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Germany backs renewable energy projects in Africa

Germany backs renewable energy projects in Africa with the launch of RLSF - an innovative liquidity facility managed by ATI


in by providing immediate liquidity to keep the IPP afloat during periods of payment delays that are beyond the grace period provided in the power purchase agreement.

Günther Nooke, Personal Representative of the German Chancellor for Africa, BMZ, said (Left to right) Thomas Duve, Director Southern Africa and Regional Funds KfW Development Bank - and John Lentaigne, Chief Underwriting Officer, ATI“The Regional Liquidity Support Facility will address a key challenge in renewable energy project finance and de-risk private sector investments. We are pleased to provide the funding to this innovative instrument underlining Germany’s commitment to the objectives of the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI).”

The RLSF is designed to help independent power producers (IPPs) developing renewable energy projects in Africa to obtain the liquidity they need in the event that their off-taker (frequently a state owned entity) delays payment. The facility will provide immediate cash collateral supported by guarantees to a commercial bank that will in turn open a standby letter of credit to the benefit of the IPP. The amount provided will enable the IPP to operate and service the debt for up to 6 months. Furthermore, unlike most IPP letters of credit (which tend to be 12 month tenors) the facility is designed to be in place for multiple years.

Dr. Thomas Duve, KfW Director Southern Africa and Regional Funds, noted “We highly appreciate the opportunity to partner with ATI on this innovative instrument. The RLSF is a strongly market-driven concept, emphasizing KfW’s strategy to support and leverage the resources of local partners and the private sector.”

The facility, in combination with ATI’s traditional suite of political and trade credit risk insurance products (in particular ATI’s arbitration award default cover), means that ATI is able to cover the full range of political and financial risks facing investors on such projects.

Speaking at the launch, John Lentaigne, ATI’s Chief Underwriting Officer commented “We are delighted to be working with the German government, represented by KfW, on an initiative that directly targets one of the main bottlenecks preventing green power projects from being financed in Africa.”

Jef Vincent, Senior Advisor to ATI, who has overall responsibility for the initial implementation of the facility, added “Unlike some of the alternative solutions to the liquidity issue, ATI’s guarantee (as provided via the RLSF) will not require a counter-guarantee from the relevant Ministry of Finance, and as such we are confident this will be a very useful tool for those projects that we expect to support.”


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LiquiSonic® enables a reduction of labor cost through the elimination of manual process steps

H2SO4 in Copper MiningLiquiSonic

Copper is obtained by the extraction of copper sulfide ores, which have a copper content of ~ 2 wt%. The raw metal production includes a wide variety of process steps. The processing of copper sulfide ores is carried out by flotation. Thereby, crushed copper sulfide ores are enriched with water and a foaming agent, to skim quartz or silicates. The obtained copper concentrate has a copper content of 20 - 40 wt%.

In the pyrometallurgical extraction, SO2 is generated which is oxidized with atmospheric oxygen to form sulfur trioxide SO3 (contact process). What remains is a copper content of approx. 96-99 wt%. In order to reach a purity of 99.99 wt%, a electrolytic refining takes place subsequently. Otherwise, the impurities strongly influence the thermal and electrical conductivity and quality of copper.

In the pyrometallurgical extraction, the copper concentrate is slagged by adding SiO2 in the furnace at 1200 to 1400 °C. The melt of copper and iron sulfide is removed as the so-called copper matte from the slag phase.

The liquid copper matte is poured into a converter and the iron sulfide reacts with air to sulfur dioxide SO2. Resulting SO2 is oxidized to sulfur trioxide SO3 (contact process), which SO3 is directed into sulfuric acid (96 wt%). In the absorber, sulfuric acid in high concentrations by adding water or oleum is generated. In the blending process, the H2SO4 is diluted on desired target concentration.

pyrometallurgical Each process step can be both monitored continuously by the inline LiquiSonic® measurement technology and optimally set. The high dependency on sonic velocity enables an accuracy of +/- 0,05 wt% for sulfuric acid.


Customer value

The LiquiSonic® analyzer provides a precise inline H2SO4 and oleum concentration measurement with real-time monitoring.
The robust sensor construction and the optional special materials, like Hastelloy C2000, promote long process life.

 LiquiSonic® enables a reduction of labor cost through the elimination of manual process steps:

- time saving: 1 h per day cost per hour: 50 € (60 $) total cost savings: 10.000 € (12,000 $) per year

- In comparison to conductivity and density measurement, LiquiSonic® generates a clear signal in the concentration range from 80 to 100 wt% and provides at every time reliable process information.

- Amortization: approx. 2 years

LiquiSonic Velocity


The LiquiSonic® immersion sensor is easily installed into pipelines after absorber or sulfuric acid production and blending.

By using the LiquiSonic® controller 30, up to four sensors can be connected, allowing the simultaneous monitoring of several measuring points.

