Aug 17, 2012
Profound interest in Moz resources benefits steel construction industryBack
Cosira Group|Gas|Africa|Europe|China|Mozambique|South Africa|Southern African Institute Of Steel Construc|Energy|Local And Foreign Steel Fabricators|Local Steel Fabricator|Mining|Oil And Gas Sectors|Steel|Steel Construction Industry|Steel Fabricator|Steel Fabricators|Steel Fabricators Industry|Francis Braz|Hennie De Clercq|Neels Van Niekerk|Tim Tasioulas|Sub-Saharan Africa
© Reuse this
He tells Engineering News that the number of South African and international companies that attended this year’s Mozambique Mining and Energy Conference (MMEC), in April, was significant.
“The MMEC is the premier event that focuses on the Mozambique mining, energy and oil and gas sectors, as well as their sustainable development,” he says. “This year, it attracted a plethora of international investors, mining experts and, of course, steel fabricators, includ- ing many South African companies, whose proven expertise in these areas is sought after.”
Local steel fabricator and construction company Cosira Group is one of the many companies showing interest in opportunities in Mozambique. Cosira Mozambique MD Francis Braz says the company is making significant progress, despite the presence of Chinese companies – Mozambique’s usual partners in infrastructure development.
While China’s trade with Mozambique has reportedly increased by 800% over the last decade, Braz states that Cosira delivered more than 10 000 t of steel to the Moatize coal project, in Mozambique, in 2011 alone.
Braz credits the ISF with the company’s success in Mozambique, as the industry body helped to establish opportunities for Cosira and other South African companies, not only in Mozambique but also worldwide.
Specialist steel fabricator Tass Engineering MD Tim Tasioulas agrees, saying that the ISF’s contribution has been significant, attributing its success in the South African steel fabricators industry to good networking.
“This has been especially helpful in Mozambique, where [Tass Engineering] benefited from the MMEC – facilitated by the ISF – by meeting a host of potential clients,” he says, adding that he is impressed by potential opportunities in Mozambique. Further, he notes that Tass Engineering is pursuing some interesting business leads in the country.
A Secure Investment
“[South Africa] has a long tradition of doing work in Mozambique. We have a better under- standing of the country’s legal system, and relationships are more clear cut,” he says.
De Clercq cites the newly discovered abundance of coking coal and other resources as the sources of investment interest in the Southern Africa country. He points out that the subsequent need to build infrastructure around these resource sites is one of the major attractions for the steel construction industry.
“It must be understood, however, that structural steel is just an element [of infrastructure]. As a steel industry, we have an even greater interest in industrial development than in infrastructural development – not that there isn’t a significant interest there as well,” he notes.
De Clercq adds that the current infrastructure in Mozambique is quite weak, and until it has been developed and the capacity has been increased, inadequate infrastructure will hamper the development of mining operations in the country.
This bodes well for the steel construction industry because initial construction has to take place before mining projects can be developed.
De Clercq points out, however, that steel construction is not the only industry with an interest in Mozambique, or any other country in sub-Saharan Africa.
The economic downturn and subsequent slowdown have forced European companies to consider opportunities outside Europe, with Africa designated as the target area, he says.
“Thanks to subsidies from home, these companies tend to come into the market quite competitively and then, of course, there is China.”
Owing to this increased competition, De Clercq emphasises the necessity of simply being present in Mozambique and the importance of increasing competitiveness through active marketing.
He also highlights the importance of encouraging South African civil engineering companies to establish a greater presence in the rest of Africa and to be more dynamic.
“If this happens, the steel construction industry, including capital equipment suppliers, among others, can come into those projects on the coat tails of the civil engineering contractors,” he says.
De Clercq highlights the industry boom in 2007 and 2008, when there was a tremendous demand for steel construction and the industry was fully occupied.
“Since then, demand has shrunk signifi- cantly because of the global and local economic slowdown, and the industry’s capacity is not even nearly fully used,” he says.
“Even under normal conditions, our industry needs to expand its markets and exports constitute the obvious opportunity. Exporting fabricated steelwork is a strategic imperative for the industry.
“Our industry needs to be active in exports on a consistent basis and certainly not just during those times when local demand is down.”
Van Niekerk agrees and says that the African situation is enticing for South African exporters. “New coal mining opportunities in countries like Mozambique are booming and the discovery, as well as capacity confirmation of new offshore gasfields around all the other Southern African countries, signal the start of a great new Southern African industry.”
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Construction News
Article contains comments
Updated 6 hours ago As industry prepares for the launch of South Africa’s digital terrestrial migration, the South African Communications Forum (SACF) hosted a workshop to determine the country’s readiness in terms of compliance of set-top boxes [STBs] and access to funding. The...
Updated 6 hours ago Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande has outlined plans for the development of a new health and allied sciences university into which the Medical University of Southern Africa (Medunsa) campus of the University of Limpopo, located in Ga-Rankuwa, will...
Updated 6 hours ago The costs of communicating have to drop, Communications Minister Yunus Carrim said on Wednesday. "Clearly, the costs have to come down. It's not just in the interests of the poor and disadvantaged but the economy as a whole," Carrim said in a statement following a...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
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...
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...