Company mitigates challenges at Mozambique project

19th July 2019

An ambitious project timeline for the construction of beverage company Cervejas de Moçambique’s (CDM’s) new brewery, compounded by a late start to the project, owing to external constraints, saw geotechnical specialist Franki Africa make an effort to ensure partial handovers of the foundations and lateral support to allow the main contractor to continue with the works.

The project owner, CDM, which already owns three breweries in the country, is a subsidiary of the largest global beer brewer AB InBev.

Having broken ground on the construction of a more than two-million-hectolitre-a-year brewery to be built at a total cost of $180-million in Mozambique’s Marracuene district, about 30 km north of Maputo, CDM went on to lay the first stone for the construction of the new brewery in early December last year. The project is the largest investment by CDM and by the beer sector in general in Mozambique since CDM’s inception in 1995.

The new brewery, scheduled to produce its first batch of beers by the end of this year, means that its construction has a very tight timeline. Franki has been entrusted to carry out geotechnical work on the project.

Franki is responsible for the installation of foundation and lateral support piling for different structures of the brewery, explains Franki Mozambique contracts engineer Marta Botelho.

With an initial estimated duration of five weeks, Franki’s project duration has since been extended to ten weeks. As a result, the contract value has increased from MT79-million (about R21.5-million) to MT129-million (about R35.1-million), owing to additional works required. A late start to the project meant a major setback to the project’s stringent timeline.

Apart from the late start, Botelho says the tight timeline was just a big challenge from the start, adding that the client plans to start operations this year.

“After a late start, we managed to guarantee partial handovers of the different areas to allow the main contractor to carry on with the works,” says Botelho. “Our design team worked together with the client’s engineers to get to the best solutions and overcome any arising challenges.”

Another key challenge the Franki team had to contend with was the short supply of readymix concrete. There is a long distance from an existing batch plant to the site. “We used different suppliers and our own concrete transit mixers to minimise this challenge. Owing to the tight nature of the programme, we also had to resort to working extended hours,” Botelho concludes.