Aug 10, 2012
Sephaku Cement saves 25% by using Chinese contractorBack
Construction|Engineering|Africa|Asphalt|Cement|Cogeneration|Concrete|Eskom|Mining|Mining Weekly|PROJECT|Pumps|Road|Safety|Screen|Sephaku Cement|Sinoma International Engineering|Waste|Africa|China|South Africa|Delmas Plant|Kendal Power Station|Mine Health|Building|Cement Producer|Cement Production Facility|Chemical Processing|Cogeneration|Steel|Steel Fixing Preparation Work|Tailor-made Tools|Cogeneration|Jacques Minnie|Pieter Fourie|Power|Waste|Operations
© Reuse this
The Aganang operations will include limestone mining and the chemical processing of raw materials to produce clinker.
Sephaku did initially go out to tender for South African contractors, but realised that no South African contractor would be willing to take a turnkey risk on such a plant, Sephaku Cement CEO Pieter Fourie tells Mining Weekly.
“The fixed prices we received from the Chinese Sinoma saved us 25% on total development,” he says.
However, skills transfer and the use of local labour are provided for in the contract with Sinoma. One South African labourer is used for every three Chinese workers.
“I must reiterate that the Chinese workers will only be here during the construction of the plant; therefore, permanent jobs for South Africans will be created during the entire life of the plant, which is expected to be between 30 and 40 years,” he adds.
Meanwhile, the skills transfer between the Chinese and the South African workers is progressing well, especially with regard to the work ethic.
The Chinese building style does differ from the South African style in some practical ways, says Fourie.
“The concrete and steel are the same but concrete pumps and cranes are used more extensively for placing concrete. Other practical examples include their wheelbarrows that are properly balanced, the ways in which they rapidly fix the steel, using tailor-made tools rather than pliers and doing all steel fixing preparation work at a one-metre level above ground. These are minor differences that result in significant productivity improvements,” he explains.
Language did prove to be a challenge, but both companies have appointed translators to deal with this.
“We also experienced some challenges relating to safety management, as our safety culture is very different to theirs. Construction of the plant must be done in compliance with the requirements of the Mine Health and Safety Act (MHSA). As this is new to Sinoma, they have appointed knowledgeable South African safety persons to assist them and key Sinoma persons have been trained in the requirements of the MHSA.
We have, however, worked together on this and are proud to have more than one-million lost-time injury-free hours on this site,” Fourie points out.
Sephaku started construction on the R2.3-billion, 2.5-million-ton-a-year cement production facility late last year, with first production scheduled for September 2013, after the commissioning of the plant’s clinker in August 2013.
“We decided on this project because the average cement plant in South Africa is about 38 years old and we believe it is time to add capacity in preparation for the country’s future growth,” says Fourie.
Half of the clinker will be milled at Aganang to produce cement and the rest will be transported to the Delmas plant, where it will be further processed, using fly ash produced at the fly-ash classification plant at Kendal power station, as an extender to produce the final cement.
“Sephaku realises the future is in waste-heat recovery,” says Fourie.
To convert a normal cement plant for cogeneration is difficult and plants usually have to be shut down for about six months. However, Sephaku’s cooler was designed to make this possible future transition easier, he says.
“However, this is a future project which will only be considered once the current project is stable. We decided to keep this plant as basic and efficient as possible as we are still establishing ourselves in the cement business,” he adds.
Meanwhile, the construction of an Eskom substation was completed in March. A new 49 km 132 kV incoming powerline has also been erected from Watershed, near Lichtenburg, to the plant, says Aganang civil engineer Jacques Minnie.
Construction of a 4.2 km asphalt-surfaced access road from the existing Kapsteel road to the plant location is also under way. The road will consist of two 3.7-m-wide lanes, with two additional 0.8 m paved shoulders. It is expected to be completed in November, he concludes.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Construction News
Updated 3 hours ago The Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) was committed to spending R17-billion on infrastructure upgrades at the Port of Durban by 2023. In a briefing on current projects that had begun or were about to get under way at the port, Port of Durban manager Moshe...
Updated 6 hours ago China’s investment in African resources remains at a relatively early stage and is likely to increase further over the next decade, despite the economic slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy, reports South African financier Standard Bank. China’s economy...
Updated 6 hours ago Property management company Citiq has officially opened its Umhlanga Junction Extension, a 75-bed student apartment block, in Brixton, built entirely from shipping containers. Situated in Caroline Street, the striking building was erected within two months. “We...
Updated 1 hour 50 minutes ago The Gauteng Provincial Government has outlined plans to develop a handful of “mega” human settlements as part of an ambitious long-term housing development strategy aimed at narrowing the housing backlog, with plans afoot to replace informal settlements with...
Updated 2 hours 3 minutes ago While State-owned power utility Eskom was unable to cut off electricity supply to some of its neighbouring trade partners, it was able to reduce energy exports by 10% when load shedding was implemented locally. The Department of Public Enterprise explained that Eskom...
Updated 2 hours 7 minutes ago While the new tax introductions and hiked levies outlined in Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s inaugural budget speech this week were likely to hit consumers hard, it was deemed the most efficient option for government to narrow its fiscal gap without hurting South...
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
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 road...
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.
This Week's Magazine
National flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) is in an advanced stage of renegotiating its deal with European airliner manufacturer Airbus to acquire A320 single-aisle (or narrow body) aircraft. The aim is to replace ten of the aircraft still on order with five...
Worldwide, the main thrust in the ports industry over the past decade or more has been to increase efficiency. Traditionally, ports have been run by engineers and mariners and, in the past, increasing a port’s capacity was achieved by expanding the harbour. “That has...
What do you do when an elephant has a toothache? You call Dr Gerhard Steenkamp from the University of Pretoria’s (UP’s) faculty of veterinary science, Onderstepoort, one of only two elephant ‘dentists’ in the world.
The 2015 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) competition was launched earlier this month in Johannesburg, with the main focus on creating and inspiring entrepreneurs to create jobs and boost the economy.
In a recent letter to the editor that I sent to Engineering News (Concerns regarding South African portion of Square Kilometre Array) and in a follow-up article elaborating further (We must start preparations to build our own synchrotron light source), I stated my...