Jul 20, 2012
Post-2010 construction activity slump continuesBack
Parktown|Trenchless Technologies|South Africa|Directional Drilling Services|Fibre-optic Infrastructure|Municipal Infrastructure|Pipes|Steel|Sam Efrat|The 2010 FIFA World Cup|World Cup Games|Fibre Optic
© Reuse this
“The big investments made by municipalities that hosted World Cup games have resulted in them spending most of their budget and they are still recovering,” says Trenchless Technologies MD Sam Efrat.
“A lack of recovery of municipal rates and taxes has put additional pressure on municipal budgets and this has resulted in a decline in municipal infrastructure spending,” he adds.
Efrat notes that companies that service the municipal infrastructure sector, such as Trenchless Technologies, have seen a decline in the projects put out to tender since 2010.
He points out that the company was involved in seven rehabilitation projects in 2010, five projects in 2011, and three projects in the first half of this year.
“Fortunately, we have seen an increase in the amount of tendered work available this year and are looking forward to a steady increase in projects in the second half of the year,” says Efrat.
He notes that the future outlook is very promising, as it is estimated that around R60-billion a year has to be spent over the next ten years to cope with the infrastructure required to secure South Africa’s water supplies, and much of this work will involve rehabilitation of our ageing municipal sewer and water pipes.
The company makes use of the directional drilling method to install fibre-optic infrastructure, as well as water and sewer pipes. As a result of the fibre optic roll-out and the increased rate of urbanisation in South Africa, demand has increased for directional drilling services.
Efrat says there has been an increase in the number of tenders involving directional drilling, particularly on the long-haul fibre-optic networks between South Africa’s major cities.
The drilling process involves three main stages: drilling a pilot hole, pilot-hole enlargement, and pullback installation of the carrier pipe. The technique can be used in various ground conditions. The borehole is supported by a bentonite drilling fluid, which prevents the borehole from collapsing.
“We are involved as a subcontractor to specialist contractors in the rehabilitation of concrete structures Con-Solve Civils. Con-Solve Civils is responsible for relining the reservoir, as the concrete has cracked and requires maintenance. A portion of Con-Solve Civils’ contract also requires the rehabilitation of the old 600 NB steel feeder pipes from one reservoir to another and the (bulk) pipe delivering water from the reservoir to the network.
Our work entailed cleaning the pipes, conducting closed-circuit television inspections and sliplining and grouting in place a new 560 PE 100 PN 10 pipe into the old 600 NB steel pipe and the installation of numerous new valves and chambers,” says Efrat.
The new high-density polyethylene pipe (HDPE) has a smaller diameter than the old steel pipe, but as it has a much smoother bore with a low coefficient of friction and better flow properties and this allows the replacement of the larger steel pipe with the smaller HDPE pipe while still maintaining the same amount of flow down the pipe.
Further, in July, Trenchless Technologies started work on Phase 5 of the Barberton asbes- tos cement pipe replacement project, using the trenchless technique of pipe bursting, where hydraulic rod pullers, as well as percussive hammers, are used to crack old pipe, which is pushed into the surrounding soil and simultaneously replaced with a new HDPE pipe that is pulled into position,” he says.
In urban areas where there are more pavements, roadways and housing, trenchless technology is more cost efficient and results in fewer disruptions than the conventional excavation method previously used.
“A lot of townships employ midblock sewers and it is also difficult to gain access to people’s properties to undertake the replacement by excavation – it is also extremely disruptive,” says Efrat.
He adds that trenchless technology mitigates many health and safety issues experienced when excavating in busy roadways, emits less carbon emissions and has less of an impact on the environment than traditional pipe-laying methods.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Construction Materials and Equipment News
Updated 5 hours ago South Africa’s current account deficit narrowed during the fourth quarter of 2013 as the value of imports fell while exports rose on improved global demand and a cessation of the strike action of the third quarter of 2013. The fourth quarter’s current account...
Updated 6 hours ago The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) will demand a double-digit wage increase, deputy general secretary Karl Cloete said on Wednesday. "They [the demands] are developed against the backdrop of high cost of living and the heavy socio-economic burden...
Updated 6 hours ago Tower Property Funds’ flagship property, the Cape Quarter, in Cape Town, is set to undergo an “extensive greening transformation” as part of the fund’s greening and occupancy cost-reduction strategy. The fund, which listed under the JSE’s new real-estate...
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 roundup includes details of TSX- and NYSE-listed Alderon Iron Ore’s power purchase and security agreement with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro for the Kami iron-ore project, in western Labrador; US aluminium refiner and products manufacturer...
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2014 report provides insight into South Africa’s electricity generation, exploring the issues of State-owned power utility Eskom's generated power, coal supplies, electricity tariffs and demand-focused initiatives, as well as the...
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...