Mechanical Engineering


The mechanical engineering capabilities in MegChem cover a wide variety of detail engineering services.  The five engineering groups and three mechanical drawing office groups are managed as separate business units and are staffed with over 40 qualified engineers and 30 draftsmen operating from offices in Secunda, Sasolburg and Centurion.  Our services and engineering capabilities are applied mostly in the petrochemical environment; however, but includes solutions on any pressure bearing equipment and rotating machinery in other environments as well.

Detail equipment design

The MegChem Mechanical design team compiles professional design packages for statutory as well as non-statutory equipment, conforming to the OHS Act, client specifications and international codes and standards. All design packages prepared by MegChem consist of the design calculation showing all steps of the calculations and formulae used, the approved for construction drawings and supportive documentation, and is internally verified as per our Quality Management System procedures.

We offer detail mechanical design for

  • Pressure vessels – all categories
  • Shell and tube heat exchangers
  • Air cooled heat exchangers
  • Electrical heaters


  • Reactors
  • Storage tanks
  • Piping components
  • Customized rotating equipment


Our Piping Engineering group represents a core competency in MegChem’s portfolio of engineering expertise. This group currently consists of some 70 Piping Designers, as well as 16 Piping Engineers, located in Secunda and Sasolburg.

The group’s expertise centers around design and layout of high pressure, high temperature piping, as is typically encountered in the oil and gas, power generation and related industries. Although most of our designs conform to the ASME codes as per client specification, we are capable and experienced in most international codes (e.g. DIN, BS, EN, AS etc.). All our piping designs also conforms to all local regulations and laws, and specifically complies with the newly promulgated Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER) of the OHS Act.

In order to ensure quality and to comply with all standards and client specifications, MegChem has developed a rigorous Quality Management System (Certified to IS0 9001:200). This quality system, together with our highly experienced engineers and designers, enable MegChem to produce engineering designs that may be used with confidence by project managers, clients and construction teams.

A wide range of state-of-the art software is being used; amongst others this includes MicroStation or AutoCAD together with Cadworx for 3D modelling. We are also well experienced in the SmartPlant Suite (3D and P&ID) from Intergraph, and recent projects have shown significant increase in productivity through utilization of this integrative software platform. Integrity of piping and compliance to design codes is ensured by using dedicated piping flexibility analysis software, including Caesar II and AutoPipe.

Although a major part of our work is being performed as part of an integrated multi-disciplinary engineering team under guidance of a project manager, we are also well suited to do piping design work for clients on a single discipline basis, as is typically required by Owner-Operators in maintenance related work or for small design changes on existing plants.

MegChem also has significant expertise in regenerating statutory documentation of existing plants. Amongst others, this documentation includes “as-is” P&ID’s and piping isometric drawings. Over the years, many plant owner-operators find that their statutory documentation becomes outdated, and does not reflect the current status of the plant. In order to regenerate such documentation, MegChem employs high definition laser scanning of the existing plant. 3D modelling of the plant may then be done based on these scanned plant images. 3D modelling may be done either in AutoCAD or SmartPlant, depending of specific client requirements.

Our design calculations are done using commercial software as listed below, as well as customized calculation sheets mainly prepared in Mathcad.

Software capabilities

  • Nozzle Pro – Nozzle load stress analysis on vessels and tanks
  • PRCI welding institute software – Calculation of on-line welding integrity and safety
  • CodeCalc – Pressure vessel, reactor and heat exchanger design
  • Microstation – 2D and 3D drafting
  • Solid Edge – 3D parametric modelling
  • Compress – Pressure vessel, reactor and heat exchanger design
  • Mathcad – Mathematical modelling software – used for all customized calculations
  • PV Elite – Pressure vessel, reactor and heat exchanger design
  • OptiVessel – Pressure vessel, reactor and heat exchanger design
  • OptiTank – Storage tank design

Plant maintenance support

In the petrochemical industry, the Mechanical Engineering divisions provides specialist capabilities in Plant Maintenance support, repair procedures for tanks, pressure vessels and heat exchangers, shutdown assistance and new equipment design.

We support clients in updating drawings and other statutory documentation, often required to be transferred in electronic format for modern record keeping.

We perform fitness for service analysis on most equipment that requires engineering input to verify its suitability for service and remaining life assessment.

Project execution support

Mechanical Engineering prepares the technical purchase specifications for various types of equipment such as pressure vessels, heat exchangers, pressure and temperature relieving devices, storage tanks, centrifugal and positive displacement pumps, compressors, specialized inline equipment and filtration equipment.

  • Preparation of technical purchase specification for equipment to be procured
  • Preparation of technical scope of work
  • Bid clarification meetings
  • Technical bid evaluations
  • Hazard and Operability studies
  • Potential deviation analysis
  • Fabrication assistance (to ensure that execution follows the design intent)
  • Detail equipment design where required
  • Design verification of external designs
  • Verification of quality control documentation
  • Punching of mechanical installations
  • As-built documentation.