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Granco expands in South Africa

Granco manufactures a fule line of self-priming rotary positive displacment ball type pumps.

US pump manufacturer Granco Manufacturing, Inc. manufactures a full line of self-priming rotary positive displacement ball type pumps. Granco has already made inroads in the country where it has supplied and installed its Granco H13 ball pumps at the largest cattle farm, Karan Beef, located in Heidelberg south of Johannesburg. The farm harvests an estimated 1,600 head of cattle every day and uses Granco H13 ball pumps to transfer molasses for its animal feed.

Granco says the pumps have been designed in such a way as to overcome major hurdles in pumping of molasses which are viscosity, temperature and crystallisation, challenges triggered by the many varieties of molasses which differ in viscosity and solids content dictated mainly by the source of this sugar processing product.

In South Africa massive capital investment projects within the utilities, chemicals and petrochemicals and water and wastewater end-user industries are expected to contribute to a higher demand for industrial pump products over the long term.

Making it in mining

Apart from the Karan Beef project, Granco Manufacturing is also seeking to increase its presence in the continent’s mining, petroleum, speciality chemicals, industrial and food products to increase its share of the market in the region. Africa’s mining sector is projected to grow on the back increasing global demand for certain minerals, crude oil and natural gas.

The company’s president and CEO Ivan R. Dimcheff said in a previous release that Granco “is fully focused on Africa and our pumps have already been used in the mining industry in Africa.” He says Granco provides truck mounted pumps that are placed onto diesel fuel trucks that dispense large volumes of diesel fuel needed for their equipment at the mine site. “In addition Granco can provide stationary pumps to mine operators that have their own tank farms that store hydraulic fluid, lubricants, greases, and fuels for their mine equipment requirements.”

The company’s appetite for Africa’s mining industry has been fuelled by positive predictions of the growth by market analysts who project substantial expansion of mining activities in coming years. For example, consultancy firm KPMG says Africa contributed 6.5% of the world’s mineral exports during 2011 from mining 20% of the world’s land area, a trend that is likely to be maintained or get better through to 2020. In its ‘Mining in Africa Towards 2020’ report, KPMG says countries affiliated to the Southern African Development Community produce two-thirds of Africa’s mineral exports by value with South Africa being the biggest player in the region is South Africa.

The report says East African countries have several mineral belts that produce tanzanite and gold, with Tanzania being the biggest regional gold producer. Burundi has some gold reserves along with copper, cobalt, nickel and uranium deposits while in Kenya mineral exploration activity in the western region “has increased significantly over the past few years.” A similar mining trend has been observed in Central and West Africa where KPMG says there is high anticipation of substantial increase “in iron-ore exploration and mining.”

Web marketing

In a bid to tap into Africa’s pump supply market Granco has also partnered with web marketing agency PumpScout to connect the California-based pump maker with buyers and suppliers by enabling them ‘get multiple quotes, fast and free.’ PumpScout is owned and operated by ScoutHub, LLC, a digital marketing and lead generation company for the engineering and industrial equipment markets.

Granco’s partnership with PumpScout has been seen as one of the strategies to enable the pump manufacturer expand its share of the growing market for pumps in Africa’s expanding mining sector. “PumpScout is a great way to introduce Granco to a myriad of potential pump buyers,” says Ivan Dimcheff, President of Granco Manufacturing, Inc. “Each PumpScout inquiry has provided us with accurate data regarding the pump specifications so we can quickly send the customer an accurate quotation for his application. This is a great resource for pump companies and their distributors to expand their customer base and increase revenues.”

Impact of imports

Despite Granco’s anticipated manoeuvre to get a larger slice of the African pump market, there have been concerns from manufacturers in the continent on the impact of imported pumps on the local market. For example, the South African Pumps Manufacturers’ Association (Sapsda) previously said the performance of the country’s pump makers has been negatively impacted by the increasing importation of pumps. “The preference of foreign products over locally manufactured products affects growth and the rate of development in South Africa. Therefore, it is important for local pump manufacturers to become the preferred suppliers of mines in South Africa to promote growth of the local pumps industry.”

Sapsda said on its website that although South Africa was one of the biggest manufacturers of all pump types “this has changed drastically because the country has reduced its output of locally manufactured pumps. The loss of this market share in the global pumps industry has affected the research and development of pump technology in South Africa because less manufacturing is taking place. If we do not manufacture, we will not be able to conduct research and develop new and improved products. As a result, growth will not be possible.”

Despite the concerns by Sapsda, market analyst Frost & Sullivan says South Africa is one of the countries whose market (for both imported and local pumps) is growing steadily, supported by ongoing infrastructure projects within the power generation and water and wastewater industries. The analyst says South African centrifugal and positive displacement pumps market earning could reach US$323.6 million in 2015 up from the US$175.4 million six years ago.

According to Frost & Sullivan: “Massive capital investment projects within the utilities, chemicals and petrochemicals and water and wastewater end-user industries are expected to contribute to a higher demand for industrial pump products over the long term.”

Construction of the 4,800 MW Medupi and 5,400 MW Kusile coal fired power stations by the country’s power utility Eskom “as well as PetroSA and Sasol’s planned expansion activities are some of the projects poised to support steady market expansion.”