Typical measuring range:
- concentration range from H2SO4: 80 to 100 wt%
- temperature range: 20 to 90 °C
- concentration range from oleum: 0 to 10 wt%
- temperature range: 10 to 60 °C



LiquiSonic 30

For more info visit Morton Controls - for your Processing and Intrumentation Solutions in South Africa

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Deswik to launch new haulage functionality for underground mining

The upcoming version of the Deswik.Suite software from global consulting and technology company, Deswik, will feature new haulage functionality for underground mine operators. The Deswik.LHS for Underground module will let users create and visualize an underground haulage network from a 3D mine model and integrate the results directly with the mine schedule.Deswik

Specifically designed by mining engineers, for mining engineers, the software simplifies the process of calculating haulage metrics for underground mine operations and presents the results in the form of 3D animations. An easy-to-use interface guides users through the process, delivering a simple, speedy experience. Results are amalgamated back into the original schedule in Deswik.Sched (Gantt chart scheduling tool) to ensure single source reporting and enable estimations of truck requirements.

The functionality, currently available as a technology preview, is integrated into Deswik.Suite version 2017.2, where the haulage network can simply be built from the mine design centerlines, which are used as the data source for scheduling. Once the initial setup is complete, the entire life of asset schedules can easily be run in a matter of minutes, using detailed rimpull calculations.

The results of this process can pre-emptively highlight issues with ventilation and congestion as well as give defendable haulage metrics for costing and budgetary purposes.

A fully integrated platform designed for all stages of the mining value chain, the Deswik software suite has been pushing the boundaries in the mine planning space since its inception. Deswik Suite lets mine planners’ complete plans and scenario analysis in one continuous workflow – in some instances, substituting the need for up to eight separate software packages.

Deswik.LHS for Underground will be unveiled at the AusIMM 2017 Underground Operators’ Conference on the Gold Coast, next week. Its easy-to-use interface requires no expert knowledge of haulage modelling or setup, and visitors to the Deswik booth will have the opportunity to interact with the tool and learn how they can use it to execute their mine plans more efficiently.


Working in over 50 countries worldwide, Deswik focuses on delivering engineering efficiencies to all sectors of mining industry (Open Cut Coal, Underground Coal, Open Pit Metals and Underground Metals) through software, consulting and training solutions.

Deswik software frees up your time and gives you the tools and resources to engineer better plans, examine more scenarios and consequently drive lower costs.

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TDS Projects Construction Delivers Extensive Infrastructure at Finsch

TDS Projects Construction is completing a mammoth installation of extensive ground handling infrastructure at Petra Diamond’s Finsch Mine.

The project which commenced in November 2014 was awarded to TDS Projects TDS Projects ConstructionConstruction by Petra Diamonds following a successful tender process. TDS Projects Construction’s affiliated company, Thuthukani Engineering Solutions designed the C-cut ground handling infrastructure at Cullinan mine and were then tasked with the design of Finsch’s infrastructure required for the sub-level caving expansion project.

This immense project (phase 1 completed, phase 2 in progress) includes the fabrication, construction and installation of nine tipping points, five ore pass retaining walls, four bulkheads, two crusher stations with overhead cranes, and four conveyors. Phase 1 commenced on 20 November 2014 and was completed on 25 March 2016 while Phase 2, commenced on 4 April 2016 with completion estimated for July 2018.

Hennie Coetzee, Managing Director at TDS Projects Construction says that the successful execution of the project thus far is a testament to the depth of the expertise and commitment of their team. “TDS is capable of continuously adapting to the challenges and changes of a construction environment. Our experience in the construction of mining infrastructure allows us to be innovative when presented by particular requirements dictated by a project or site. This is evident in aspects of the project such as the ore pass retaining walls, which are pre-casted and a first of their kind for underground operations and allow flexibility for the construction of tipping points on multiple levels simultaneously,” states Coetzee.

“With the construction and operation of the bulkheads, there were numerous key findings by our team – some of which challenged the SANS standards used for the design thereof,” explains Coetzee.

The bulkhead structures include steelwork well in excess of 100 tons per bulkhead and were installed at the bottom of a 5.1 metre diameter ore pass, ranging from 70 to 190 metres in height. One of the bulkheads consists of a staggering 165 tons of steel, 150 m³ of concrete and 15 tons of reinforcing to be constructed within a matter of 4 months – while the conveyor system constructed at Finsch covers a distance of 1650 metres at an incline of 9 degrees and was completed within a construction period of 13 months.

“The success of the construction at Finsch that has been completed for Phase 1 and to date on Phase 2 is due to TDS’s proven management and operating system that controls the progress, quality and most importantly safety, on any project that we take on,” says Coetzee adding that TDS also has the backing and support of a group of sister companies which includes Thuthukani Engineering Solutions as well as SFS Engineering (TDS’s structural steel fabricator) which allows for effective control and execution of any project.

