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EAST ASIA MINERALS: trancity jv project: natsteel:


A hotbed of mining industry best practice, technical innovation and community initiatives




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business excellence editorial

Martin Ashcroft

Will Daynes

John O’Hanlon

Editor In Chief



Martin has edited business magazines for 15 years and has been editor-in-chief since Business Excellence began.

Will has been a business writer for three years. He joined the Business Excellence team in September 2012.

John has contributed to Business Excellence since its inception: he joined the in-house editorial team in February 2013.



Matt Johnson

Richard Turner

Art Director

Director of sales

Louise Culling

Vince Kielty

Production Designer

Director of Editorial Research


Sharon Rooke

Infinity Business Media Ltd

Suite 22, St Francis House, Queens Road, Norwich, NR1 3PN Tel: +44 (0) 203 137 7100 Fax: +44 (0) 1603 666466

Administration & Operations

Matt Day Head of technology

The content of this magazine is copyright of Infinity Business Media Ltd. Redistribution or reproduction of any content is prohibited.

Andy Turner

Š Copyright 2012 Infinity Business Media Ltd.

Chief Executive

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Mining & Minerals: 8 Barrick Gold: Granny Smith Mine A harvest of gold

A hotbed of mining industry best practice, technical innovation and community initiatives.

24 Rio Tinto Iron Ore: Pilbara Expansion Projects Meeting future demands


Rio Tinto’s mining operation in Pilbara, one of the most exciting mining developments on the planet.

38 ABB

Powering growth

Markus John, discusses the vital role that ABB has in bringing Rio Tinto’s iron ore expansion plans for its Pilbara project to fruition.

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42 east asia minerals ACCESS TO INDONESIA

The Vancouver based mineral exploration company has located major gold and silver deposits in Indonesia.

52 MAXAM Explosives

Blasting through barriers


The role MAXAM Explosives is playing in the development of the Mongolian mining market.


transport & logistics: 60 Transcity JV Project BRISBANE DEBOTTLENECKED

The Legacy Way project being delivered by Transcity will help accommodate Australia’s most easterly city to grow.

70 Colombo dockyard SEA TRADE MAGNET

Sri Lanka’s premier ship repair and shipbuilding facility is perfectly placed to catch trade.

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78 86

manufacturing: 78 NatSteel

As strong as steel

The success of NatSteel’s offsite prefabrication of steel reinforcement products and services have helped refocus the business into becoming a total solutions provider.

86 Coogee Chemicals The right chemistry

As a diversified manufacturer of chemicals and a major tank terminal operator, Coogee Chemicals plans to continue the work that has made it one of the sector’s biggest success stories.

96 Lanka Walltiles

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Wall to wall quality

For almost four decades Lanka Walltiles has remained a leading figure in the Sri Lankan ceramic tile market.



energy: 106 ZincOx Resources

Game changers

How ZincOx utilises a revolutionary form of technology to recover zinc from electric arc furnace dust.

Telecoms & IT: 116 B-Mobile

Setting the trends

Acting chief executive officer See Wei Kie explains how B-Mobile is at the heart of Brunei’s evolving telecommunication industry.


124 CAT Telecom

Making sense of the future

Leading the way in wireless multimedia services in one of Southeast Asia’s most economically dynamic nations.

132 P@SHA

A passion for P@SHA

How Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES is developing the technology sector in Pakistan.

140 Millennium Systems & Consultants Limited (MSCL) Performance enhancers


How the company is today looking to capitalise on opportunities at home and abroad.

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A harvest of gold Barrick Gold’s Granny Smith property in the Western Australian outback is a hotbed of mining industry best practice, technical innovation and community initiatives: with more gold defined annually it has turned into a long term asset

written by: John O’Hanlon research by: Jeff Abbott

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Barrick Gold: Granny Smith Mine

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Barrick Gold: Granny Smith Mine The Granny Smith Mine began operations in 1989


n case you’re wondering why a mine might be named after an apple, this Granny Smith has nothing to do with the fruit that has been called Australia’s best-known export. The deposit now owned and operated by Barrick Gold was first discovered in 1979 by Ray Smith and named after his wife Laurende who had just become a grandmother! Having passed through the hands of Delta Gold and Placer Dome, the arrestingly-named deposit was acquired by Barrick in 2006. The mine started to operate in 1989 as a single pit with eight years’ estimated mine life, however many other pits have been mined between then and 2006. Today the mine draws on the reserves of the nearby Wallaby underground deposit and is continually adding to its production record. Granny Smith, says its energetic manager Julie Shuttleworth, is a textbook example of the effectiveness of continuous drilling and exploration to follow the limits of a mineral deposit. “The Wallaby deposit has a lot of potential. We have been drilling lateral and deeper extensions and have found positive mineralisation there as well.” The underground mine is located 950 kilometres northeast of Perth and 23 kilometres south of Laverton in Western Australia. Its processing plant consists of a two-stage fresh ore crushing circuit with closed circuit screening, a single-stage oxide ore crushing circuit, a semi-autogenous grinding mill in circuit with cone crusher and ball mill, an agitation leaching and carbon-inpulp circuit, tailings gravity retreatment plant with fine grind, a gold recovery plant with carbon reactivation, and a tailing thickener.

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HAYS RECRUITMENT Boilermarkers, OH&S advisors and mining engineers are among the candidates in hottest demand in the resources and mining industry as we welcome 2013, according to the latest Hays Quarterly Report. The Report, out now and covering January to March 2013, shows that there are clearly pockets of shortages for specific skills in the resources and mining industry. “Whilst these skills are in hot demand, employers remain cautious about hiring candidates that appear to have changed employer too often and they are also being very specific with their requirements,” says Simon Winfield, Senior Regional Director of Hays in Western Australia. “Employers want candidates with a proven and stable background, and some are willing to wait to find the exact match. In terms of longterm solutions some employers are interested in candidates that can take a step up to fill a role rather than have someone more senior take a step back.” But when Hays finds the right candidate, says Winfield, employers are moving fast to snap them up. According to the Hays Quarterly Report for January to March 2013, demand is highest for the following skilled professionals in resources and mining: NSW Boilermakers: More available than in previous quarters, but those with specific Hunter Valley Mine Site Inductions will secure short term contract work to support fluctuating project requirements. Mechanical engineers: Opportunities exist with mobile plant for underground mines. While orders are slow, investment is still being put into product development.

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Project engineers (mechanical & civil) and project managers (mechanical & civil): As regional industries are focused on delivery of mining infrastructure, these candidates remain in demand. Northern Territory OH&S advisors: These candidates are in demand as the industry in the Northern Territory is still growing and as sites get bigger and more complicated the safety side of their operations is becoming more paramount. Electrical, fixed plant, reliability and mining engineers: Due to a skill shortage in the Northern Territory, as more sites look to have their workforce based here, they are finding it difficult to have the right candidates relocate. Queensland Residential senior maintenance supervisors, senior Vulcan mine surveyors, experienced digger fitters, residential mobile maintenance planners and high voltage electricians: There is a shortage of good experienced candidates especially within the locations required. High voltage electricians must also have electric drive truck experience. Western Australia Senior mine geologists, mining engineer, contract mining engineer, process manager and maintenance supervisor: Each of these skills is absolutely necessary to the operation of producing mine sites. Continued operation and profitability of key assets for mining organisations is the highest priority at present. For more information on the Hays Quarterly Report, go to


