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May 21, 2009

Real Economy Report

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From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, this is the Real Economy Report. Our top stories this week: we visit a new R120-million pressure part facility, built to provide boiler parts into Eskom's big build programme; we look at the impact of the global recession on air passenger traffic in Africa; and, Developments in glass transform architectural design.

Shannon O'Donnell:
When Eskom signed its largest-ever supply contracts for its two new coal-fired power stations, it did so with the promise of major industrial spin-offs that could reinvigorate South Africa's struggling manufacturing sector. Creamer Media's Terence Creamer visited one such spin-off, in Nigel, on the East Rand.

Terence Creamer:
Over the past year, Japanese industrial giant Hitachi and Fortune 500-listed manufacturing specialist SPX have watched startled at the pace at which their units in South Africa have worked to design, equip, build and commission a new state-of-the-art pressure part facility in Nigel. The project is part of a far bigger investment commitment made by Hitachi on winning what are its biggest-ever single orders, as Hitachi Power Africa CEO Johannes Musel explains:

Hitachi Power Africa CEO Johannes Musel

Terence Creamer:
Hitachi sees the facility as integral to its globalisation plans and believes that it is well position to supply other projects in the region, as well as export into the group's international supply chain.

And, for its joint venture partner, SPX, better known locally as DB Themal, the investment is also a coup, as DB Thermal in South Africa MD Heinz Spreitzer outlines:

DB Thermal in South Africa MD Heinz Spreitzer

Terence Creamer:
And, Spreitzer's enthusiasm for the workshop, which will make boiler parts for the Medupi and Kusile power stations, is entirely justified by the numbers.

Heinz Spreitzer

Terence Creamer:
And for Eskom, which is coming under increasing pressure to show that its massive capital lay-out can also help stimulate the slowing South Africa economy, the investment is an extremely welcome development. Chief officer: Generation Brian Dames explains why.

Eskom, Chief officer: Generation Brian Dames

Shannon O'Donnell:
How has the global downturn affected air passenger traffic within Africa? Keith Campbell has the story, after this commercial break.

Bearing Man advert

Keith Campbell:
How has the worldwide recession affected international air passenger traffic, especially within Africa? I put this question to International Air Transport Association, or IATA, Regional Vice-President for Africa, Lance Brogden.

IATA, Regional Vice-President for Africa, Lance Brogden

Shannon O'Donnell:
There have been tremendous developments in glass architecture. Beth Shirley reports.

Beth Shirley:
Over the last few years, glass has been used in unique ways in building design. Hugh Fraser, GM of architectural products at PG Glass, discusses these developments.

Hugh Fraser, GM of architectural products at PG Glass

Shannon O'Donnell:
And now for a sneak preview of this week's Engineering News magazine:

Read how office developers are clambering for green-building accreditation, despite the economic crisis and higher costs.

We report how Airbus is overcoming the production ramp-up problems that have plagued its double-decker A380 super jumbo programme.

And, Eskom completes the doubling up of its open-cycle gas-turbine facilities in the Western Cape, raising overall capacity in the region to over 3 000 MW.

And in Mining Weekly this week:

Read our cover story on how LSE- and JSE-listed Central Rand Gold has re-evaluated its initial one-million-ounce-a-year gold target for 2012.

We report that JSE-listed black-controlled resources company, Mvelaphanda Resouces, is in discussion with a South African group to buy Mvela's assets in a possible equity transaction.

And, London Aim-listed Petra Diamonds manages to sell a stunning blue diamond from the Cullinan mine for a record $9,4-million.

Shannon O'Donnell:
That's Creamer Media's Real Economy Report. Join us again next week for more news and insight into South Africa's real economy.

 

Edited by: Shannon de Ryhove
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Polity & Multimedia
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