“We are offering an absolute turnkey solution that is perfectly showcased by the ultimate completion of these installations at Finsch. Not only was Phase 1 of the project successfully completed, with Phase 2 currently being entirely on track – we are also able to pass on numerous benefits to our client. Ultimately, we are able to supply a workable ore handling system that will extend the life of the mine, maintain and increase production throughput and reduce operational costs,” Coetzee concludes.

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Komatsu South Africa has dramatically increased its share in the local grader market Fleet of 10 Komatsu Motor Graders handed over to DOT Ladysmithfollowing the delivery of 28 GD675-5 motor graders to the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Transport. The fleet represents the biggest single sale of this particular product in southern Africa and one made against stiff competition from several rival manufacturers.

According to Komatsu’s General Manager: Sales and Marketing, Mike Helm, a number of key factors contributed to the success – not least Komatsu’s ability to tailor products to meet specific customer requirements.

“The department stipulates that a second seat be fitted to all graders to accommodate a driver’s assistant or lookout as a safety precaution. Close cooperation between Komatsu’s factory in Japan and local technical specialists ensured that we could produce a product that is fully compliant with the department’s specifications.”

Helm adds that while price was undeniably an important consideration, Komatsu was able to offer a competitive, high specification product with the added benefit of KomCare, a maintenance and service package.

“In our dealings with our customers we identified the need for specialist packages that would deliver exceptional standards of servicing, but at the lowest possible cost. The KomCare specialist maintenance and service package is unique to Komatsu and is tailored to meet individual customer needs.

“While other manufacturers offer outwardly similar plans, they are restricted to specific time periods and other constraints. The KomCare facility is structured into the purchase price and remains in force for as long as the machine is retained and this certainly had a major influence on the department’s buying decision,” he says.

The sale was finalised late in December 2016, and saw a great deal of activity at Komatsu’s Isando-based headquarters through Christmas and into the new year. Pressure was intense as the department was not only keen to replace its existing and aging fleet of graders, but to accommodate as many units as possible before the end-March closure of its financial year.

The delivery of the entire fleet, complete with modifications, began in March and was completed by mid-April to four different locations across the province. The graders’ primary task is the creation and maintenance of rural gravel roads. Eight were shipped to Empangeni, a similar number to Pietermaritzburg, 10 to Ladysmith and a further couple to Durban. They will eventually work the length and breadth of KZN, from the border of Mozambique to the north, as far down as the Eastern Cape and inland toward the Free State and Lesotho.

The acquisition gave Komatsu an opportunity to demonstrate the attention to detail it devotes to aftermarket activity, something that was not lost on the Department of Transport’s Sizwe Ndlovu who oversaw the specification aspects of the tender.

“One of our requirements is that machines be supplied fully registered, and Komatsu ensured that every vehicle arrived with the correct plates fitted accompanied by the relevant documentation. The process was faultlessly executed, which is not always the case with a delivery of this size.”

Another point that impressed was the way in which Komatsu implemented the mandatory addition of a second seat.

“It is rare to see an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) comply with a supplementary item in a way that suggests it is supplied as standard rather than as an extra bolted on before delivery,” says Ndlovu.

Spokesperson for the department Nathi Sukazi fully concurs, and adds that other specified extras, including a centralised lubrication system and road sign carrier, were incorporated in a thoroughly professional manner.

‘In addition, Komatsu supplied the department with a feature over and above specification. The KOMTRAX remote machine monitoring and tracking system was provided as standard and I believe it will prove to be very useful,” says Sukazi.

KOMTRAX is a remote machine monitoring system that offers users the ability to access information on the performance of their equipment. They can download information relevant to the efficient running of their operations, including data on running hours, fuel consumption, operator information and the general condition of machines. This includes warning of imminent service intervals and the need to change out components.

Helm is naturally upbeat about this major fleet sale as the brand will inevitably gain even greater exposure across the province.

“The acceptance of the Komatsu GD675-5 by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport as its grader of choice is a very positive development and as a result we hope to gain additional business, not only for the grader range but construction equipment from provincial municipalities and contractors.”


  • New 163Kw Tier 3 emissions rated engine
  • High pressure common rail fuel injection system delivering outstanding fuel efficiency
  • Equipped with an 8 speed fully automatic transmission with a standard torque converter and lockup clutch
  • A hydraulic driven cooling fan with reverse function for ease of cleaning of the all new aluminium coolers
  • An updated and refined hydraulic system offering exceptional load sensing hydraulics ensuring accuracy and precision while grading
  • Fitted with Komtrax which is Komatsu’s remote equipment and fleet monitoring system.
  • Comes standard with KomCare – service and maintenance programme


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