Barrick Gold: Granny Smith Mine

Barrick practises continuous improvement in asset management

Proven and probable gold reserves reported at has been given, but recently she was declared the end of 2011 amounted to 635,000 ounces. 2012 Telstra Western Australia Business Julie Shuttleworth has managed the mine Woman of the Year, and in 2011 was Mine site since 2010, but has been with Barrick Manager of the Year at the Australian Mining since joining as a senior metallurgist in 2000. Prospect Awards. Her contribution to mining She is a big hitter in the industry, seemingly education has been recognised by her alma as busy outside of her day job as she is coping mater, Perth’s Murdoch University, where with the demands of running Granny Smith. she sponsors the Julie Shuttleworth Prize in An energetic spokesperson for the mining Mineral Processing. industry, she goes into schools, Though the drilling universities, career fairs and programme is her priority seminars to talk to students with six drill rigs operating and young professionals. to define the underground “I am passionate about deposit outward and encouraging people to think downward, there’s also Ounces of proven and potential future opportunity about working in the mining probable gold reserves at industry.” There’s not room to mine the decommissioned the end of 2011 here to list the awards she open pits. A feasibility study


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is underway and Barrick will assess this project further in 2013. The additional volumes of ore for processing could be handled by the existing processing plant, which is currently being kept topped up via an ore purchase agreement with Focus Minerals’ Laverton operations. The 22 year-old plant has been subjected to an improvement project during 2012 led by the processing manager. Relatively small changes to screen sizes, ball loading in the mills and optimisation of crushers delivered a big improvement in throughput from approximately 7,500 tonnes per day (tpd) to consistently over 9,000 tpd. “It’s great to see these results: There is still some upside

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there and we will be working on continuously improving over the next couple of years.” The plant will need that capacity. Even without the proposed open pits, there has been a massive ramp up in existing operations. 920,000 tonnes of ore were mined from underground in 2010: this year the tonnage will top 1.4 million. As a result of this production the gold ounces recovered went up from 139,000 in 2010 to 196,000 in 2011. Production is expected to be about 200,000 ounces in 2012. How has all this been achieved? Shuttleworth’s simple answer is continuous improvement in asset management, resource utilisation, planning and incremental process changes with a big

Barrick Gold: Granny Smith Mine

Resource utilisation has been improved

“We’ve focused on improving the capacity of the haulage trucks and making truck movement more effective” focus on effective teamwork. “We’ve focused on improving the capacity of the haulage trucks and making truck movement more effective. And we commissioned a new type of jumbo which has also increased production.” A jumbo is the machine that drills holes into the rock face for explosive charges: so the more faces you can drill each day, or the

longer these holes are, the more you can blast and the more tonnes you can get out of the mine each day, she explains. Another new piece of equipment which has been proving its worth over the last year is the low profile tyre handler that has been developed by the Granny Smith maintenance team in partnership with Austin Engineering.

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Red Dirt Personnel Group is a fully owned

West Australian Recruitment Company specialising in supply of Temporary and Permanent Labour across all disciplines to the Resources Industry as well as Project Maintenance. All recruitment staff have a mining background. Established in 2002 and with limited staff movement this has put us in a unique position whereby we can offer a steady workforce where industry client and candidate knowledge has been retained.

Red Dirt Personnel team members are in the office, Monday to Friday, 7am to 5pm. They are also contactable by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. More info on our talented team members can be found on our website.

BARRICK - GRANNY Barrick Gold:GOLD Granny SmithSMITH Mine Barrick Gold -anGranny consectetur adipisicing elit, It is now making impact Smith feature mine text to go sed do eiusmod tempor on international safety here.....Lorem ipsum dolor incididunt ut labore et dolore since its launch by Austin sit amet, at consectetur magna aliqua. Ut enim ad Engineering MINExpo adipisicing elit, sedtyres do minim veniam, quis nostrud in 2012. Changing eiusmod tempor incididunt exercitation ulla mco on underground mobile laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ut labore et dolore magna equipment is difficult due to ea commodo consequat. aliqua. Ut enim minim the limited spaceadbetween Duis aute irure dolor in veniam, nostrud the tyre andquis the wheel arch. reprehenderit in voluptate exercitation ulla mco In the industry tyres are velit esse cillum dolore laboris nisi ut aliquip ex routinely balanced on fork eu fugiat nulla pariatur. ea tines commodo consequat. This is a caption this is a caption lift and not surprisingly Effective teamwork is important for Barrick Excepteur sint occaecat Duis aute dolor in there haveirure been some non of proident, suntoninequipment culpa qui support tyres all sizes, reprehenderit velit esse cillum injuries. “After in anvoluptate incident at Granny Smith, cupidatat dolore nulla pariatur. Excepteur officiavery deserunt mollitarch anim id est laborum. little wheel clearance. Austin we saideu to fugiat ourselves that we needed to find with sintengineering occaecat cupidatat proident, Lorem ipsum dolor sit Perth, amet, was consectetur an solution,non with the use sunt of a Engineering of Kewdale, asked to adipisicing elit, sed eiusmod tempor in culpa quityre officia deserunt anim id build mechanised handler,� saysmollit Shuttleworth. a prototype. Fielddo trials were successful estItlaborum. dolor sit amet, incididunt dolore magnaSmith aliqua. had to beLorem able toipsum tilt, rotate, grip and and the unitutislabore now inetuse at Granny as

RED DIRT PERSONNEL Red Dirt Personnel was founded in 2002, with the sole purpose of meeting the unique needs of the resource industry. We are not a large recruitment company that dabbles in mining. At Red Dirt Personnel, mining is all we do, so our name has become synonymous with temporary and permanent recruitment across all mining and resource disciplines. As recruitment is essentially a relationshipbased business, our team members form honest, trusting relationships with our clients and candidates alike, and minimal staff movement ensures our knowledge and relationships are maintained. Acquiring new staff can be a costly and timeconsuming business, so Red Dirt ensures all

pre-employment processes and procedures such as medicals, drug & alcohol screens, MWHS testing and reference checks are undertaken for every candidate selected for employment prior to commencing on site (costs covered by Red Dirt). Our services have been fine-tuned over a decade of working closely with our clients, identifying areas where we can add value within and beyond the recruitment process. As all Red Dirt Personnel team members have formerly worked in mining, all services are seamlessly provided within a mutual understanding of rosters, work conditions, and the like.

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We create solutions The world’s biggest mining and resource companies come to us to process, handle, haul and support millions of tonnes of material across Australia. At Granny Smith we have been working with Barrick for over 5 years and introduced one of the first dual powered out of pit haulers. With the support and cooperation of Barrick at Granny Smith these units continue to operate successfully today and have been a cornerstone for our business. Bis Industries, the power behind progress.

Interested in one of our unique solutions? Visit

Barrick Gold: Granny Smith Mine well as other Barrick mine sites in Western Australia. Several With over 100 years of experience in the field, we are a units are also in the USA. The leading provider of turnkey solutions to some of the world’s more mines that adopt the biggest mining, steel and resources companies. low profile tyre handler the We specialise in the provision of off-road load and haul happier Julie Shuttleworth solutions. Our Dual Powered Road Trains and Pit Haulers will be. “My vision is that are specifically designed to haul loads from out of pit or from top of pit over any distance without the need for there is never another tyre rehandling. changing accident anywhere. In the core of its unique design, a second engine is utilised This machine securely holds either in a powered dolly between trailers or incorporated in the tyre and prevents it the lead trailer. from toppling over, making Using unique solutions like this one, we keep our customers the job safer.” producing safely. Interested in these unique solutions? There’s best practice wherever one looks at Granny Smith. The production record speaks for itself, the tyre handler is a fantastic example of innovation serving mine safety, and in addition the mine has a strong sense of commitment to people development and the wider community. Based on her own experience Shuttleworth encourages colleagues to take advantage of the opportunities Barrick gives them to travel, transfer to other sites or to move on secondment to improve their skills. “These are strong values of the company and they are important to me.” Good corporate citizenship is just as important, she believes. Granny Smith is

Bis Industries Unique Haulage Solutions

9,000 Tonnes per day plant throughput Employees are encouraged to improve their skills

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Granny Smith expects 2012 gold production of 200,000 ounces

