Diversified infrastructure and services company Concor Infrastructure is halfway towards completing the additional 14-m-wide dual carriageway on the N2 highway between Mtunzini and Empangeni, in KwaZulu-Natal.
The R964-million project for the South African National Roads Agency began in March last year and is due for completion in 2019.
Concor Infrastructure MD Eric Wisse tells Engineering News that major structures on the project are being constructed simultaneously, including big bridges over the Mlalazi and Mhlathuze rivers, as well as smaller structures over streams, railway crossings and interchanges.
“The first half of the new carriageway will be complete mid-2018, after which the existing carriageway will be rehabilitated while traffic runs on the new carriageway.”
Wisse notes that challenges with the project so far have mostly been weather-related. In May, KwaZulu-Natal had heavy rain and storm winds resembling a cyclone, which required Concor Infrastructure to be extra vigilant in terms of safety and adapting suitable work times. However, this has not caused a delay for the total completion of the project.
Meanwhile, Concor Infrastructure has been awarded the Belfast Implementation Project for diversified miner Exxaro. The project entails the construction of enabling works for its new coal mine, in Mpumalanga.
The company is required to do the enabling and advancement of all civil infrastructure, including the upgrading of a provincial gravel road to surfaced standard, providing access to the mine, earthworks, platforms, as well as civil works on which the plant will be built.
Wisse points out that the contract, awarded early last month, will be a 21-month project.
Concor Infrastructure has also been awarded the construction works for Phase 1 of the Shaft 2 construction at the Platreef mine for platinum miner Ivanplats – a subsidiary of diversified miner Ivanhoe Mines – in Mokopane, Limpopo, with a duration of 12 months.
Shaft 2 will be Platreef’s main production shaft, with a hoisting capacity of six-million tonnes a year. This initial R70-million project will consist of the excavation of a surface boxcut to about 29 m below surface and construction of a concrete hitch for the 103-m-tall concrete headframe that will house the shaft’s permanent hoisting facilities and support the shaft collar.
Concor Infrastructure continues to build on its legacy as a diversified contractor in the civil infrastructure space. Apart from playing a major role in the construction of roads and bridges, it remains a key player in the mining infrastructure, renewable energy and various other private and public infrastructure projects.
The company has recently achieved Level 1 broad-based black economic-empowerment certification, which it will leverage to play an even more significant role in the development of infrastructure in South Africa.
Towards the end of last year, a consortium led by the Southern Palace Group of companies acquired the Murray & Roberts Infrastructure and Building Platform.
Wisse highlights that the financial change-over of the platform to the consortium was at the end of March and the official cutoff date from Murray & Roberts Infrastructure and Building Platform to become the Concor Construction Group was May 5.
He notes that, in essence, all the operating divisions are in place as they were before, however, there is now a new leg of the business that looks after its growth strategy.
“This growth strategy will focus on diversification, including geographical, supply and value chain diversification.”
He adds that, so far, the reactions have been positive and the acquisition has been received well in the market.
The official launch of the “new” Concor Construction Group will be announced at an event this month, to which the company will be inviting its major stakeholders.
“The acquisition signalled a historic moment in the company’s history, now being a leading black-owned infrastructure and building services company,” concludes Wisse.