Project Pinboard – October 2014

October 10th, 2014, Published in Articles: Vector


Mega-Midrand construction projects

A massive new development is planned for a 22 km2 site near Midrand. The Hong Kong-listed property development group, Shanghai Zendai, says it will spend R84-billion on Zendai Modderfontein and employ some 200 000 contractors and labourers during construction, which should last about ten years. The master plan includes the development of nine zones, a business, trade and logistics park; a light industry node for export and light manufacturing; a commercial “city centre”; international conference and exhibition node; a trade and logistics hub; entertainment centre; education centre including a university; health care centre; sports centre and stadium; hotels; and a residential development for the international community. The project’s West Lake suburb and “downtown Modderfontein” are expected to house about 100 000 people.

Wind turbine maker now in SA

The Danish company, Vestas, maker of wind-driven electricity-generating turbines, has opened an office in Johannesburg. The opening of the office coincides with the successful commissioning of a wind turbine installation at Coega – a Vestas V90-1,8 MW machine. The company plans to increase sales in South and southern Africa. In 2013 Vestas had orders for equipment rated at some 6000 MW, and only 5% of this was destined for South Africa. It now has at least seven projects, rated at more than 435 MW, in progress in this country. South Africa’s current Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) calls for 8400 MW of wind energy installation by 2030. The increasing use of wind generation to meet the country’s growing need for electricity signals a new avenue of work for local contractors to handle the installations peripheral to all such projects.

Solar inverter plant for SA

Powerway PV SA and Sungrow say they will open a solar inverter manufacturing facility in Coega Industrial Development Zone near Port Elizabeth. The companies say the plant will be the largest of its kind outside of China when it opens. The announcement is expected to be before the end of 2014. With no locally-manufactured competition, inverters coming from the plant should find a ready market, allowing the factory to operate at full capacity from the beginning. Powerway has built solar farms in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa, with a total capacity of over 680 MW. It was also the first company to bring third party solar finance to South Africa. Powerway has big plans for the South African venture, aiming to create over 2500 jobs. Also in the pipeline are a solar panel factory and a mounting system production facility. Sungrow is Asia’s largest inverter manufacturer and the third largest globally.

Hotel group plans major building programme

Marriott International, is a diversified hospitality company with more than 3700 properties in 73 countries and territories. It operates and franchises hotels in key positions all over the world. Now the group says, as a result of its acquisition of the Protea Hospitality Group (PHG) in South Africa, it will embark on a focused expansion drive in this country. It envisages the building of at least 30 new hotels in South Africa by 2020, enabling it to strengthen its strategic foothold in the local hospitality and tourism industry. Studies into the siting of the new hotels are high on the team’s agenda at present, with much emphasis being placed on the natural attractions for tourists as well as easy access to other entertainment and business facilities. Building standards must adhere to the brand’s high international profile, so contractors must be able to provide this expertise.

Renewable energy installations increase

The Department of Energy recently issued more tranches of its procurement documents for independent power supplies. These invitations, which apply to coal suppliers and cogeneration operators, herald a spurt of construction and installation projects of interest to small contractors. The department said requests for proposals (RFPs) were based on ministerial determinations published in December 2012. Under the baseload determination, 2500 MW had been allocated for coal-fired IPP projects, 2650 MW for baseload or mid-merit natural gas capacity and 2600 MW for domestic and imported hydro projects. Apart from this, the DoE wanted to realise 474 MW from near-term natural gas projects laid out in the medium-term risk mitigation plan, which also included a further 800 MW to be obtained from cogeneration activities based on biomass, industrial waste and combined heat and power (CHP) sources. These presaged a significant number of projects that would need the services of contractors.

Project to make buildings energy efficient

Servest South Africa has launched a project to improve energy management in buildings and complexes. Providing impetus to this project are the financial benefits that companies can realise from the installation of energy-efficient equipment and technologies. The basic ways to achieve sustainability and energy management include green buildings, environmental awareness and carbon dioxide emissions, peak demand, punitive tariffs and load-shedding. The Green Buildings Council of South Africa’s Green Star Rating for existing and new buildings has had an impact on companies’ awareness and has driven the implementation of submetering, for example. A similar trend is expected once the operational rating for existing buildings comes into full effect, the company says. There are many companies in South Africa that supply equipment and technologies that can be used to enhance energy efficiency, and reduce environmental impact. The project seeks to co-ordinate such initiatives and create more awareness of the advantages.

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