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CONSTRUCTION: Murray & Roberts - R1.5 Billion in Contract Work in Nov 2011


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November 2011 was a bumper month for Murray and Roberts Construction, recently created from the merger of Murray and Roberts Construction and Concor, as it began work on several new contracts worth more than R1.5-billion in total.

In the mining arena, Concor Opencast Mining (a company operating within Murray and Roberts Construction), in joint venture with Basil Read Mining, embarked on an R823-million contract awarded by ASSMANG for the removal of waste and the mining of iron ore at its Beeshoek mine in the Northern Cape. This 34-month contract will be the first time that Murray and Roberts Construction has introduced mining equipment as large as 125 ton excavators and 100 ton haulers in a project of this nature.

Anglo American Platinum has awarded Concor Opencast Mining an R83-million contract for the mining of Merensky reef at its Khuseleka operation in the North-West province. The contract will run for 18 months and Chris Botha, chief operating officer (COO) at Murray and Roberts Construction, says this contract, together with the Beeshoek order, have created opportunities for the company’s mining business to expand significantly.

Also in the mining industry, Concor Opencast Mining has started work on a R27-million 12 month contract awarded by Impala Platinum for the removal of overburden and the reefing of platinum ore at its Impala Pit 11B in North-West Province. This contract is an extension to the company’s longstanding involvement at the mine.

Another Murray and Roberts Construction company, Concor Civils has made a start on a R127-million civils and building works contract at the Mareesburg PGM deposit on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex for Eastplats Rhodium Reefs, who is establishing mine infrastructure at the site. The contract includes sub-stations, an ore silo, primary and secondary mills, flotation cleaners and tailings thickeners.

Murray and Roberts - Road Rehabilitation and Reconstruction

For longstanding customer SANRAL, Concor Roads and Earthworks commenced three rehabilitation and reconstruction projects in November 2011. A 24-month R143-million project will rehabilitate about 34 km of the N14 highway between Sannieshof and Delareyville in the North West Province, while in Gauteng the company has begun a R212-million contract to reconstruct a 43 km section of the national route R104 from Simon Vermooten to Bronkshortspruit over a period of 18 months.

The third SANRAL project, worth R163-million, will see the rehabilitation of a 29 km section of the N1 between Nelspoort and Three Sisters in the Western Cape. Concor Roads and Earthworks has worked extensively in the area, establishing an excellent track record of successful roads projects.

Murray and Roberts - High Expectation

“With the imminent award of several other large contracts in the civil infrastructure sector in the coming months, we have a high expectation of increasing our order book significantly for the next two years,” Botha, who was appointed to the role of COO in September 2011, says.

“At the same time, a primary objective will be to assist with the smooth transition from the former Concor and Murray and Roberts Construction entities into a new and stronger company under the banner of Murray and Roberts Construction. To all intents and purposes this is a new venture and we’re aware of the need to build belief in the new systems and management structures.

“We will also be going back to basics to reinstall some elementary management principles relating to the execution of projects and contracts, while focusing on our obligation under the Construction Charter to increase black representation at management level. We intend to achieve this via a combination of attracting new staff and uplifting existing personnel.

“The general grab for talent is going to re-ignite as the market shows an upward swing and the challenge to us will be to convince the skills pool that Murray and Roberts Construction is a great place to work.”

Murray and Roberts - Tough Year

Botha says he expects that 2012 will be a tough year for the industry. “Many companies, including ourselves, secured work during 2011 in a very competitive environment,” he says. “Now we’re going to have to live out these tight margins in the months ahead.

“The tough times have certainly given us the opportunity to streamline our business systems and rid ourselves of unnecessary baggage and I believe we are now a more robust and agile company. In the construction field we now possess a broad range of skills and are able to offer comprehensive solutions to our clients wherever required.”

Murray and Roberts Construction is now one of the largest players in the African, Middle Eastern and South East Asian construction sectors offering a full spectrum of engineering and contracting services, from civil and building construction, roadworks and earthworks to marine engineering and opencast mining.

In addition to Botha’s September 2011 appointment as COO, other recent appointments to increase management capacity in the civil construction area of the business include Cobus Snyman as managing director of Concor Roads and Earthworks; Marius Koen as contracts director in the roads business; Stephanie Britz as commercial director in the roads business; Roger Herne as a contracts director at Concor Opencast Mining and Lucas Baars and Hernus Swart as alternate directors at Concor Civils.

Previous Murray and Roberts Construction and Concor operating entities now functioning within the company through ten operations which are: Murray and Roberts Buildings, Murray and Roberts Contractors Middle East, Murray and Roberts Marine, Murray and Roberts Plant, Murray and Roberts Western Cape, Concor Civils, Concor Opencast Mining, Concor Roads and Earthworks, Murray and Roberts Namibia and Murray and Roberts Botswana.

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