Process Engineering


Within MegChem, Process Engineering plays a pivotal role as the driving force behind the majority of our front-end engineering design endeavors. This dedicated group, currently comprising 16 skilled professionals at the time of this publication, is predominantly composed of individuals with specialized qualifications in the field of Chemical Engineering. Our team’s collective expertise and commitment to excellence make us a formidable force in the industry.

The Process Engineering group at MegChem brings a wealth of experience, with a cumulative design background exceeding 70 years. This extensive knowledge base is a testament to our team’s proficiency and deep understanding of the intricacies of chemical engineering. We take pride in our ability to tackle complex challenges and deliver comprehensive solutions that align with the unique requirements of each project.

The group has executed work extensively in the following fields:

  • Synthetic Fuels
  • Upstream Oil and Gas
  • Gasification
  • Gas Clean-up
  • Gas Storage and Processing
  • Power Generation
  • Speciality Chemicals
  • Paper and Pulp
  • Water Treatment
  • Tanked Storage Facilities
  • Mining (Downstream Processing)
  • Minerals and Metals Processing

MegChem also offers the following services:

Flowsheet development, Mass and energy balance simulations, HAZOP Studies, Safety Integrity Level reviews, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, Potential Deviation Analysis, Area Classification, Hydraulic Design for Incompressible, Compressible, 2-Phase and Slurry flow, Process Control, Shell-and-Tube, Air Cooled and Compact Heat Exchangers, Reboilers and Condensers, Cooling Towers, Scrubbers, Absorber and Stripper Columns, Distillation Towers, Atmospheric and Low Pressure Storage Tanks, Gas/Liquid Separators, Flash drums, Filters, Pumps, Compressors, Blowers and Fans, Control valves and Instrumentation Sizing and Specification, Safety Relief Valve sizing, Flare Systems Design, Flare Gas Recovery, Pigging and Online Cleaning Systems, Fire water Systems, Loading and Offloading Facilities, Process Integration and debottlenecking, Modification, Expansion and Retrofitting of Existing Plants etc.

We liaise strategically with various universities, consultants, technology suppliers and manufacturers when required to supplement our capabilities.

We encourage and support individual development, professional registration and affiliation with organizations such as SAIChe and ECSA.

We continually strive to understand and fulfill the needs of our clients. We are also familiar with international standards, specifications and recommended practice, including those of organizations such as ASME, API, ISA, ASTM, ISO, SANS, IP, CGA, TEM

Our capabilities include the following:

We are active users of the following Engineering Software:

  • Problem investigation and root cause analysis.
  • Feasibility studies and conceptual engineering design.
  • Basic and detailed engineering design.
  • Economic evaluation, cost optimization.
  • Design of single components.
  • Third party design verification.
  • Aspen HYSYS
  • Aspen Exchanger Design and Rating
  • AFT Arrow Compressible flow Hydraulics
  • AFT Fathom Incompressible flow Hydraulics
  • MathCAD
  • Comos


Common Areas of Application:

Detail Design: The experience and tools available to MegChem enables us to perform accurate designs on virtually any equipment or part. Using online measuring techniques, applied loads and temperatures can be accurately determined. In flow applications, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis can be used to quantify pressure and temperature boundary conditions. Using finite element analysis a detail stress distribution can be calculated. Stresses can be evaluated statically or dynamically. Afterwards, online measuring can be used to verify results.

Design Optimisation: By means of computer simulation the duration of design cycles are drastically reduced compared to physical prototypes. In addition to being excellent design tools, FEA and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) can be highly cost-effective when used to optimise a design to reduce cost of manufacture or operation or to increase the operational efficiency. Accurately quantifying operational loads by means of online measuring could also result in a more optimised design by decreasing design safety factors.

Failure Analysis: The cause of failure of a component can often be determined after determining the operational loads and using these as input for a detailed stress analysis. Very often, cyclic loading can be a cause of unexpected failure. MegChem has the ability to perform advanced fatigue analyses on components. Using a combination of online measuring and finite element analysis, a stress history during an operational cycle is obtained. In-house developed software is then used for stress cycle counting and fatigue damage assessment. The method is also used for real-time fatigue damage assessment of components during operation. A fracture mechanics analysis can also be used to determine growth rate and severity of defects.

Problem Tracing: By measuring the boundary conditions and simulating the operation of a part or process by means of FEA or CFD, a good basic understanding of the principles of operation can be formed. This invariably leads to an understanding of problems that are being experienced with the equipment and the formulation of likely solutions. Proposed solutions to the problem can be evaluated with FEA or CFD to reduce the risk of failure to acceptable levels.

The tools

Structural analysis: We use software developed and marketed by MSC.Software (, one of the leading providers of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) software, most commonly used:

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Analysis: We use CFX developed by ANSYS Inc. (

Experimental Analysis: The highest quality transducers are used for experimental analysis. The strain gauges, accelerometers, displacement transducers and other types of transducers we use are all manufactured by companies known for the quality and consistency of their products. We use LabVIEW by National Instruments ( to create data acquisition software that can easily be customised for specific applications.