the Hydra Arc Group’s success. Each feeding and growing the other.
‘ Sky Hill Heavy Engineering;
‘ Jomele Training and Placements & Mshiniwami Artisan Academy; and
‘ Hydra Arc refinery maintenance.
The Sky Hill Workshop Complex, one of the largest, best equipped, steel fabrication, pressure vessel and piping workshops in the world, began in 2009, on a field – from nothing, by 2010 Sky Hill had its first order, the fabrication of a major portion of the steam ducting for the Medupi power station.
Ever since Hydra Arc have completed many other successful projects, with orders coming in from Europe, The Middle East and Asia.
The primary fabrication facility consists of four different workshops/bays. That’s approximately 75 000m2 under one roof. A 10,000m2 pipe shop, a 5,000m2 laser & plasma cutting shop and outdoor fabrication platforms range up to 50,000m2. The building is designed with a green slant, only using natural light for day time production.
Our primary facilities are supported by a 10,000m2 store for equipment, tools and consumables, 8
hectares of lay-down area and material stores, an electrical shop, diesel and petrol mechanical shops, a fully equipped machine shop, and carpentry shop.
Our capacity, state-of-the-art equipment, design capability and skills enable us to fabricate the largest pressure vessels and a limitless range of piping which meet the most stringent local and international specifications. The equipment utilized in the workshop represents the very latest in technologic advancement. The PWHT oven (possible the largest in the world) 70m long by 10m wide with a temperature range up to 750?, a second PWHT oven, 15m long by 6m wide, temperature range up to 950?.
The cranes, the tallest in South Africa, with a lifting capacity of 1,500 tons and a 22m under hook. A backup generator ‘power station’ capable of indefinitely powering the site in the event of a power failure.
There are 5 plate rollers with varying rolling capacities from 6mm to 150mm, a 1,250-ton bend press which can accommodate plate widths of up to 6.5m, specialized welding booms and rollers, designed and manufactured by Sky Hill, for the fabrication of large pressure vessels.
We are all about Innovation and forward thinking. Shutdown and refinery management has always been our specialty and Hydra Arc has proven to be a South African leader in this field again, and again.
Hydra Arc’s database of artisans ensure there will never be a shortage, and the ability to quickly and effectively deploy these artisans where or when necessary.
A key business imperative within the Hydra Arc group is a training and the development of skills centre. Mshiniwami Artisan Academy trains 1,000 welders, 450 pipe fitters and fifty boiler makers a year, which means we can attract and retain essential skills needed to develop and maintain our businesses and at the same time grow a skills base so badly needed in South Africa.
Welding is a major component to the Hydra Arc’s core business. There are many off spins to this. Skills can be accessed when needed, we can meet the customer demand quickly and effectively, man power can be mobilised and top skills can be enhanced and used.
Hydra Arc is currently involved in several major contracts for clients such as petro-chemical group Sasol. At Sasol Secunda, Hydra Arc has successfully completed projects such as the assembly and fabrication work for their coal tar filtration east project, fabrication of a gunk stabiliser, pipe spools and ducting for the seventeenth oxygen train.
We also fabricate water tanks for the local government so they can supply water to rural areas. Hydra Arc has made big strides in Africa. Each year, we train craftspeople to supply the South African market with boilermakers, welders and pipefitters. The firm is also involved in government projects that will positively affect the South African community. We empower individuals to be employable.
Any business encounters challenges in the industry and Hydra Arc is no exception. There is a shortage of skilled artisans in our country, which we have attempted to eliminate through our training program. Other challenges include cheap equipment imports from the east, dumped material from China and India and weak demand in local work.
To overcome these challenges, we have implemented the right sizing of the company to match local market demand. We are still continuously investing in new capacity to broaden our markets into other fields such as power generation, mining and water storage solutions, along with aggressively aiming at the international markets.
The Hydra Arc Group is a family run business, every one playing their part to make us the success that we have become. We care at every level.
Our Group is very involved in community work which includes the development and sponsorship of an environmental school, donation of funds to schools, orphanages, churches and charitable associations. We are involved in the sponsorship of sports teams and participate in the Black Management Forum, Economic Development Forum, Audit Committee of the Gert Sibande Municipality, Management Advisory Council of the Vaal University of Technology and the local branch of NAFCOC.