Barrick Gold: Granny Smith Mine near Laverton, a small town almost entirely dependent on mining and the mine works with the local shire, police, schools and aboriginal communities on many initiatives. “Every one of my managers and superintendents has a community relations initiative each year,” she says. These include traineeship programmes to increase the number of indigenous people working at the mine and sponsoring the Laverton School and the Mount Margaret Remote Community School in an aboriginal community nearby. “We provide a healthy breakfast every morning for those children to encourage them to come to school and have a good attendance record.” Support is also given to the Laverton Leonora Cross Cultural Association, an organisation founded and funded by the mining companies, with an amazing gallery showing local artists’ work. Other sponsorship includes Auskick, which promotes Australian Rules football among children, as well as netball, cricket and other local sports. Further afield some of the Granny Smith team have worked with the University of Western Australia and the Australian School of Mines at Kalgoorlie. But Shuttleworth never loses her focus. “There are so many opportunities for young people these days: each year we hire new graduates and apprentices and take on university students in their vacation work. I am very keen on getting young people, both men and women, into the industry and helping them on their way.” For more information about Barrick Gold: Granny Smith Mine visit:

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Meeting futu demands Rio Tinto’s mining operation in Pilbara is planning an extensive programme of expansion and modernisation, making it one of the most exciting mining developments on the planet

written by: John O’Hanlon research by: richard halfhide

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Rio Tinto Iron Ore: Pilbara Expansion Projects


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he Pilbara’s red earth, splendid scenery and vast extent combine to create the image of Australia that has caught the imagination of generations. The top-left corner of Western Australia is home to a population that has inhabited it continuously for over 40,000 years; to them it is a very precious landscape. However, today there is another dimension to that value, because the region is rich in the most useful mineral to mankind—iron. Just as the red planet Mars owes its colour to the iron in its crust, so that element reveals itself in the rusty splendour of the Pilbara. The Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto group leads the world when it comes to the extraction of minerals. Coal, aluminium, copper, diamonds and specialised minerals are all important divisions; however iron ore is in short supply these days and supplying the world’s steelmakers has long been a key activity for the company. It is a staggering fact that roughly 12 per cent of the iron ore consumed today comes from Rio Tinto’s Pilbara mines alone. Though there are other operators in the Pilbara, Rio Tinto’s Pilbara Blend product has a distinct market advantage: by combining the varying output from a number of individual mines, the mills can rely on receiving ore with consistent iron, silica, alumina, phosphorous and moisture content, even at short notice. And there is no sign of this demand slackening. India and China are both growing at a phenomenal rate and those countries’ consumption of steel for cars, white goods and construction is expected to go on growing,

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Aerial view of the train as it snakes through the desert

Rio Tinto Iron Ore: Pilbara Expansion Projects

Rio Tinto Iron Ore: Pilbara Expansion Projects

Driverless trucks in action

says David Joyce, managing director of Rio while 500 million tonnes is required to satisfy expected demand growth and 200 million Tinto’s Pilbara expansion projects. To satisfy this demand, China needs reliable tonnes in lieu of those sources that China supplies at a reasonable cost, and here the would like to replace because of their high comparatively short sea routes to Asia that cost. once made Australia feel vulnerable become Against these trading fundamentals, an advantage. Already one of the lowest expansion in the Pilbara was inevitable. The cost producers of ore products, Rio Tinto is operations in the region are already extensive, embarking upon an ambitious with 14 operating mines, project that will ramp up three shipping terminals at and streamline production the ports of Dampier and and delivery of the product. Cape Lambert and a 1,500 Over the next seven years kilometre rail network. It is Rio Tinto believes that global a fully integrated system, iron ore supply additions for managed centrally from Rio China alone will need to find Tinto’s Operations Centre in Length of mining rail at least 100 million tonnes of Perth. The early prototype of network in the Pilbara additional supply each year, the centre was established

1,500 km

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$A1 Billion+ Value of work placed by Rio Tinto with aboriginal contractors since 2010

Driverless trucks

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in June 2005 as part of Rio Tinto’s Mine of the Future programme, and the fully fledged version now boasts more than 450 staff. “Drawing together the control functions for the mines and the integrated logistics network made it possible for us to produce iron ore at maximum efficiency,” comments Joyce. And that, he adds, was vital to the success of the expansion project. By 2015 the company expects to have spent more than $A18 billion on expanding the capacity of its Pilbara operations by 50 per cent to 353 million tonnes per annum. As well as mine life extension and expansion of existing mine workings it is driving technology to an extent never before conceived of in the mining industry. Earlier this year, for example, the company committed $A480 million to the introduction of driverless trains—two-anda-half kilometres long and with a payload of 24,000 tonnes. The automated trains will be controlled from Perth, as eventually will the fleet of 150 automated trucks being developed in a joint venture with Japan’s Komatsu. It is all about increasing the capacity of the operations to achieve the 353 million tonne target without proportionally increasing headcount. Ten driverless trucks are already

Rio Tinto Iron Ore: Pilbara Expansion Projects

Loading the billionth tonne to China from Cape Lambert

working at the Yandicoogina mine in the Pilbara alongside automated rigs that can drill much more precisely than the most skilled human operator, and work faster too because they can return to work soon after blasting, without having to wait for the air to clear. “We have a clear lead on the rest of the world where iron ore mining technology is concerned,” says Joyce. The object of automation is not just about reducing costs but also about delivering the Mine of the Future, bringing a level of productivity and repeatability that has eluded the mining industry so far, he explains. “The

Mine of the Future will demand a new breed of employee: people who can manage highly automated systems and continue to grow those systems. It is about building more efficiently controlled systems that don’t rely quite so much on human elements.” Rio Tinto’s port facilities are the envy of the other companies working in the Pilbara. Dampier has two ship loading terminals, one at Parker Point and the other at East Intercourse Island, and an associated blending strategy: capacity there has just been increased by a further five million tonnes, at a cost of $A234 million as part of an incremental investment

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Rio Tinto Iron Ore: Pilbara Expansion Projects

Stockpiles at the Pilbara operations

programme to enable capacity by 53 million tonnes per annum. If and when the the ports and associated infrastructure to handle 353 second (50 MTPA) expansion is approved, the jetty million tonnes. But the most ambitious port project is to the will be a further 400 Planned Pilbara capacity east at Cape Lambert, where metres out to sea and the expansion by 2015 a second 1,400-metre jetty associated infrastructure and two-berth wharf is under will be doubled. construction at a cost of more Australia’s national than $A200 million. The new Cape Lambert economy grew by 2.5 per cent over 2011, Port B development includes a tandem car outstripping the Eurozone, and according dumper facility, a stockyard including two to the State of the States report, published stackers and two bucket wheel reclaimers, by the leading Australian stockbroking a screenhouse and surge bin facility, a firm CommSec in January 2012, Western 1.4 kilometre-long access jetty and a double- Australia is well ahead of all the other states, sided iron ore wharf with two shipping berths largely thanks to its minerals, oil and gas and a shiploader. It will be in operation by the industries. This means there is plenty of work end of 2013 and will increase Cape Lambert’s for contractors in the booming Perth region,


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Rio Tinto Iron Ore: Pilbara Expansion Projects

Tug pens at Intercourse Island

and securing the best of them for long-term operations in the remote Pilbara has involved some rethinking of the traditional EPCM model, says Joyce. “We have been moving towards framework agreements with our contractors, involving them at an earlier stage to improve planning and integrating them with the entire expansion programme in a way that gives them greater security and the chance to move from project to project.”

