Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  16 Aug 2010

ENGINEERING: Cosira Group Awarded Steelwork Portion Of ATCOM


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The Cosira Group has been awarded the complete structural, mechanical, platework and piping (SMPP) supply and erect order for the upgrade of Xstrata Coal’s ATCOM Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP) in Witbank, near Johannesburg.

Sedgman South Africa, a multi-disciplinary engineering services provider to the global resources industry, is currently working on the plant upgrade, and recently awarded the SMPP portion of the contract to the Cosira Group.

This is according to John da Silva, CEO of the Cosira Group, one of the largest steel fabricators in Southern Africa. “ATCOM is an important project for Xstrata and was awarded to the Cosira Group on the back of another successfully completed coal expansion project for BHP Billiton,” he says. “This is also the beginning of a new association between the Cosira Group and Sedgman, which is a new entrant on the Southern African EPC/M market. We hope that this will be the start of many more successful projects between Sedgman and the Cosira Group,” added da Silva.

According to Project Manager, Roger Bester at the Cosira Group, this contract will involve the supply and fabrication of approximately 1 450 tonnes of steelwork, 1km of piping and 500 tonnes of mechanicals. “We are supplying and installing the complete SMPP portion of the contract,” says Bester, “which will include Brownfields and Greenfields work.”

Says Bester: “The Brownfields work will include two separate month-long shutdowns at the CHPP plant where all construction work must be very carefully planned and executed. There is also a significant amount of preparation and stripping-out work that must be completed, prior to the plant shutdown.

The Greenfields work involved a run of mine tip station as well as a series of conveyors and handling stations that lead into the main plant where the Brownfields work is currently taking place.
One of the most significant challenges presented on site include the fact that the current CHPP plant is quite old and therefore the interface points between the new and old portions of the project require very careful analysis, detailed planning, as well as a significant amount of work upfront to ensure that down time of the Brownfields plant is kept to an absolute minimum.

Bester adds that the most important factor for the successful and timeous completion of this contract will be the prompt and safe delivery of all plant, people and equipment resources. “With the successful integration of these resources the project is set for completion early 2011,” says Bester.

“There is currently major growth being experienced in the power generation and downstream coal supply,” says da Silva. “It is therefore vitally important that the Cosira Group stay involved in the coal industry which will see significant growth on the back of export and local power generation demands,” he concluded.

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