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Marley Pipe Systems

Celebrating 50 years at the top


Celebrating 50 years at the top Editorial: Lauren Grey Production: James Clark

South Africa’s leader in plastic pipes and fittings for reticulation systems, Marley Pipe Systems achieved its 50th anniversary this year, but the company has been holding off celebrations in anticipation of a recently successful acquisition which is set to take them to new heights of product and service delivery. General Manager of African operations, Michelle Harding says that the company is preparing to mark the occasion in 2014.

South African manufacturer of plastic pipes and fittings, Marley Pipe Systems, was founded in 1963 as part of the Marley SA Group; with the initial purpose of manufacturing and distributing plumbing products to the local merchant trade. However, driven by its success and superior product quality, the company is now recognised across the globe as a leading name in plastic pipes and fittings, and has since branched out into infrastructure development, supplying a wide range of products to the civil, mining, irrigation and industrial industries. After successfully establishing themselves in the infrastructure market, the company is now focused on becoming the preferred manufacturer and distributor of quality plastic pipe systems for the infrastructure and


building markets in sub-Saharan Africa, whilst staying true to its founding principle of quality and credibility. In order to efficiently service its expanding market share and global reach, Marley Pipe Systems has manufacturing facilities located in Nigel and Rosslyn, Gauteng whilst its distribution network encompasses multiple branches and depots around the country as well as offices in Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, coupled with an active export division selling into Africa, the Indian Ocean, and Australia.

INNOVATING SA Marley Pipe Systems’ vision of becoming the preferred manufacturer and distributor of plastic pipes and fittings across sub-Saharan Africa is a realistic goal that the company works to achieve on a daily basis.

Marley Pipe Systems

Marley PVC Pipes One way in which the company has secured its position at the top of the industry is through its commitment to sustainability and innovation. Marley is dedicated to manufacturing products that take environmental considerations and lifecycle sustainability into account, ultimately contributing to the preservation of South Africa’s natural resources. Adding to its already impressive portfolio, Marley recently announced that it would begin manufacturing Weholite Structured Wall Pipe. Weholite is known world-over as the preferred structured wall pipe solution for various applications, from water distribution to gravity sewers, rehabilitation projects and manholes to marine pipeline applications. Weholite is popular with contractors thanks to its light

weight and ease of installation. It removes the need for heavy lifting equipment and reduces risks in regard to health and safety. Also, research has shown that the service life of Weholite is 50% greater than concrete in stormwater applications, and at least 100% greater than concrete in corrosive applications. Marley, obviously a company that is continually innovating, also announced in November that it will increase its manufacturing capacity for High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) piping and pressure systems, allowing them to offer the market additional bore sizes from 16mm up to 1000mm in diameter. Recognised for being a high impact strength, flexible, cost-effective pipe material, HDPE is increasingly becoming the material of choice for a broad range of applications,


CompANY PROFILE including pipeline lining and relining, pipe cracking, slurry lines, gas distribution, Trenchless Technology, chemical transportation, sewerage, water supply, submerged pipelines, and for use in Dolomite areas. The increased size ranges that Marley is now able to offer will enable contractors to meet the demands of larger projects and thereby improve the integrity of finished pipelines over time. Supporting the company in its mission for sustainability is the Aliaxis Group, for which Marley Pipe Systems became a member in 1999. The Aliaxis Group is the global leader of plastic solutions for fluid handling systems in residential and commercial markets as well as industrial and public infrastructure applications. The group is present in over 40 countries and focuses on innovation, quality, excellent service and value. As an Aliaxis Company, Marley Pipe Systems is able

PAGE 4 DEC 13 Weholite Pipe

to bring reticulation solutions and new technology from around the globe to the local market in a sustainable manner, focusing on every aspect of the product lifecycle, from product design and development, all the way through to recycling waste material back into new products.