As well as reducing cost, the continuity of the framework agreements delivers a safety bonus. And standardisation of design and working methods across multiple mine expansion projects is a further way to cut the overall cost, he adds. “It is a way of putting some formality into our relations with our contractors in Western Australia. We know the construction and contracting market in Perth needs to expand to handle

“We have been moving towards framework agreements with our contractors, involving them at an earlier stage to improve planning” be asia & pacific | 35

all the work that is being done in Western Australia so these framework agreements are a mechanism to communicate with our contractors and give them confidence to go out and get the people and equipment they need to do this work over the next three or four years.” This principle benefits local contractors as much as the big construction contractor firms like SKM and John Holland. Since the programme began in 2010 more than a billion dollars’ worth of work has been placed with aboriginal contractors, and Joyce is very proud of that. “We use a variety of models for involving aboriginal companies, of which the most effective has probably been to encourage major contractors to form joint ventures with local contractors.” That way, he says, the local firms can grow and learn by working with their national and multinational peers. Between 2001 and 2011 Rio Tinto drilled a million metres and doubled its ore reserves in the Pilbara. It plans to drill at an even greater rate over the coming five years, and it will be able to supply its Pilbara Blend customers, at the rate of 353 million tonnes a year, until at least 2045. This is what the Mine of the Future programme is all about: introducing next-generation technologies for mining operations, contributing to better health and safety, production efficiencies and improved energy consumption and environmental benefits. For more information about Rio Tinto Iron Ore: Pilbara Expansion Projects visit:

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Rio Tinto Iron Ore: Pilbara Expansion Projects

Powering gro ABB’s Markus John discusses the vital role the company has in bringing Rio Tinto’s iron ore expansion plans for its Pilbara project to fruition

written by: Will Daynes research by: Will Kirby




gainst a backdrop of low, weathered mountains and the scorched desert of north Western Australia lies the Pilbara, the closest sizeable reserve of iron ore to the rapidly expanding Chinese and Indian markets. It is here amidst some of the oldest rocks found on Earth that Rio Tinto is mining some of the planet’s largest iron ore deposits. At present, system capacity of Rio Tinto’s iron ore’s assets in the Pilbara, consisting of a network of 14 iron ore mines, rail and ports, is 230 million tonnes per annum. With an on-going multi-billion dollar expansion programme to increase production capacity to 290 mtpa in Q3 2013, Rio Tinto hopes to further increase this production to 360 mtpa by early 2015. Playing a prominent role in this expansion project is ABB, one of the world’s leading engineering companies. ABB specialises in helping its customers to use electrical power effectively and in a sustainable way. ABB’s operations in Australia include engineering and manufacturing facilities in Perth, Brisbane, Darwin, Sydney and Melbourne, as well as a network of service centres throughout the country. “Over the last five or more years,” explains local business unit manager for substations, Markus John, “we have evolved from being a core product supplier for Rio Tinto to a power system supplier for some of its largest and most complex undertakings in the Pilbara.” The relationship between the two companies grew significantly when Rio began embarking on a project to expand the electrical infrastructure in the Pilbara.

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“Originally a small Brisbane based unit, ABB Australia’s substation business has grown into a substantial business employing more than 50 people”

ABB substation at Rio Tinto Pilbara

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ABB “At the time,” John continues, “we developed a small number of proposals on how to improve Pilbara’s electrical network. These were based on our expertise in electrical transmission and distribution. From here we graduated to providing comprehensive power infrastructure solutions that included turn-key substation projects from design to commissioning, service and consultancy.” Originally a small Brisbane based unit, ABB Australia’s substation business is now based in Perth where the existing team of four people has grown into a substantial business employing more than 50 people. In March 2012, ABB announced that it had won orders worth approximately $100 million from Rio Tinto for 17 distribution substations to support increased production at its Pilbara iron ore mines. The upgrades and installation of new power infrastructure here will help raise the voltage level of the existing distribution substations and increase the power supply in order to support the expansion of Rio Tinto’s existing mines in the region. “Rio Tinto has a very clear goal for what they want this expansion project to achieve,” John states, “and that is to significantly expand their production levels in the coming years. This is something they will do by not only exploring and developing new mining areas in the Pilbara area, but also expanding their existing operations.” In doing so, Rio Tinto will considerably increase their levels of electrical consumption, which will require an expansion to their existing transmission and distribution network and power generation capacity. “Production at Rio Tinto’s mines in the Pilbara is heavily dependent upon the

Juna Downs substation

reliability of its electrical network,” John enthuses. “Naturally this makes the issue of electrical network reliability one of the foremost concerns for Rio Tinto. We are supporting them in every way we can, either by installing new substations or by retrofitting older facilities with new power and automation technology.” At the heart of this massive undertaking is an established contractor framework agreement between ABB and Rio Tinto and, as John concludes, it is ABB’s intention to build on this in the future. “ABB remains fully committed to its operations in Australia, particularly those in Perth that support the work taking place in the Pilbara.” For more information about ABB visit:

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East Asia Minerals


INDONESIA East Asia Minerals has come through the rapids and is now headed into smoother waters: the Vancouver based mineral exploration company has located major gold and silver deposits in Indonesia and has cleared the route to develop them

written by: John O’Hanlon research by: Jeff Abbott

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A scenic view from the mountain on the Island of Sangihe

East Asia Minerals


ne year can make a big difference: when Ed Rochette, accepted his current role as chairman of East Asia Minerals (EAS) his burden seemed heavy. Today it is a lot lighter. Let us recap. When Rochette came in as the chairman of the company in 2010 he was alarmed by the heavy burn rate of capital. When he saw that $2.5 million a month was being spent and the share price had fallen dramatically he decided to take on the role of CEO and set about the task of making sense out of this fundamentally sound mining company, with its potentially world class gold deposits in Indonesia as well as some uranium and phosphate assets in Mongolia. He stopped all drilling activities and cut staff levels by 60 percent. With the management team’s efforts thereafter focused on resolving the permitting impasse the Indonesian operations had reached, the shareholders and the market were expected to respond positively. Once he was able to reduce the monthly burn rate down to $400,000 by the end of 2011, he was able to raise $13 million in a private placement. By the time the third quarter of 2012 had arrived things were looking up and the situation then was captured in the Business Excellence article that we published in October. Basically EAS was by then focused strongly on Indonesia, where Rochette was spending most of his time. The two main projects the company has there are located far apart from one another. One is on the small island of Sangihe at the north-eastern tip of the Indonesian archipelago in Sulawesi

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province, while the larger Miwah project is in the province of Aceh in westernmost Sumatra, the largest of Indonesia’s 17,000-odd islands. However both projects promise to yield richly, with Sangihe currently estimated to contain nearly a million ounces of gold plus eleven million of silver and Miwah thought to have more than three million ounces of gold and almost nine million of silver. These are truly potential world class deposits even without taking their considerable development upside potential into consideration. Through the efforts of the strengthened management team that Rochette has brought on, work at Sangihe has been progressing smoothly, with a 4,600 metre drilling programme that started in late 2012, bang on Rochette’s predicted schedule and directed towards increasing the inferred reserve. “Look out for the preliminary results from that drilling programme,” he advises. “We will be announcing those during the last week in February.” The work is being carried out under the eye of Frank Rocca, appointed VP of Exploration in September 2012 and a key member of the strong team now being built. That team will be further cemented shortly with the appointment of a new COO to replace Dave Anthony, whose move to the Board of Directors was announced at Christmas.

Miwah presented more problems, as we noted last year. While Sangihe has been permitted under Indonesia’s pre-2009 Contract of Work (CoW) system with a 27year licence, the work at Miwah is governed by an eight-year exploration IUP, the local licensing format that was adopted by the government more recently. The IUPs at Miwah were due to expire at the end of 2012. Had it not been possible

“Had it not been possible to renew the licence, all of the data and IP that had been accrued would be forfeit” 46 | be asia & pacific

East Asia Minerals

Local ship transporting relief supplies to earthquake victims across Sangihe Harbour

to renew them there would when it comes to securing be a danger not only that operating licences and the concession would revert negotiating terms. Even so, to the government but that had he not had the invaluable support of his management all of the data and IP that Current drilling team coupled with the local had been accrued would programme at Sangihe partner, the strategic advisors be forfeit. Closer spaced drilling is needed to confirm and the officials in Aceh, the the findings and upgrade the resource from result might have been different. ‘inferred’ to ‘indicated’. Additionally, Miwah There was cause for celebration when on is what is called an ‘open’ resource which 8 January 2013 EAS was able to announce means that drilling outside the area already that it had obtained agreements, signed by the explored could add significantly to the ore elected Bupati, or Regent of Pidie confirming body that has already been defined. his verbal assent to renewing the licences for It was a delicate situation, and retaining the an additional two years until 30 November, good will of the authorities at all levels was 2014. “This signed extension was the result crucial. Fortunately Ed Rochette is a lawyer of a sustained effort by the Company over with one of the best records in the industry the past year,” said Rochette. “The tenure


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“I am a great believer in making the local people ambassadors for the company right from the start” issues at Miwah are now behind us. We can immediately re-start our exploration programme for the project and our team can move forward to seek removal of the surface use restrictions imposed by the Ministry of Forestry.” The deforestation of Indonesia, which since 1900 has lost millions of hectares of some of the world’s most diverse rain forest in the world, is a matter of global importance.

