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Sep 19, 2007

Podcast - September 19, 2007

Podcast 19 September 2007
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Welcome to Engineering News. In this podcast, read by Jonothan Fourie of Creamer Media’s Engineering News, we bring you the past week’s top news stories from industry in South Africa and the rest of the world.

In this week’s bulletin:
- Construction begins in earnest at the new Durban international airport ,
- Sasol is in serious talks to build two coal-to liquids plants in China, and
- SAA expands its capacity in Africa.


Construction on the King Shaka International Airport, which will replace the existing Durban International Airport, will continue full-steam ahead, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said last week, at the official sod-turning event, at La Mercy, north of Durban.

Questions had been raised over whether a court application by the Indiza consortium, led by Grinaker-LTA, which is challenging the tender procedures in the awarding of the six point eight billion rand contract to a consortium led by rival Group Five, could delay the project.

Grinaker-LTA has claimed that the correct tender processes were not followed and that its bid was unfairly excluded.

Radebe says that, as far as government is concerned, the contract was fairly awarded to the Illembe consortium, and that the project will be completed in time for the FIFA World Cup, which will take place in South Africa in 2010.


The world’s biggest producer of liquid fuels from coal, Sasol, is conducting feasibility studies into the possible construction of two such plants in China, where it is currently in “hard-nosed” commercial negotiations.

Each plant will produce eighty thousand barrels a day, at an estimated capital cost of between seven and eight billion dollars.

Audio clip: Sasol CE Pat Davies discusses the company’s plans to expand into China (13/09/2007)


National carrier South African Airways, which is in the midst of a restructuring plan, will be adding additional capacity to eleven of its nineteen African destinations, as it seeks to boost the airline's revenues.

The company says that it has earmarked Africa as a key growth area to help restore SAA to profitability.

The State-owned airline embarked on a far-reaching restructuring programme earlier this year, which involved cost cutting measures, such as staff retrenchments, and revenue growing initiatives.

In addition to the introduction of new routes, and expanding its capacity to its African network, SAA will also be upgrading its lounge facilities across the continent.

Also, in this week’s Engineering News magazine, published on Friday, read our cover story, which reflects on how the current boom in the construction sector is facilitating a listings bonanza on the JSE.

We also offer important new insight into the possible emergence of a ‘special relationship’ between South Africa and Brazil around Denel’s unmanned air vehicle project.

Finally, don’t miss our features on heating and cooling, health and safety and the economic relationship between South Africa and Germany

That’s a round up of this week’s stories on Creamer Media’s Engineering News. For more on these and other stories, visit

Edited by: Liezel Hill
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