A ROBUST RANGE Grindex has been active in Zambia for the past 25 years, with its range of drainage pumps capable of handling water with abrasive solids up to 12 mm in size
Engineering products supplier Integrated Engineering Services (IES) has been responsible for servicing pumps specialist Integrated Pump Technology’s growing customer base in the Zambian mining sector since January this year.
Accounting for about 30% of the submersible pumps market in the country, Integrated Pump Technology GM Jordan Marsh says the company’s installed base has started to increase considerably over the past year, as the mining industry has become more attractive to investors under the leadership of newly elected President Hakainde Hichilema.
Integrated Pump Technology is the official African distributor of Sweden-headquartered pumps manufacturer Grindex, which has been active in Zambia for the past 25 years, but more aggressively so since the company took over distribution in 2014, notes Marsh.
Having previously relied on another distributor, Integrated Pump Technology finalised its sole distributorship agreement with IES at the end of last year, following its establishment in 2020.
Marsh says it was the product knowledge that IES MD Andrew Kansamba gained while working for Integrated Pump Technology’s previous distributor, as well as his understanding of the Zambian market, that sealed the deal.
“Teaming up with IES, with Andrew at the helm, was a no-brainer.”
“IES is focused on servicing customers to the best of its ability, bringing services closer to their operations and adding value by having stock available, backup services, and maintenance and repair facilities,” states Kansamba.
The IES workshop is headed by a qualified mechanical engineer, who leads technical staff in pump installations, commissioning, breakdowns, fault-finding and repairs.
Having a local partner improves the ease with which Integrated Pump Technology services the Zambian market. Trust and transparency between the companies is crucial in this respect, with a key account manager dedicated to IES to ensure that vital information is shared, explains Marsh.
“We want to be seen as one unit. It does not matter if the customer speaks to Integrated Pump Technology or IES. Our objective is unified – get product to market and make it as successful as possible,” elaborates Kansamba.
“It is vital to have a company that can supply our full portfolio of products and do them all justice,” emphasises Marsh, adding that stock held by IES is increasing monthly.
It was only about four months ago that IES had the financial capacity to carry stock in-country, but the company currently stocks the entire range of Grindex pumps, from 2.2 kW to 90 kW.
Tackling Wet Conditions
Zambia is one of the largest producers of copper in Africa and probably has the deepest copper mines on the continent, says Kansamba.
As such, Zambia is home to some of the world’s wettest mines.
“Just like any other mining industry, there is more water than anything else, boosting demand for Grindex submersible dewatering pumps. The Grindex pumps are the most sought-after pumps across all mining applications,” he states.
IES has supplied pumps from the Grindex range across all mining applications for various commodities, this year.
Notably, IES succeeded in listing Grindex pumps as a preferred stock item for one of the largest copper producers in Kitwe.
“This is a significant achievement, as Grindex has always been known as a quality product that competes with the best in the industry, but not to the extent where it was specified and preferred.
“Consequently, when this mining company requires a pump, a requisition will automatically be raised against a Grindex pump. We think this will go a long way towards increasing our market share in future,” adds Kansamba.
IES has also recently supplied pumps to another underground copper mine, in the Chililambombwe district of Zambia’s Copperbelt province, where IES has consistently supplied pumps of up to 90 kW.
This is in addition to supplying numerous pumps to an openpit copper mine in the North West province.
“We have also supplied local cement and lime quarries in the region, and these include 90 kW Grindex Mega pumps,” says Kansamba.
While the products offered by Grindex are not among the cheapest pumps on the market, Integrated Pump Technology’s customers understand that this is based on their superior quality.
“We offer a 30-month warranty on our units. This is unheard of in any industry, and speaks volumes of the quality of these pumps, which are made from the highest grade of material,” highlights Marsh.
Admitting that the Zambian mining industry will always present challenges, such as loss of market share to cheaper products, Kansamba believes that IES is on the winning side.
“We are located at the centre of the mining industry in Zambia, about 60 km from all major mining operations, so logistically we are well placed. We are also equipped with good knowledge of the products we supply and have long-standing relationships with customers,” he enthuses.