A collection of recent core smaples

48 | be asia & pacific

However the main threat has been the paper and pulp industry, plantation agriculture and logging. The strict regulations that have been rightly introduced are aimed at saving the remaining trees and wildlife habitat for posterity. But mining has a light footprint compared with other industries: drilling requires very few trees to be removed and any mining project comes with a robust rehabilitation plan. Compared to the palm oil

East Asia Minerals

EAS management team at ceremony for donation of supplies for earthquake victims. (Left to right) Mike McAllister-Manager IR, Dave Anthony-Chief Operating Officer, Edward Rochette-Chairman & CEO

plantations that change the landscape for all time, mining is environmentally sustainable. Nevertheless permission for any surface disturbance activity in the areas classified as “protected forest” has to be obtained from the Ministry of Forestry, and this process can easily take two years. Ed Rochette is sympathetic with the principles behind the regulations, however it is as much in the Indonesian government’s interest to facilitate the development of a major gold mine as of any of EAS’s other stakeholders involved with the project. “We believe we may have been able to identify a way forward, working with the government officials, that will bring the

time-scale well below six months,” he says diplomatically. “The new drilling programme, which has already started in areas without surface restrictions, will confirm the viability of this project, and it should also demonstrate significant extension to the resource.” As well as contributing positively to Indonesia’s GDP, EAS’s activities will benefit local communities. “I am a great believer in making the local people ambassadors for the company right from the start,” he says. “If you get them on your side before something happens or someone organises a protest it is a lot better than having to make amends after the event.” This is an extension of the

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Core sample detail from 120m

East Asia Minerals person-to-person principle that was crucial in resolving the tenure problems and is well illustrated at Sangihe where at Christmas 300 children and their parents were given a dinner hosted by EAS, the first time any overseas company has done this on that island. Now a clean water scheme has been initiated for villagers living near the operation, and 42 local jobs have been created. Already 500 bags of cement have been given to villagers to help them repair houses damaged in a recent earthquake. Equipment has been purchased for the local medical clinic; sports equipment has been obtained for the local team; fertiliser has been purchased and distributed for local farmers; and other community engagement projects are currently being implemented which are geared towards local content objectives. Miwah will benefit in a similar way as the project matures. East Asia Minerals is no longer a turnaround case, but a lean company, well organised and financed, with an aggressive exploration, acquisition and growth strategy. Monthly expenditure has been maintained at around $400,000, and the company had $10 million in the bank at the end of last year. Above all, it has achieved 90 percent of the goals that Ed Rochette set out for himself and East Asia Minerals just a year ago. The next challenge is “to grow the company�, a goal that the management team, along with its strategic advisors, are currently working on. For more information about East Asia Minerals visit:

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Blasting thro

Projects like Oyu Tolgoi highligh mining market. General Directo role MAXAM Explosives is playing

written by: W research by: James B

52 | be asia & pacific

MAXAM Explosives

ough barriers

ht the growth of the Mongolian or Andrew Forster discusses the g in the development of the sector

Will Daynes Boyle and Abi Abagun

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MAXAM Explosives


n 2012, MAXAM celebrated its 140th birthday. Founded by Alfred Nobel in 1872, the group today stands recognised as being one of the leading service and industrial organisations operating on a global scale, with a yearly turnover of approximately one billion euros. Specialising in the development, manufacture and commercialisation of civil explosives and initiation systems for mining, MAXAM boasts a presence in all of the world’s major and developing mining areas. One such area is Mongolia. The mining sector within Mongolia dates back over 90 years to the nationalisation of the Nalaikh coal deposit in February 1922. In the decades since, the sector’s role in Mongolia’s economic growth has expanded to the point where, as of 2011, it was responsible for producing 20.2 percent of the country’s GDP, 69.6 percent of its total industrial output and 89.2 percent of its export product. “A subsidiary of MA X AM, MA X AM Explosives began its work in Mongolia in 2006,” explains General Director, Andrew Forster. “Today we have two major contracts in the country, one with Oyu Tolgoi and the other with SouthGobi Sands. Much of what we have achieved to date has come in the last couple of years and has brought us to the point where we are now able to see the culmination of seven years of hard work as Mongolia becomes a rapidly developing mining region.” As Andrew goes on to state, while mining activities have existed for the better part of a century in Mongolia, it is really only in the last ten years or so

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that it has really been promoted as being a mining destination of real interest. “It was in the aftermath of agreement being reached on the development of Oyu Tolgoi that we saw a significant boom in foreign direct investment into the country. While the level of this investment does continue to fluctuate somewhat there is no doubt that mining will continue to play a hugely important role in the economic growth of the country going forward.” Oyu Tolgoi LLC is Mongolia’s largest copper and gold mining company and is a strategic partnership between the Government of Mongolia, Turquoise Hill Resources and Rio Tinto. Located beneath the surface of the Gobi desert the Oyu Tolgoi mine is thought to contain approximately 82 billion pounds of copper and 46 million ounces of gold in measured, indicated and inferred resources. Here MAXAM Explosives serves as the blasting products and services provider, lending its considerable experience and historical excellence to Oyu Tolgoi. The main factor behind Oyu Tolgoi’s initial attraction to MAXAM was its guarantee of security of supply of one of its flagship products, its RIOFLEX watergel explosive. A MAXAM-developed innovation that is unique to the company’s

product portfolio, RIOFLEX is designed to be safe in its manufacture, transport and use, and provides optimum results in all environmental and mineral conditions. In the simplest of terms, without MAXAM Explosives’ products there would simply be no mine as it exists today. “The explosives we provide on-site for Oyu Tolgoi are used for open pit work, shaft sinking and lateral development, and this is being carried out

“In the simplest of terms, without MAXAM Explosives’ products there would simply be no mine as it exists today” 56 | be asia & pacific

MAXAM Explosives

Maxam’s latest mobile sensitising units delivering (MSUs) Rioflex 7000 at Oyu Tolgoi

by a workforce that is 90 we do. In addition to their personal characteristics percent Mongolian. These these individuals also individuals have been benefit from the robust trained up from having zero experience to the point training programmes that The year that MAXAM where they are now able to MAXAM as a group use was founded deliver all the services that internationally.” the project requires.” The efforts made by the As Andrew will attest company to establish a local Mongolians in general possess a number workforce are very much in line with one of of important qualities that make training core philosophies that MAXAM applies to them up for such important roles much its operations in every single country. “As a less of a challenge than one would perhaps group,” Andrew says, “we have a strong social expect. “Mongolians as a whole learn programme and we are applying that here in very quickly indeed. They are extremely Mongolia with our goals being to contribute literate, pick things up quickly and possess positively to the social fabric of the country a healthy desire to learn new skills, which and improve the general wellbeing of its is vitally important considering the work people. We are not here to simply make a


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Maxam delivering its products safely, accurately and on time

