JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Although the mining project business is currently depressed, the increased number of enquiries for potential studies is indicative of an uplift in demand.
Amec Foster Wheeler regional director: mining Africa Gavin Chamberlain reports that with the integration of MDM Engineering into the group, the combined business received more enquiries in the first five months of this year than during the entire 12 months of 2015.
By May, the company had submitted 35 bids compared with only 20 for the whole of last year.
“I believe that’s a sign of improvement,” says Chamberlain, who outlines, in the attached Creamer Media video, four projects that the company is currently executing in Southern Africa.
However, he characterises the current project market as being “extremely competitive”.
The chosen strategic way forward for the combined Amec Foster Wheeler and MDM is for all work in Africa to be funnelled through one operational centre in Johannesburg, which is staffed by 250 mainly engineering and project services personnel.
On sites in traditional engineering, procurement and construction management supervision-type roles are another 180-plus people and, over and above that, the MDM model also incorporates “self-performance” of structural steel and mechanical installation in selected geographies.
“The track record of MDM specifically, speaks for itself, in that MDM is getting a lot of repeat business on the basis of delivering on time and within budget.
“We believe that this is part of our way forward; to ensure that the ethos that drove MDM stays within Amec Foster Wheeler going forward. I believe we can continue to deliver projects on time and within budget,” Chamberlain says, adding that among the strengths MDM brings into the combined entity is strong hands-on project management.