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Construction News

Wärtsilä supplies 15 MW solar plant in Burkina Faso

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd March 2017 Technology group Wärtsilä has entered into an agreement with independent power producer Eren Renewable Energy’s 90%-owned Essakane Solar, in Burkina Faso, to supply it with a 15 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant. The remaining 10% is owned by Eren’s development partner African Energy... 

Attacq welcomes BMW’s R400m investment in Waterfall distribution facility

By: Anine Kilian     22nd March 2017 JSE-listed Attacq has welcomed BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA's) decision to invest in the construction of a 32 000 m2 regional distribution facility at the Waterfall Distribution Campus, in Midrand, Gauteng. The value of this investment and the revamp of its headquarters, also in Midrand,... 

City of Cape Town to try flexi-time, work from home, to reduce gridlock

By: News24Wire      22nd March 2017 The City of Cape Town will introduce flexi-hours and an option for working from home for some employees to help reduce the city's infamous rush-hour gridlock. The city also wants bosses in private companies to consider doing the same. Something had to give, said Brett Herron, the city's mayoral... 

World Bank to lend Tanzania $2.4bn over three years for infrastructure projects

By: Reuters     20th March 2017 The World Bank will lend Tanzania $2.4-billion over the next three years to finance infrastructure projects, the bank's president Jim Yong Kim said on Monday. Tanzania is seeking financing for infrastructure projects as part of its plans to transforming the country into a regional transport and... 

JRA to upgrade Roodepoort intersection

By: Anine Kilian     20th March 2017 The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) has embarked on a R4.3-million upgrade of the Jim Fouche road and Wilhelmina avenue intersection in Constantia Kloof, Roodepoort, to ease congestion and improve motorist safety. The project will be completed in September. 

DBSA secures $100m AFD loan facility to support continental activity

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th March 2017 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has secured a $100-million loan facility from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), earmarked for energy, water, transport and information and communication technology infrastructure across Africa. The DBSA aims to continue to advance... 

Dawn welcomes new CEO

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th March 2017 JSE-listed Distribution and Warehousing Network (Dawn) has appointed Edwin Hewitt CEO, effective April 1, to succeed Stephen Connelly, who is taking up the position of executive deputy chairperson. Hewitt was appointed chief restructuring officer at Dawn in February, working with a major bank,... 

Amid challenges, power sector offers massive opportunities

By: Nadine James     17th March 2017 Although the power and electricity sector in Africa faces massive challenges, it also offers massive opportunities, says Power & Electricity World Africa (PEWA) event organiser Terrapinn.  

Amid challenges, power sector offers massive opportunities
MOMENT IN THE SUN Africa’s largest power and electricity event offers innovative, cost-effective means of tackling Africa’s power challenges

Demand for ecofriendly paint expected to rise as building outlook improves

By: Schalk Burger     17th March 2017 Improving confidence and more projects in the construction sector are providing a boost in demand for a locally manufactured, industrial waste-derived, environment-friendly paint, says Amoriguard technical director and paint chemist Ryan Purchase. 

Demand for ecofriendly  paint expected to rise as building outlook improves
HYDROPHOBIC TOPCOAT The Amoriguard paint is made from processed industrial waste materials

Saice in High Court bid to have ECSA council suspended

By: David Oliveira     17th March 2017 Civil engineering voluntary association (VA), the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (Saice), on March 3 submitted to the High Court an application to have the current council members of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) suspended. Saice CEO Manglin Pillay has told... 

Sanral initiates training scheme for small firms ahead of N2 Wild Coast construction

By: Irma Venter     17th March 2017 The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has started with the roll-out of a R120-million community development and small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) training programme in anticipation of the construction of the N2 Wild Coast Toll Road (N2WCTR). The programme aims to... 

Stainless steel body hopes to boost product demand at event

By: Nadine James     17th March 2017 Industry body and lobby group the Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda) hopes to drive demand for stainless steel products by exhibiting at Water Show Africa 2017, which runs alongside Power & Electricity World Africa held at the Sandton Convention Centre on March 28... 

Stainless steel body  hopes to boost product  demand at event
JOHN TARBOTON The Eiffel Tower competition will be launched for the first time at the event and first prize is an all-expenses-paid trip to Paris

UK Minister forecasts major nuclear expansion over next 20 years

By: Keith Campbell     17th March 2017 It is estimated that, over the next 20 years, more than £930-billion will be invested in expanding civil nuclear energy capacity worldwide. This was affirmed by UK Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox in his keynote address at the Civil Nuclear Showcase 2017 in London, at the... 

