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Jun 29, 2012

Namibian utility appoints physical asset management partner

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Agriculture|Engineering|Industrial|Namibia Water Corporation|PROJECT|System|Systems|Water|Namibia|Langer Heinrich Uranium Mine|Mining|Prospective New Mining Clients|Systems|Uranium Mining Industry|Karl Nepgen|Liza Burger|Pragma|Water
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Bulk water utility Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) has appointed asset performance management specialist Pragma its physical asset management partner for a high-priority maintenance project that will be implemented during 2012/13.

Pragma won the contract for the development of a maintenance management system (MMS) project after a tender was awarded in February this year.

NamWater, which supplies water in bulk to industries, municipalities and the Directorate of Rural Water Supply in Namibia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MWAF), is facing expected and unprecedented growth in the uranium mining industry adjacent to Namibia’s central coastal area, says Pragma partner consultant Karl Nepgen.

He notes that large volumes of potable water will be required to meet the demands of NamWater’s existing and prospective new mining clients.

Although NamWater can meet the demands of the Langer Heinrich Uranium mine, which was commissioned in 2006, the MWAF required the utility to establish a desalination facility that will supply potable water to meet the demands of the growing mining and industrial sectors in Namibia.

As the physical asset management partner, Pragma is expected to present a systematic approach to the asset management of the desalination plant from its conception.

Nepgen says Pragma plans to manage the development of an MMS in three phases to ensure that Namibia obtains optimal return on its investment by keeping bulk water flowing from source to client.

Phase 1 of the project started in April and is scheduled to be completed in August.

It will be assessed according to NamWater’s water-supply asset-management-maturity levels, as well as Pragma’s Asset Management Improvement Plan (Amip) framework and methodologies.

“Amip consists of 17 key performance areas and each area is rated according to the best practices and key performance indicators that result in five of the maturity levels, which are firefighting, stabilising, preventing, optimising and excellence,” says Pragma marketing manager Liza Burger.

This will be followed by the development of the asset-management charter, entailing policy, strategy and a master plan.

Phase 2 is based on the MMS and focuses on reviewing and improving asset care activities, standards and procedures, as well as the critical evaluation and inspection of an appropriate computerised MMS.

“People often make the mistake of seeing a management system as a computerised system and consisting mainly of software.

“However, such systems in a limited context are bound to fail, unless the full context, comprising operations by humans, the training of users, well-organised and documented business processes and well-structured master data, is also considered.

“We have great expectations for this project, thanks to the terms of reference statement by the NamWater team who viewed the MMS in its larger context of people, processes, technology and data,” adds Nepgen.

Phase 3 will focus on the implementation of Phase 2 and will include the development of detailed plans, schedules and budgets for the 2013/14 financial year.

Nepgen notes that although Pragma does not expect any additional jobs to be created, it believes that the development and implementation of the MMS will ensure that the roles and responsibilities of NamWater staff are well defined.

Further, he says the corresponding employment positions will be permanently embedded in the organisation.

Pragma has also partnered in a joint venture with global engineering, management and specialist technical group Aurecon to deliver the project and ensure that NamWater benefits from physical asset management processes and the relevant civil engineering specialist services.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
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