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Valve industry reflects global economic crisis [2009-07-01]

The current state of the local valve industry reflects the global econo- mic downturn, South African Valves and Actuator Manufacturers Association (Savama) president Ted Atkins tells Engineering News.

He reports a 25% reduction in local general valve manufacturing, which indi- cates that there has been no immunity for the industry. Nevertheless, certain sectors that the valve industry supplies to have been worse affected than others.

This holds true for the mining sector, in particular. Atkins says that the process side of mining is suffering, but that valve manufacturers and suppliers are still supported by the maintenance requirements of the mining sector.

But there are instances where valve manufacturers are continuing to supply to a number of exploration miners. Valves continue to be supplied to mines in Australia, Peru, the Middle East and North America.

However, there is no need to panic, says Atkins, as there is a good indication that metal prices may be increasing. Further, the valve industry is kept buoyant by a number of other industries, such as construction, power generation and water supply.

“In particular, government is spending significant amounts on infrastructure projects. These projects require large quantities of water and electricity and that is where valves are needed. Further, the delivery of electricity by the likes of State-owned utility Eskom is a matter of urgency,” he says.

Therefore, Atkins believes that capital expenditure from certain industries and government sectors has enabled the valves industry to thrive despite the current economic situation.