Jan 22, 2010
Engineering News|General Electric South Africa Technologies|Mining Weekly|State|Transnet|Namibia|South Africa|United States|Eastern Cape|Martin Creamer|Eastern Cape|Engineering News
© Reuse this
Makwetla: South Africa's biggest fresh-water-from-the-sea plant is about to come on stream in the Eastern Cape.
Creamer: Desalination of seawater into drinking water is becoming a bigger issue world wide and we see it now in South Africa in the Eastern Cape. We have got our biggest desalination plant near Kenton-on-Sea and is part of the Albany Coast Water Board and it will be producing at a rate of about 1 800 cubic metres a day.
This is in response to the need for more fresh water in the Eastern Cape. We see that there have been water constraints in those areas for some time and now people are glancing over at the sea and saying that there is a lot of water that we can get out of there and successfully being able to do it through the reverse-osmosis process and with the help of VWS Envig.
In Namibia the same thing's happening. We see that uranium miners there are short of water looking to the sea, putting up desalination plants, a trend that is going to be accentuated, but there is the problem with what do you do with the brine that remains, the salty substance that comes after you've done this process.
Albany have done the study and found that putting it back into the Bushmans River Mouth is not going to be a big problem because that water is already salty and farmers upstream having been taking off a lot of water, which has caused that to be really just part of the sea. So no big impact from the environmental point of view in this instance.
Makwetla: Transnet is buying 100 new locomotives for R2,4-billion - and 90 of the 100 will be produced locally, in South Africa.
Creamer: It is fantastic that we can keep up our local manufacturing programme and although these locomotives are urgent from Transnet's point of view, they still made sure that we get that local content. Only ten of these 100 locos that are being bought now will be built in the US.
The remaining 90 will be assembled here in South Africa and they are doing it as a partnership with the State-owned Transnet Rail Engineering. That is the old Transwerk and have workshops in Koedoespoort and elsewhere in South Africa.
They have got the expertise on how to build the locomotives and now that is being used. So, 90 of these will be built in South Africa itself over a period of time going to 2012. We know that there will be more locos needed, because the Transnet locomotive fleet is aging and they need to upgrade it.
They actually wanted 212 locomotives, but there was an irregularity with tender that was put out. They had to cancel that tender and put out a new tender. This has now been won by General Electric South Africa Technologies and working in tandem with the State-owned Transnet Rail Engineering.
We will have this local content in South Africa.
Makwetla: We have been speaking a lot about this, South Africa's home-built satellite is progressing excellently.
Creamer: Yes, still going like clock work, coming over South Africa at about nine o'clock in the morning, every day, but still having to be managed very carefully. We are lucky that we actually manufactured this satellite ourselves.
So, it is being managed at the moment by the builders of that satellite and they are SunSat in Stellenbosch. But, gradually, because it is a State-owned satellite, control must go to the State and which is why it is going to be handed over, over a period of time.
It is in the process of commissioning. SunSat down in Stellenbosch still managing this transition period where it goes over to Hartebeeshoek and then it will be managed from there. We see that the biggest payload it carries, the imager, that has had to be refocused already, because there is a lot of impact on the satellite as it goes speeding around the earth at about 500 km above the earth. It is a 81 kg satellite.
We have had one in the past which was smaller and was also built by SunSat and was put into orbit in 1999. That is no longer operational so this is our only South African satellite at the moment, State-owned, doing well and about to be transferred fully to the Hartebeeshoek Satellite Application Centre.
Makwetla: Thanks very much. Martin Creamer is publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly, he'll be back with us at the same time next week.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
Road and Rail 2013: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2013 Report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Liquid Fuels 2013 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Liquid Fuels report examines South Africa’s liquid fuels market, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing,...
This Week's Magazine
This month’s report includes details of junior miner Papillon Resources’ mining permit for its flagship Fekola gold project, in Mali; the Waterberg Coal Company’s feasibility on the development of an opencast mine, in Limpopo, to produce ten-million tonnes a...
A structured approach, wherein managers personally engage at each level of the project, is necessary to mitigate delays to the workflow on mega construction projects, says State-owned Eskom Kusile power station projects GM Abram Masango. The 4 800 MW Kusile power...
Construction of transmission lines to evacuate power from a regional hydroelectric project in East Africa, which was hanging on the balance following the withdrawal of financing by key partners, is now back on track. After six months of uncertainty, the African...
Three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between South African and Malaysian companies at the Malaysian High Commission in Pretoria on Friday. These MoUs are part of the indirect offsets programme South Africa is providing in return for Malaysia’s...
The South African new vehicle market may well dip to 640 000 units in 2014, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) sales and marketing senior VP Calvyn Hamman. This is the first prediction that anticipates a drop in the market. To date economists and industry bodies...