To further enhance its presence in the US and Canada, South African slurry pumps provider Hazleton Pumps intends to ship its signature Hippo submersible slurry pumps in kit form, with electrical winding, assembly and testing to be undertaken on arrival to ensure the pumps are able to function successfully at different electricity supply frequencies.
Hazleton Pumps is well established as an exporter of the Hippo submersible slurry pumps range in most international mining countries, with more than 50% of the pumps manufactured at its Centurion premises currently exported. However, the company explains that power supply in the US and Canada is 60 Hz, compared with the 50 Hz supply in South Africa. To manage this, Hazleton Pumps is shipping pumps to its subsidiaries in North America in modular form, enabling the final fabrication to be completed according to its customers’ power requirements.
Hazleton Pumps notes that this represents a real industry turnaround as, in the past, submersible slurry pumps could not be manufactured economically in South Africa and were, thus, generally imported. But these pumps were designed to operate using a 60 Hz power supply.
Hazleton Pumps – then known as Electro-Mech – designed its own submersible slurry pumps range to operate using a 50 Hz power supply. The new design – the Hippo – further incorporated specialised control systems that allowed the pumps to operate for a minimum of 24 months without requiring maintenance and ensured that the electrical winding was protected in such a way as to ensure that it never burned out. Specialised materials were, moreover, selected to enable the submersible slurry pumps to pump acidic liquids containing solids. To comply with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard 60097-1:2005, the Hippo range was also made fireproof to ensure safe use in underground environments where methane gas is often present.
Hazleton Pumps manufactured its first submersible slurry flameproof pump in 1993 but research and development on the range continued and, in 1995, the corrosion resistance of the pumps was enhanced through the use of duplex stainless steels. This improved the pump’s performance in coal mines, in particular, where the water is usually acidic. In 2000, as a result of enquiries for high-volume submersible pumps, the range was further enhanced and the first medium/high-voltage version of the submersible pumps range was designed and manufactured.
Owing to the success of the pumps in the local market, Hazleton Pumps received an enquiry from an oil sands project in Canada and, in 2005, its pumps were first exported.
In 2014, Hazleton Pumps added the world’s first flameproof high-voltage, high-head, high-volume submersible pumps range to its product offering, completing the unit in a single- stage design. This pumps range – which consists of five models capable of pumping up to 350 ℓ/s at a head of 200 m and with an installed power of 1 200 kW – can operate on both a 50 Hz and 60 Hz power supply.
All castings for Hazleton’s latest range are produced by South African foundries and all manufactured components for the pumps are done in-house at Hazleton Pumps’ facility. The only components that are imported are bearings and mechanical seals.
“The Hippo range is manufactured in South Africa with at least 98% local content,” the company concludes.