Bell Equipment's earnings contract in difficult FY16

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th March 2017 JSE-listed Bell Equipment, emerging from one of the most challenging years in its history, on Thursday said it did not achieve its goal of delivering financially sustainable results in 2016. Hit with tough trading conditions, the discovery of fraud and mismanagement in the group's operation in... 

R158m road construction project part of Gauteng development programme

By: African News Agency      16th March 2017 An R158-million road construction project was launched for the Rust der Winter and Mkhombo Nature Reserves, north-east of Pretoria, the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport said on Thursday. The D1944 road construction project, launched by the Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail... 

PPC Zimbabwe’s Harare mill officially opened

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th March 2017 PPC Zimbabwe on Thursday officially opened its $82-million Harare cement milling and dispatch facility, bringing its collective production capacity to 1.4-million tons a year. The project, forming part of PPC’s African expansion strategy, was completed on time and under budget, and boasted a... 

PPC Zimbabwe’s Harare mill officially opened

Salga NEC welcomes ‘progress’ made in resolving impasse between Eskom, municipalities

By: Anine Kilian     15th March 2017 The South African Local Government Association’s (Salga’s) national executive committee (NEC) has welcomed the progress made in reaching a resolution in the matter of the nonpayment of historical debt owed by municipalities to State-owned power utility Eskom. Speaking shortly after the NEC’s... 

Loeriesfontein completes wind turbine installation

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th March 2017 Loeriesfontein Wind Farm has completed the installation of its 61 wind turbines, while achieving over 1.25-million hours without a single lost-time incident, on March 1. “This is a hugely significant health and safety construction milestone for one of the country’s largest wind farms, so... 

Taking ECSA, Minister to court was a ‘last resort’, says Saice

By: Anine Kilian     14th March 2017 Taking legal action against the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi was a last resort in attempts to have the current ECSA council suspended, South African Institution of Civil Engineering (Saice) CEO Manglin Pillay told Engineering News Online on... 

Grayston drive bridge inquiry postponed again 

By: African News Agency      14th March 2017 The Department of Labour’s commission of inquiry into the Grayston Drive bridge collapse along the M1 which was scheduled to resume at the end of the month has been postponed again, the department said on Tuesday. The inquiry, scheduled for March 27 to May 4, was postponed due to “technical... 

Grayston drive bridge inquiry postponed again

Rain dampens PPC cement sales for January and February

By: African News Agency      13th March 2017 Cement producer PPC said on Monday that adverse weather had negatively affected cement and concrete sales in South Africa during January and February 2017. PPC was providing an operational update which reflected that rainfall in excess of 200 mm was experienced in many parts of the country during... 

Tanzania gives coal mining licence to Dangote after President's order

By: Reuters     13th March 2017 Tanzania has awarded a coal mining licence to the local unit of Nigeria's Dangote Cement as part of plans to lower the company's production costs and ease disruptions caused by energy shortages. The cement maker suspended output in December, citing technical problems and high production costs,... 

PRASA locomotives contractor paid ANC 'fundraisers' 

By: News24Wire      10th March 2017 Less than a week after PRASA made its first payment of nearly R500-million to the supplier of the controversial Afro4000 locomotives, the latter's managing director paid an amount of R14.3-million into the account of a lawyer who had introduced himself as a fundraiser for the African National... 

PRASA locomotives contractor paid ANC 'fundraisers'

Basil Read maintains steady turnover in FY16

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th March 2017 Basil Read on Friday posted steady turnover at just over the R5-billion mark for the year ended December 31. This was, however, lower than the R5.5-billion turnover in 2015, mainly as a result of eliminating loss-making businesses and projects. 

Basil Read maintains steady turnover in FY16
Photo by Duane Daws
Basil Read CEO Neville Nicolau

Accéntuate flags plan to rescale business after tough period

By: Irma Venter     10th March 2017 The six months to end December 31 was one of the most difficult periods for Accéntuate in its just more than ten years as a JSE-listed company, says CEO Fred Platt. Speaking at a results briefing in Johannesburg, he said the flooring and chemicals company experienced particularly poor trading... 

Bulk of the industry’s future turnover to flow to black firms – WBHO

By: Irma Venter     10th March 2017 Amid a series of lossmaking results reported within the South African construction industry in February, building and civil engineering contractor Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon (WBHO) delivered a bit of positive news to battered investors. The group reported steady revenue for the six months ended... 

Cast process ensures cost-effective production

     10th March 2017 High pressure die-casting provides the shortest route from molten metal to completed component and comprises injecting molten metal into a hardened steel mold and allowing it to solidify under pressure before ejection, says casting supplier MRT Castings, based in Andover, England. 

