Fire protection company Advanced Fire Suppression Technologies (Advanced FST) will extensively increase its African footprint in the next three to five years through local partnerships and acquisitions, says Advanced FST group executive Westley Barnardt.
The company aims to offer more permanent in-country support structures to offer its clients the latest technology in various fields.
“Our long-term goal is to become the largest services provider on the African continent and our main focus is on client service and on-site product support for every mining operation in Africa,” Barnardt tells Mining Weekly.
Advanced FST and Advanced Fire Global –Advanced FST’s international company – provide products and services for 28 African countries and support more than 350 clients. The company’s offices and subdistribution partners are permanently based in strategic locations across Africa to provide support for all the surrounding countries.
These offices and partners are based in Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Senegal, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea. The company will expand its current operations in Burkina Faso and increase its footprint on a more permanent base in some of the other countries, adds Barnardt. Advanced FST will also target Tanzania and Kenya.
He notes that getting the correct product support and maintenance services in Africa can be challenging, subsequently putting a client’s assets at risk.
However, Advanced FST, through its extensive footprint in Africa, can provide permanent or intermittent on site and in-country support for clients.
“Fire poses a huge risk for every mining operation, in the plant and on its heavy mining equipment. The risk at certain mining operations are, however, greater than others, depending on the remoteness of the site and availability of the correct resources to ensure that equipment is well maintained,” he points out.
Further, every mining operation requires vehicle fire suppression systems to safeguard their operators. It is also an insurance requirement for all mining operations to have such systems fitted to their heavy mining equipment, says Barnardt.
Installing the correct system to equipment is crucial and Advanced FST together with specialised fire equipment manufacturing company Ansul continuously do extensive fire risk assessments to ensure each installation covers the full risk, he adds. The Ansul systems are approved and tested and hold the following approvals and certifications, FM, UL, CE, A55062.
Ansul’s products, such as the Ansul Liquid Vehicle Suppressant (LVS) liquid agent fire suppression system, which is designed to rapidly suppress fires in mobile equipment, are used in a range of industries including mining.
The Ansul CHECKFIRE detection and activation system is used with the LVS system to provide 24/7, automatic fire detection and actuation.
The rugged control module is designed to withstand shock, vibration and extreme environmental conditions. The system includes supervised circuitry, adjustable shutdown, discharge time delays and auxiliary shutdown relay, and provides the latest technology in vehicle fire detection.
“Through its fully monitored detection and activation circuits, it provides a continued feed to the operator, ensuring that client assets are always fully protected,” highlights Barnardt.
The stored memory functionality provides information on the past 5 000 events to identify the cause of any fault or activation on the system. The dual power functionality of the system also provides assurance of a 24/7 functional system.