Electrical, Instrumentation & Control Feature
(By: Laura Cornish – Inside Mining)
Electrical and instrumentation specialist and Zest WEG Group subsidiary, ENI Electrical, is aiming to grow its market share by targeting larger project opportunities in Africa, including home territory South Africa, sales and marketing manager Trevor Naudé and engineering manager Russell Drake tell Laura Cornish.
Both Naudé and Drake acknowledge that while most of the company’s potential growth opportunities lie beyond South African borders, the company will continue to leverage its reputation in South Africa. “Our intention is to capture a bigger piece of the electrical and instrumentation pie – estimated to be worth in excess of R2 billion annually,” says Naudé.
The company’s African strategy is perfectly aligned with Brazilian motor manufacturer WEG, whose purpose in acquiring Zest was to gain significant footholds in countries across the African continent. Considering the company is working towards the completion of one of its largest and most important contracts to date – the entire electrical and instrumentation contract for Zambia’s Konkola North copper project in Zambia – the momentum for its growth strategy is already underway. The project is located in the Chililabombwe District in the Copperbelt Province.
ENI Electrical accessed site in August 2011 and is due to complete its contract for the Konkola project between the third and fourth quarter of 2012. The scope includes all electrical infrastructureincluding the sub-station (utility), through to all instrumentation and control, with an 11 kV overhead line linking all project components. “A project of this size has given us the credibility to take on larger projects worth millions of dollars with greater frequency, together with large international mining houses, into countries across Africa,” Naudé reveals. Because a large portion of ENI’s work is generated through its locally situated branch subsidiaries, including Zambia, it will look to open new branches as opportunities arise.
Zambia In addition to the Konkola project, ENI Electrical recently completed the electrical and instrumentation work for a smelter upgrade project and has just commenced with another. “These projects are indication that we are already growing our market share, and we are hoping to secure further copper beneficiation and smelter projects in the country,” Drake explains. ENI Electrical’s Zambian branch is its largest to date and has been in operation for six years.
Mozambique “Thanks to the coal and infrastructure development boom in the country, we have been intimately involved with port and coal handling projects over the last two years, placing the company as one of the preferred electrical, instrumentation and construction companies in the country,” Naudé enthuses. The company established a local presence in Mozambique five years ago.
Ghana “Our foray into Ghana started many years ago with the Gold Fields’ Tarkwa project, which since its inception has undergone a number of Brownfield expansions. We have been involved in every single expansion,” Drake notes. Having established a local presence eight years ago, the company is using its Ghanaian base as a springboard into the entire West African region, including Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, the Ivory Coast and Togo. “Together with ourparent company, Zest WEG, we recently embarked on a roadshow across Ghana to increase the local mining industry’s awareness of our product services, capabilities and expertise across the group of companies, individually and collectively,” Naudé outlines. Looking forward, Drake adds that the company is continually investigating opportunities in gold, as well as oil projects.
Tanzania ENI Electrical has its sights set on establishing a branch in Tanzania next. “Our objective is to support the construction sites of four different major gold projects being development in the country through a local subsidiary,” Naudé explains. “The gold opportunities alone in this country are ample.” The company has already had its employees permanently stationed in Tanzania for the last 18 months, undertaking a variety of projects.