3rd May 2007
In this week’s bulletin:
- Evraz gets conditional South African approval to buy Highveld Steel,
- Transnet’s luxury blue train goes up for sale, and
- The Department of Public Enterprises mulls building a fibreoptic cable.
South Africa’s Competition Tribunal approves a four point nine billion rand merger between Highveld Steel and Vanadium, and Evraz, from Russia.
However, it says that the company will have to divest of a stake in Highveld Steel & Vanadium’s iron-ore and vanadium mine and Vanchem plants.
The decision is in line with the European Commission’s ruling in February, when it said that the transaction would give rise to competition concerns at all levels of the vanadium chain.
The EC said that the remedies would eliminate the merged entity's ability and incentive to exploit its strong position in vanadium feedstock.
They would also remove all overlaps between Evraz and Highveld Steel & Vanadium for vanadium oxides and vanadium-finished products.
State-owned transport and logistics company Transnet puts its hotel-on-wheels train, the Blue Train, up for sale.
The move forms part of the group’s drive to sell off its noncore businesses.
Transnet will sell both sets of the Blue Train, which accommodate a total of one hundred and fifty guests.
CEO Maria Ramos launches the public bidding process in Johannesburg, inviting bidders to express interest to the company’s transaction advisers, Standard Bank.
Commenting on the preferred buyer, she says that Transnet is looking for an investor with a vision for the business and not necessarily one with rail experience.
Although a new State-owned broadband provider is yet to be formally established, Engineering News understands that the Department of Public Enterprises has mandated the interim management team to study the possibility of investing in a new fibreoptic cable, linking South Africa to Europe via the West Coast.
DPE director-general Portia Molefe tells Engineering News that recent Cabinet approval for the Broadband Infrastructure Company Bill has opened the way for the formal creation of Infraco during the first half of the year.
The company will comprise assets currently owned by Eskom and Transnet.
But she also insists that a lot of work is already under way both for the domestic long-distance network and potentially an intercontinental link.
Infraco’s operations are currently being run through an Eskom subsidiary, which has its own CEO designate and board.
Also, in this week’s Engineering News magazine, read our cover story on the challenges involved in bridging the digital divide.
Engineering News speaks to Mary Lou Jepson of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
We also report on an ambitious City of Johannesburg project to develop a broadband network for the city.
Finally, don’t miss our features on temperature, pressure and process control; sports infrastructure; and a preview of the Export Africa exhibition.
That’s a round up of this week’s stories on Creamer Media’s Engineering News. For more on these and other stories, visit engineeringnews.co.za
Edited by: Liezel Hill