58 | be asia & pacific

MAXAM Explosives

20.2% Of Mongolia’s GDP that mining was responsible for in 2011 quick profit and then leave, instead we are committed to leaving Mongolia a better place for us having been here.” Despite its best intentions the company has still had to work hard to overcome some of the legal-administrative challenges in the country. Over the last year MAXAM Explosives has been working hard to convey the fact that it is a Mongolian registered business that pays Mongolian taxes and plans to one day have Mongolians in charge of running it. “For all intents and purposes,” Andrew enthuses, “we are a Mongolian company and it is our desire to be recognised as such.” As the company looks to the future Andrew is equally keen to highlight the fact that, as important as it is, Oyu Tolgoi is just one contract and that MAXAM Explosives’ aim is to become a major player the Mongolian market. “We are a flexible and adaptable business that is ready to face whatever the market has to throw at us as it evolves. We are very much here to stay and we will be contributing to the growth of Mongolia for many, many years to come.” For more information about MAXAM Explosives visit:

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Transcity JV Project (Legacy Way)


DEBOTTLENECKED As Brisbane’s economy continues to expand, the Legacy Way project being delivered by Transcity will help accommodate Australia’s most easterly city to grow along with it

written by: John O’Hanlon research by: paul bradley be asia & pacific | 61


n the present century alone Brisbane’s population has grown from 3.5 million to more than 4.5 million. That is projected to double by 2031 requiring at least 156,000 additional dwellings to be built. With this growth comes an inevitable increase in traffic congestion. A recent report found that 340 kilometres of Brisbane’s roads are at or above or capacity, and estimates this will jump to 720 kilometres by 2031. But congestion, itself caused by economic growth, stifles future growth. Realising that the area around Brisbane Airport is set to become one of the region’s main economic generators, Brisbane City Council identified the need for a link between the Inner City Bypass (ICB) and the Western Freeway. In 2005 a pre-feasibility study identified and investigated five links to connect existing motorways and major arterials. It found the proposed Legacy Way (named in honour of the armed services support organisation Legacy Australia) would provide an important bypass for central Brisbane and the inner western suburbs. A business case analysis completed in 2008 concluded that the project could be both technically and financially feasible. Transcity is the name of the joint venture company formed to deliver this ambitious decongestion project. It comprises Brisbanebased BMD Constructions, who has significant local knowledge and resources and two specialist international infrastructure firms. Ghella is an Italian company with an extensive background in tunnelling projects round the world while Acciona of Spain is recognised for its work in major construction projects worldwide. The contract for Legacy

62 | be asia & pacific

TBM’s Annabell and Joyce are commissioned prior to their delivery and assembly at the Legacy Way worksite

Transcity JV Project (Legacy Way)

Transcity JV Project (Legacy Way) Way was signed in January 2011, and Transcity started working at both ends in the second quarter of that year. Two Herrenknecht TBMs, each weighing approximately 2,800 tonnes and 110 metres in length, are being used to construct Legacy Way’s 4.6 kilometre parallel tunnels between the Western Freeway at Toowong and the ICB at Kelvin Grove. These machines are capable of cutting a 12.4 metre hole through the hard rocks that characterize the geology below Brisbane at an average rate of 21 metres day, though with a best day record of 49.7 metres. The machines also install the precast concrete segments that form the tunnel walls. Tunnelling work

Construction of Legacy Way’s cross passages

started from the Toowong end in August 2012 – quite an achievement since it took four months just to assemble the TBMs there. The machines have been given names – Annabell working to the south of her sister Joyce. The first TBM is named after Annabell MacKinney, the daughter of the late Lance

h+E logistik gmbh New tunnel constructions require tunnel conveyor belts and conveyor systems. Providers that stay on the international market are those that remain competitive through continuous process optimisation. H+E does this; we have been able to position ourselves successfully as a highly specialised provider. To give room to sustainability and corporate growth, we have expanded in 2010 with the opening of a further site: the H+E production facility in Aschersleben. Equipped with state- of-the-art machinery, this production site is optimally geared towards the

individual requirements of our clients. The H+E site in Aschersleben is also a training centre which enables us to provide young people with individual opportunities for professional development within this highly interesting sector. It is important to us that every employee – whether in development, production or projects around the world – upholds our philosophy: Innovation, reliability and competitiveness form the basis for the trust that our clients place in us.

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Corporal Jared MacKinney who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010. The second TBM is named after Joyce Tweddell, a nurse during World War II who showed immense courage after being held as a prisoner of war in Sumatra for three years before going on to become Queensland’s Chief Radiographer. The pair of them are scheduled to break through close to the ICB around the middle of 2013, though they have been getting through their task at a spanking rate which anyone

can follow in real time on http://transcityjv. At the time of writing they had each travelled 2.5 kilometres, and were crossing Guthrie Terrace, Paddington. The machines work day and night, and each has a crew of 22 people to keep it operating. Both TBMs are averaging a rate of more than 150 metres per week, a world class standard for the industry - there are only a few projects worldwide that can show similar

“Each milestone we reach on this project brings us one step closer to being able to provide a four minute trip between Toowong and Kelvin Grove”

Precast concrete segments at the western worksite

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Transcity JV Project (Legacy Way)

Precast concrete segment production

achievements using large diameter TBMs. Transcity Project Director Fernando Fajardo said he was proud of the team’s outstanding efforts. “The team is setting records for our rate of excavation which is a credit to their global expertise, hard work and commitment to successfully delivering this project.” From the point of view of Brisbane City Council, what matters is that the Legacy Way tunnel will be delivered on time to residents and visitors by 2015. Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the record speeds being set on the project, was a good indication. “Each milestone we reach on this project brings us one step closer to being able to provide a four minute trip between Toowong and Kelvin Grove,” he said. “Legacy Way alone will cut the trip from Jindalee to Kelvin Grove from

30 minutes to 10 minutes and allow motorists to travel from the Ipswich Motorway to the Airport without one traffic light.” Annabell and Joyce’s high productivity has meant an increased demand for precast segment production and a faster removal of spoil which is being transported via an underground conveyor to the Mt Coot-tha Quarry. Nine interlocking segments are required to complete each ring, which spans the circumference of the tunnel. Approximately 4,300 rings are required to line the twin two lane tunnels: that adds up to 38,430 segments in all. The concrete segments are transported from a purpose built facility at Wacol, about 16 kilometres from the city and moved to the front of the TBM via a segment feeder. There they are positioned around the perimeter of

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Precast concrete segments are placed by the TBM

Transcity JV Project (Legacy Way) the excavated tunnel and held in place by the TBM’s auxiliary thrust cylinders while they are bolted and grouted into place. It has also caused pressure to move out the excavated material faster; but the good news is that Transcity planned a very smart and environmentally friendly solution. There’s no trucking of spoil. All rock cut from the tunnel face is transferred via an underground conveyor from the western worksite into the Mt Coot-tha Quarry. The tunnelled conveyor is approximately 870m in length, of which approximately 530m is underground. The spoil conveyor’s innovative design provides significant benefits for the community including a decrease in noise and dust impacts during tunnelling operations. It also limits the need for almost 96,000 truck movements on the Western Freeway. The 1,000,000 cubic metres of spoil excavated from the twin tunnels will be used to rehabilitate the quarry. At the end of the project rehabilitation of the western worksite at Toowong will include an imaginative four hectare expansion of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha, with native vegetation restored and expanded to reflect the sub-tropical retreat for which the Botanic Gardens is famous. No mess, less noise and a haven of peace on top of a huge reduction in congestion with peak travel times between Centenary Bridge and the ICB almost halved – Legacy Way is a double win for Brisbane. For more information about Transcity JV Project (Legacy Way) visit:

