From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, this is the Real Economy Report.
A British team will aim to break the landspeed record on Hakskeen Pan, in the Northern Cape, in 2013, and it is looking for South African companies and schools to become involved in the 1 600 km/h attempt. Engineering News deputy editor Irma Venter spoke to Andy Green, the current land speed world record holder about the Bloodhound record attempt.
The current land speed record was set in 1997, by the Thrust supersonic car, at 1 227 km/h. Bloodhound, named after a decades-old UK missile, will have the same driver as the Thrust had – Royal Air Force Wing Commander Andy Green. Green says although the new record attempt has a heft price tag, it will also offer some generous benefits to those who choose to become involved.
Shannon de Ryhove:
Transnet Rail Engineering unveils the first 36 new-built rail tankers for fertiliser supplier Omnia. Henry Lazenby has the story.
State-owned transport utility Transnet’s subsidiary Transnet Rail Engineering, or TRE, on November 3 unveiled the first 36 of 145 new-build ammonia rail tanker wagons to be constructed in South Africa, for explosives and fertiliser supplier Omnia.
Following the expansion of its production facilities, Omnia needed additional tanker wagons to transport more ammonia, which would be imported through the Richards Bay terminal, to its inland plants.
Omnia CE Rod Humphris explains why Omnia decided to place such a significant order with TRE.
Omnia CE Rod Humphris
Omnia initially placed an order of 120 tanker wagons with TRE, but later extended the order with 25 more wagons. The first 110 wagons are scheduled for delivery by December 15, while the remaining 35 would be delivered by March 2012.
From about April 2012 Omnia intends to run up to three block-trains a week between its inland plants and the port of Richards Bay.
TRE CE Richard Vallihu believes that this significant first rolling stock order will go a long way to securing further orders from Southern African customers.
TRE CE Richard Vallihu
The new ammonia tanker wagons can carry about 74 000 l and has and axle loading of 20 t. The bodies are constructed of high-grade boilerplate steel that are designed to withstand pressures of up to 1 930 kPa.
The order for the construction of 145 new rail tankers, to a completely new design and to the latest safety specifications for high-pressure rail vessels, catapulted TRE into the next frontier of rail engineering and construction.
Vallihu explained that TRE took the decision to invest close to a billion rand in its TRE Germiston works to upgrade the shops to the latest and leanest manufacturing standards and equip it with the most modern machinery.
Shannon de Ryhove:
Other news making headlines this week: Upscaling renewables beyond IRP allocations will drive green jobs, states a report; and Protech Khuthele expects weak market conditions to linger.
A new ‘Green Jobs’ report estimates that more than 130 000 direct jobs could be created by South Africa’s renewable energy sector by 2025, but only if the renewables allocation outlined in the current Integrated Resource Plan 2010-2030 is materially expanded.
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel
Civil engineering group Protech Khuthele recorded a decrease in overall revenue for the financial period ending August 31. The company said a significant factor affecting the slump was the continued severe decline in public- and private-sector spend.
Protech Khuthele CEO Antony Page
That’s Creamer Media’s Real Economy Report. Join us again next week for more news and insight into South Africa’s real economy.