Cast process ensures cost-effective production
Photo by Duane Daws
COST EFFECTIVE PRODUCTION The high pressure die-casting process allows fast, precise cost effective production of components

Conference to broaden industry’s business opportunities and technology horizons

By: Simone Liedtke     10th March 2017 Owing to foundries in South Africa being isolated in their approach to problem solving, the South African Metal Casting Conference (MCC) will serve as a platform to broaden the industry’s horizons by showcasing new technologies, and providing opportunities for international and local foundry... 

Conference to broaden industry’s business opportunities and technology horizons
DALMARI MCQUEEN Owing to the interest in exhibition spaces at the 2013 pilot conference, the 2017 MCC will have 28 exhibition stands

Early signs pointing to recovery in foundry industry 

By: Simone Liedtke     10th March 2017 With the foundry industry having been under pressure last year owing to very low levels of economic growth, the drought and continuing import leakage, the South African Institute of Foundrymen (Saif) believes that signs to date this year point towards some form of industry recovery. 

Early signs pointing  to recovery in  foundry industry
Saif CEO John Davies and Saif president Takalani Madzivhandila discuss the challenges of the foundry industry. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva

Forging market for automotive application to be valued at $56-billion by 2022

     10th March 2017 Market research company Zion Market Research has published a new report highlighting that the global steel forging market for automotive applications was valued at $41.77-billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $56-billion in 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1% between... 

Forging market for automotive application to be valued at $56-billion by 2022
Photo by Duane Daws
INCREASED DRIVE Increasing cars sales are expected to drive the European automotive and automotive components market within the forecast period

Foundry process developer expands wafer-fabrication facility

     10th March 2017 Specialty foundry process developer and fabricator Noel Technologies has expanded its wafer-fabrication facility in Silicon Valley by adding square footage and installing additional equipment that boosts its production capacity by 25%. 

Foundry process  developer expands  wafer-fabrication facility
Photo by Duane Daws
EXTENSIVE CAPABILITIES The foundry’s extensive process capabilities enable short manufacturing lead times while improving device yield and performance

Frankfurt Airport seeks to increase its business with South Africa

By: Keith Campbell     10th March 2017 Germany’s number one international airport, Frankfurt, is seeking to increase its two-way air cargo trade with South Africa. This was highlighted at a media briefing at the recent 2017 Air Cargo Africa conference in Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg, by Fraport AG’s executive board member and... 

Global economics, politics cause uncertainty in chemicals manufacture

     10th March 2017 Volatile global political and economic conditions are making it difficult for South African companies to predict what 2017 holds as far as profitability is concerned, says leading admixture supplier, Chryso Southern Africa CEO and Chryso Group international VP Norman Seymore. The Chryso Southern... 

Global economics,  politics cause uncertainty in chemicals manufacture
NORMAN SEYMORE Chemicals manufacturers and companies in general are trading in unprecedented volatile and uncertain conditions

Industrial manufacturers to implement energy management systems

By: Simone Liedtke     10th March 2017 The National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) is assisting industrial manufacturing companies – such as foundries – to develop and implement energy management systems (EnMS) in line with ISO 50001 through its EnMS training programme. 

Industrial manufacturers to implement energy management systems
FAITH MKHACWA EnMSes are not ‘one-off’ projects, but rather need to becontinuously implemented on site

Laas sees German group’s interest in M&R as ‘an opportunity, not a threat’

By: Irma Venter     10th March 2017 Murray & Roberts (M&R) CEO Henry Laas views ATM Holding’s acquisition of a 25.5% shareholding in M&R, as “an opportunity, not a threat”. “I’m pretty relaxed about what is happening.” 

Metal casting technology station provides added value for industry 

By: Simone Liedtke     10th March 2017 As a means to add value to the casting industry in South Africa, the Metal Casting Technology Station (MCTS) – located at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) – provides technical services such as testing, failure analyses, research and development (R&D) work in laboratories, as well as product... 

Metal casting technology  station provides added value for industry
Former MCTS station manager and MCC Core Committee member Farouk Varachia and current MCTS station manager Kulani Mageza discuss the skills gap and current technologies in industry. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva

New interim CEO at Group Five as top executives depart

By: Irma Venter     10th March 2017 Group Five CEO Eric Vemer has unexpectedly announced his resignation – “within the next few weeks” – from the JSE-listed construction group. Vemer took over from Mike Upton on December 1, 2014, and spent less than three years at the helm of Group Five. 

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