Aug 17, 2012
Profound interest in Moz resources benefits steel construction industryBack
Construction|Engineering|Expertise|Africa|CoAL|Cosira Group|Gas|Industrial|PROJECT|Projects|Resources|System|Africa|Europe|China|Mozambique|South Africa|Southern African Institute Of Steel Construc|Energy|Equipment|Local And Foreign Steel Fabricators|Local Steel Fabricator|Mining|Oil And Gas|Oil And Gas Sectors|Steel|Steel Construction Industry|Steel Fabricator|Steel Fabricators|Steel Fabricators Industry|Francis Braz|Hennie De Clercq|Infrastructure|Neels Van Niekerk|Tim Tasioulas|Proximity|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 (150 word limit)
Other Construction Materials News
Updated 2 hours 33 minutes ago Despite various challenges related to the extraction of shale oil and gas, as countries grow accustomed to the idea, the use of shale as a form of energy will be more widely pursued, international oil and gas market analyst Michael Lynch said on Tuesday. Speaking at...
Updated 2 hours 36 minutes ago A consortium led by two Kenyan firms won a government tender to build a 1 000-MW, coal-fired power plant, company officials said on Tuesday, part of moves to satisfy rising demand for energy in East Africa's biggest economy. Kenya suffers from regular blackouts due...
Updated 2 hours 42 minutes ago The announcement of the successful bidder for the construction of Durban’s long-awaited passenger cruise terminal was imminent, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) CEO Tau Morwe told delegates at the African Ports Evolution Conference in Durban on Tuesday. ...
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 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...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel has announced its fourth consecutive year of profits. The group's results for the financial year 2013/2014 were recently announced at its head office in Centurion, south of Pretoria. Revenues grew by 17%, net...
There is little opportunity for JSE-listed infrastructure company Group Five to grow shareholder value in the domestic market, says CEO Mike Upton. He says value can still be found in the private sector, in the renewable and industrial power sector, as well as in...
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has announced the event dates of the 2015 Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS). The event will take place from October 14 to October 25, 2015, at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec.
UK engineering support services provider Babcock is set to deliver the largest order of global truck manufacturer DAF’s truck tractors in Southern Africa to bulk carrier road-based logistics company Ngululu Bulk Carriers (NBC), with 133 trucks to be delivered in...
Digital radio communications in the African local government space can open up the world, but have many challenges to overcome, notes integration and migration of legacy radio communications infrastructure with digital mobile radio company Emcom Wireless head of...