ANGOLA CUNENE WATER PROJECT Marley Pipe Systems has a variety of successfully completed projects in its portfolio, but the company’s largest contribution to a single project was the Angola Cunene Water project, in which Marley was awarded a $15 million water supply contract in Angola by Spanish company UTE Befesa-Riogersa. This huge contract, commissioned by the Angolan Ministry of Energy and Water, forms part of the master trans-frontier plan with Namibia to supply safe drinking

water to Cunene, benefiting approximately 250,000 people who previously did not have access to fresh drinking water daily. As one of the provinces devastated by Angolan conflict, Cunene has suffered from a lack of proper supply and sanitation systems, resulting in low levels of access to clean drinking water. Only 15-20% of the rural population has the advantage of a dedicated water source, whilst the rest rely on walking far distances every day to retrieve unhealthy water from local rivers, boreholes, and small dams to provide for their families. Overall, the project provided for the extraction and treatment of water from the Cunene River via a water treatment facility at Xangongo. From there, the treated water is pumped along a 100km pipeline to three different towns, Xangongo, Mongua and

“Our business strategy is to grow into Africa; we are already present in some African markets, but we hope for more than just export into these countries, we actually want to establish a footprint� Ondjiva. The main part of the project involved the supply of over 98km of 630mm PN6 HDPE pipe as well as about 2km of 630mm PN10 HDPE pipe. Transporting the pipes the distance to Angola was no easy feat and the pipes had to be delivered in 15m length to decrease the number of welds on-site. In order to ensure the safe passage of the HDPE pipes, Marley partnered with WP Transport, who had 16 trailers custom built for this project. The trailers had specially designed uprights with cradles to ensure that the pipes fit onto the trucks perfectly and were steady and secure. Each truck transported 16 pipe lengths at a time, adding up to a total loading height of more than 2.5m per truck. The enormity of the project presented some challenges for Marley Pipe Systems, including stringent quality control checks and rigorous customs processes at the Angolan border, but the company went above and beyond to ensure the project was completed.


CompANY PROFILE For Marley Pipe Systems, the Angola Cunene Water project was about more than just business; it was an opportunity to uplift communities by giving them access to water; the most fundamental resource of life.

EDUCATION IS KEY As demonstrated by the Angola Cunene Water project, Marley Pipe Systems is dedicated to the broader community, and earlier this year the company sponsored a national

“We want to establish ourselves across southern Africa, and we hope to do this by opening branches, warehouses and even manufacturing facilities at different locations should the projects warrant it” water competition in a bid to educate, create awareness and encourage the youth of South Africa to follow a career as a

Marley MEGAFLEX Flexible PVC Hoses PAGE 6 DEC 13

science or civil engineering professional. The SAICE-WRC Water Competition, known as AQUALIBRIUM, comprises individual regional competitions which ultimately culminate in a showdown where the winning teams gather in Johannesburg to battle it out for the grand prize. In order to give students an idea of what it takes to be a civil engineer or related professional, students from each team are tasked to design and construct a model water distribution network. The teams are given unique ‘design kits’ which are purpose-made for the competition, containing all the ‘pipes’ and ‘connections’ that the students will need to build a pipeline capable of distributing three litres of water equally between three points on a given grid. As part of its commitment to this valuable project, Marley Pipe Systems sponsored in excess of R50,000 to SAICE for the development of 30 new and complete kits. In a statement, Marie Ashpole, Outreach Officer for SAICE, emphasised the importance of industry support to make this valuable project happen. “Without industry, this competition would not be possible – it’s fantastic to have companies such as Marley on board to help get our message across as a united industry and to encourage the youth to get into the civil engineering


Delivering Value packaging


pulling and cutting

and much more for pipes OCT 13 PAGE 7


Marley uPVC & mPVC Pipes

profession and related industries.”

FUTURE PLANS Since establishing its first facility 50 years ago, Marley Pipe Systems has grown organically throughout South Africa, offering innovative solutions within the plastic pipe and fittings market, and going forward, the company hopes to expand its operations throughout Africa. The company currently exports its product across the continent, but is looking instead to establish a physical presence in these countries, as General Manager of African operations, Michelle Harding explains. “Our business strategy is to grow into Africa; we are already present in some African markets, but we hope for more than just export into these countries, we actually want to establish a footprint. “We want to establish ourselves across southern Africa, and we are planning to do this by opening branches, warehouses and even manufacturing facilities at different locations should the projects warrant it.” Marley Pipe Systems has also just completed the acquisition of leading pipe manufacturer Petzetakis Africa,


which is now part of the Marley Group, expanding the company’s exposure within the mining and civil engineering industries. The company acknowledges this acquisition as a huge step forward and something to celebrate, which is why it intends to mark the occasion, along with its 50th anniversary with a series of road shows taking place next year. “We will have a media release and a road show for the South African market, celebrating the acquisition and the 50th anniversary. This will happen early 2014,” says Harding.


“Without industry, this competition would not be possible – it’s fantastic to have companies such as Marley on board to help get our message across as a united industry and to encourage the youth to get into the civil engineering profession and related industries”


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