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Sri Lanka’s premier ship repair and shipbuilding facilit placed to catch the trade passing along the east-west sh between Australia, the Far East, Europe and the Gulf oi

written by: John O’Hanlon research by: Abi Abagun

70 | be asia & pacific

Colombo Dockyard


ty is perfectly hipping routes ilfields

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Working in workshops

Colombo Dockyard


ea traffic round the Indian to Onomichi Dockyard Company of Japan. subcontinent has to skirt the That has always been a key factor in making southern tip of Sri Lanka, as does Colombo Dockyard one of Sri Lanka’s most the long haul bulk cargo, tanker successful and efficient businesses, importing and container traffic that plies business practices like kaizen (continuous between east and west. That gives Colombo, improvement) and lean working from Japan Sri Lanka’s commercial capital, a unique while retaining Sri Lanka’s people-friendly advantage that can’t be taken away; but Sri and collaborative culture. Lanka was racked by internal strife for nearly Over the years Colombo Dockyard has 30 years. The conflict made shipowners offered repair and assistance to more than wary of entering service arrangements with 9,000 ships and has constructed over 230 the dockyard as insurance premiums were new ships for both local and international raised, says. That conflict was clientele. Today it is one of comprehensively resolved in Sri Lanka’s largest foreign 2009, and the way finally laid exchange earners, generating open for Colombo to take its an average annual turnover rightful place in the maritime of over $130 million, which service industry. “Sri Lanka equals to one percent of Number of workers is now one of the freest and Sri Lanka’s total export employed least troublesome areas in revenue. In addition to the economic benefit, the sociothe world to carry out ship repairs,” said Mangala P B Yapa, CEO and cultural benefit it provides to the country is managing director of Colombo Dockyard. immeasurable, providing work to over 3,000 The Colombo Dockyard Company Sri Lankans and industrial skill training to managed to grow consistently through more than 450 trainees at any given time, the years of conflict, a testing time for the developing an indigenous industry and competence and efficiency of its management placing Sri Lanka on the world map of elite team. In subsequent years the same people shipbuilders and repairers. have been able to take advantage of the Colombo Dockyard employs 1,300 people, ‘peace dividend’ and grow the existing supplementing them with contracted labour services offered by the dockyard while as needed. A third of these employees have developing new and imaginative ways to been trained in shipbuilding at Onomichi— serve traditional markets. At the same time shipbuilding is an important activity at the they have established Colombo dockyard as dock, though until 2005 it built only for a focal point and centre of excellence for the local market. However the market for servicing the ever more specialized needs of new ships turned up about that time and the offshore oil and gas industry. the management decided to actively look A controlling share in the business belongs outward to external markets. Today the yard


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Colombo Dockyard has the capacity to build yanmar vessels of 100 metres and FOUNDED IN 1912, Yanmar has been dedicated to more in length. developing its own new technologies and products in Last year the company pursuit of resource and energy efficiency. Yanmar has completed the first of three persued the continuous improvement of “Life Cycle Value” 78 metre multipurpose by developing products that embody reliability, durability platform supply and ROV and low cost operation, because the Diesel Engines are relied upon throughout the long life of a ship. Yanmar was support vessels for the founded with the spirit of “grateful to serve for a better Greatship Group, each with world” and thrive by offering solutions for both economy accommodation for 50 and environmental protection people. The Roopa launched In joining hands with Colombo Dockyard PLC, during the on March 5th and delivered last decade Yanmar had delivered and commissioned last July is a remarkably many main engines and diesel generators and hope this high tech vessel. Its main association will be continued... and will grow together. job is to support offshore oil and gas fields around the clock and the Vessel will have an endurance of 35 days and a cruising range of about 9,200 nautical miles, with a top speed of nearly 14 knots. Once on site it can manoeuvre with precision and is equipped with an advanced dynamic positioning system that allows safe and efficient operations in close proximity to oil platforms and rigs, even under the harsh weather conditions. An important bonus for the owner is that the ship is designed to be surveyed at sea. Rather than having to put into a dry dock periodically it can stay in Mangala Yapa, MD & CEO service for five years at a stretch. Roopa’s

“Sri Lanka is now one of the freest and least troublesome areas in the world to carry out ship repairs” be asia & pacific | 75

sister ship Rachna was launched on June 28th and went into service in September last year, with Ragini joining them on December 31. The yard has been building luxury yachts, ferries and cargo vessels too. Just two years after delivering its first two passenger vessels for the Indian government, the Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep Sea, Colombo Dockyard signed a contract for two more ships capable of carrying 400 passengers and 250 tons of cargo specifically for coastal trade routes round India. However the repair and maintenance trade that has always been the bread and butter off the business, continues to develop apace. In the ship repair sector on average, Colombo Dockyard handles over 200 vessels annually with 100 accommodated in dry dock and the balance accommodated at its repair berths. Colombo Dockyard is capable of handling all routine, damage and retrofit repairs. Colombo Dockyard operates four dry docks ranging in length from 107 to 263 metres, and more than 1,000 metres of fully serviced alongside repair berths. These quayside facilities are ideal for the growing number of container ships that put into Colombo. . These ships normally dry dock at their destination ports either in Europe

or the Far East but frequently need repair and maintenance to equipment. CDL now offers a very comprehensive Afloat Repair service that deals with any issue that does not need dry dock facilities – engine room, compressors, generators, electronics, pipework and electrical wiring can all be serviced with very little delay.

“An owner can keep his spare parts stored at Colombo Dockyard without paying any custom duty” 76 | be asia & pacific

Colombo Dockyard

Tanker docked for lay-up repairs

The dockyard is in partnership with all the OEM suppliers such as ABB, Cummins, MAN or Caterpillar, all of which have their own local service companies. “We can have components waiting and install them at the next visit,” says Mangala Yapa. “We can even put repair personnel on board so the repairs can be carried out while the vessel is on the way to its next port of call. The advantage is that we have a duty free facility so all these things happen without attracting any custom duty, and that includes spare parts. An owner who has a fleet of container vessels plying to Colombo can keep his spare parts stored at Colombo Dockyard without paying any custom duty.”

Colombo is now seen by shipowners as a reliable and highly professional service centre, with a world class skills base thanks to the Onomichi connection. With competitive labour costs, sophisticated IT systems and ISO certified dockyard systems as well as fully integrated stock management to support long term service agreements Colombo Dockyard is a clear choice for operators and owners operating in the region – or just passing through. For more information about Colombo Dockyard visit:

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As strong

as steel President and CEO, Vivek Kamra, discusses how the success of NatSteel’s offsite prefabrication of steel reinforcement products and services have helped refocus the business into becoming a total solutions provider

written by: Will Daynes research by: James Boyle

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NatSteel delivers over 1000 different shapes of Cut & Bend products to suit customer needs



here are very few places,” states President and Chief Executive Officer, Vivek Kamra, “that have provided a good economic environment to operate in over the last year or so. However, despite the challenges that exist, developing economies within South East Asia have remained reasonably robust.” The economies that Vivek speaks of include those of China, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore. These are the countries in which NatSteel, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Steel, today employs more than 3,000 employees. Constantly working to push the frontiers when it comes to manufacturing processes, every year NatSteel produces close to two million tonnes of premium steel products for the construction industry in the region. In Singapore, the company’s steel products are used for residential, commercial and industrial buildings, and infrastructural works like bridges and MRT lines. “Singapore,” Vivek continues, “has strong construction growth in recent times, both in terms of its own infrastructure and through the many housing projects that have risen to cater for an evergrowing population.” With the population of Singapore touching the 5.5 million mark, moves have been taken to not only improve the housing situation, but also the city-state’s road and public transportation networks. These programmes are helping to drive growth within the construction sector, as are moves to completely revamp Singapore’s fibre optic and power networks. These undertakings are core to Singapore’s growth plans for the next fifteen years.

