Johannesburg-based structural steel construction company SpecPipe has over the years collaborated with wood preservative company Dolphin Bay to construct timber treatment plants.
SpecPipe has constructed six timber treatment plants this year. Dolphin Bay owner Bertus Coetzee believes that the company’s capacity and workmanship has helped cement a good working relationship between the two companies.
SpecPipe started as a structural steel manufacturing company 22 years ago and has since expanded its services to building timber treatment plants.
“Of the six plants now under construction, two are being built in South Africa, while the rest will be constructed in other parts of the continent. The plants outside South Africa are being built mainly to meet the demand for treated poles.
“The poles are required for the telecommunications and electricity distribution infrastructure that supports growing African economies,” says SpecPipe MD Dick Kotze.
SpecPipe considers itself as the leading supplier of timber treatment plants in Africa. The company has built, refurbished and upgraded about 80 timber treatment plants in South Africa and other countries on the continent since it was established in 1988.
Coetzee advises companies considering the establishment of a timber treatment plant to assess a number of factors before proceeding. The factors include assessments of the type or types of timber they intend to treat, and the viability of doing so.
“This will help determine the size of the plant and how it should be operated. In addition, they will need to ensure they are able to meet timber treatment and associated regulatory requirements.
SpecPipe undertakes most of the engineering for timber treatment plants at its Johannesburg plant and then transports components to site, where they are assembled.
Plants take about three months to build and commission, and cost between R1-million and R2.5-million depending on their capacity.