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NatSteel’s prefabrication facility ensures consistent, high quality of products for customers

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One of NatSteel’s specialisations over the years has been its expertise in providing offsite prefabrication of steel reinforcement products and services. Across its Asian operations, NatSteel continues to witness several key trends that are driving the shift towards these, specifically the demand for higher productivity while maintaining safety standards, manpower constraints, space restrictions at construction sites, a demand for faster construction speeds and the need to reduce material wastage. “Customers are increasingly recognising the many benefits these products and services have to offer,” Vivek explains. “The biggest of these is the yield benefits customers receive from seeing their amount of wastage fall dramatically, that is perhaps the most positive shift they immediately see when moving away from onsite fabrication.” Having had success providing offsite prefabrication of steel reinforcement products and services in its core markets, NatSteel now has several initiatives underway to expand its offering into other regions. “Singapore on its own has a very unique geography that lends itself favourably to offsite fabrication,” Vivek says. “What this means is that rather than simply replicating the model we have here, we have had to customise it to suit the different needs or different locations.” In India it is currently promoting the concept to its parent company while also driving it through small service centres where labour remains competitively priced. “One of the things we are doing in small, built-up locations in India,” Vivek says, “is promoting the idea of offsite fabrication by highlighting how it can actually improve onsite productivity. To date


NatSteel’s logistics service

we have established ten service centres that work to promote these products and services in the country’s major metropolitan areas.” Elsewhere, the company has commenced with efforts to promote its offsite prefabrication of steel reinforcement products and services in Malaysia and China, where it is establishing a facility in the city of Xiamen. Meanwhile, the company already has distribution and processing centres set up in Australia where it is working with its customers to significantly improve their manpower productivity levels. “In Australia,” Vivek highlights, “we have made considerable progress in automating

our various lines, thus reducing the labour content required for offsite fabrication substantially. As a result of this, productivity levels in a number of our plants have now reached global benchmarks.” As one would expect, there are a number of successful case studies that showcase the positive results that have been achieved through the use of NatSteel’s prefabricated solutions and expertise. Perhaps the one that stands out the most was the construction of the Stevens underground MRT Station in Singapore, whose site was located on an existing road junction and in a tight urban

“NatSteel has several initiatives underway to expand its offering into other geographic regions” be asia & pacific | 83

setting surrounded by bridges, houses and was subject to heavy traffic volumes. The project was beset by a number of challenges. These included the extremely limited site space as a major portion of the road had to be kept open for traffic, significant manpower restrictions due to the government’s stringent foreign manpower policies, site safety and a very tight construction schedule. In addition, the delivery of prefabricated cages to site needed to be perfectly coordinated and timed to minimise obstruction to traffic flow and

for immediate onsite installation so as not to choke the limited site space. NatSteel provided prefabricated cage solutions for the Stevens MRT station’s diaphragm walls. The cages, which were designed and fabricated precisely at NatSteel’s factory with various cage accessories such as lifting hooks and stiffeners, were delivered justin-time in order to help the customer overcome these challenges. The cages were pre-installed with couplers for easier basement construction which saved significant construction time.

“It is clear that the days of NatSteel seeing itself as simply a steel supplier are in the past”

The Sidelifter system from NatSteel enhances the safety and productivity of material handling onsite

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NatSteel’s automated downstream facilities

Furthermore, the customer was able to save a significant cost by eliminating material wastages and by reducing the level of manpower required onsite, while at the same time maintaining a safe working environment. By delivering its building solutions at the optimum time, NatSteel ensured it did not choke the limited site space, while the use of these solutions helped relieve the customer of the manpower challenges they had originally faced. Furthermore, site safety was improved and better site management was achieved as a result of there being no rebar fabrication activity taking place onsite, while the customer also benefited from the savings they made from elimination onsite rebar wastage. As Vivek reflects on where the company stands today and where it wants to go in the

future it is clear that the days of NatSteel seeing itself as simply a steel supplier are in the past. “The interactions we have today with our customers exist on the basis of us being a seller of solutions, not steel. As we continue moving our business further downstream we will investigate ways that we can expand and establish more of these solution centres into other parts of South East Asia where growth opportunities in the construction sector exist. Meanwhile, we will continue to work to offset the challenges our customers face, providing them with ways to improve productivity.� For more information about NatSteel visit:

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the rig

As a diversified operator, Coogee the work th

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Coogee Chemicals

ght chemistry

d manufacturer of chemicals and a major tank terminal Chemicals enters 2013 with the clear aim of continuing hat has made it one of the sector’s biggest success stories

written by: Will Daynes research by: Jeff Abbott

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ormed in the early 1970s by thirteen individual investors, most of them farmers, Coogee Chemicals has since created a significant place for itself in Australia’s chemical industry. A privately owned company that is fiercely proud of its Western Australian heritage, Coogee Chemicals is responsible for producing a wide range of industrial, agricultural and mineral processing chemicals for supply to both local and international markets. Coogee Chemicals’ business today is divided between three core divisions, chemicals manufacturing, tank terminals and transport and logistics. From its tank terminals in Kwinana, Western Australia, the company plays host to many of the major players in the fuel market, while its sulphuric acid terminal is recognised as being the largest acid storage facility in the Southern hemisphere. In addition to this, Coogee Chemicals operates bulk liquid terminal facilities for the import, export and storage of chemicals and fuels, while its dangerous goods transport operations in Western Australia and Queensland complement the services it provides its customers. Among the many different chemicals manufactured by the company are aluminium sulphate, both in liquid and solid forms, chlorine, copper oxide, ferrous sulphate, hydrochloric and sulphuric acid, methanol, liquid sodium hydro chlorite and sodium cyanide. As well as its products, Coogee Chemicals continues to invest significant resources into its research into various products and

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Coogee Chemicals

Coogee Chemicals invests significantly in research

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Coogee Chemicals

Testing specific gravity

facilities, specifically gem fuel, tiro titanium operating on methanol blended fuel, served by fuel dispensing outlets at each of the and a world scale methanol plant. A clean burning, high energy fuel made company’s sites across Australia. The first from non-petroleum energy sources, of these vehicles is already on the road, with methanol has been commercially blended more set to follow in the months ahead. into gasoline since the early 1980s and has During these early trials each vehicle will also been successfully used for extending be independently monitored in order to gasoline supplies in highlight its performance and durability. many prominent markets throughout the world. E lsewhere, Coogee As Australia’s only Chemicals, together with methanol producer, Coogee CSIRO, is developing what Chemicals is in the process it refers to as the TiRO of putting into place an process for the continuous Coogee Chemicals direct production of titanium extensive test program established powder. Coogee Chemicals and trial fleet of vehicles


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1.8 Million Tonnes Estimated annual production capacity of methanol plant under construction

Coogee Chemicals operates bulk liquid terminal facilities

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has been involved in this $12 million project since 2008 and is currently constructing a continuous pilot plant in Victoria, which is the next step towards world-scale production. The third project that the company is deeply involved in is the construction of the world’s most energy and carbon efficient methanol plant. This high value-add, worldscale plant will utilise an energy efficient, low-carbon manufacturing process in order to provide significant reductions in emissions. The proposed facility will be one of the world’s largest plants of its kind, boasting a production capacity of approximately 1.8 million tonnes of methanol per annum. The manufacturing process will be based on the scale-up of the LCM technology that the company is currently using to good effect at its Laverton plant. Upon completion, it is expected that this plant will be responsible for setting a new global benchmark for large scale, low carbon chemical production. Like all responsible corporate entities, Coogee Chemicals is aware of its requirement to meet the environmental, social and economic needs of the communities around which is operates. As well as its commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace for its employees,

Coogee Chemicals

The company is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace

the company also promotes their wellbeing by offering a range of services from complimentary health assessments to influenza vaccination programmes. The company’s facilities are designed and operated so as have as little an impact on the environment as is necessary and, wherever possible, materials are recycled and reused to minimise the amount of waste produced. By working closely with community groups, Coogee Chemicals is striving to get a better

understanding of the social, environmental and economic implications of its activities. Such understanding will enable it to enhance the benefits of its activities, while eliminating any negative impact. Maintaining strong relations with the aforementioned communities is equally as important and as such Coogee Chemicals looks to actively contribute to their on-going prosperity and progress. Its involvement includes providing support to sponsorship

“Coogee Chemicals has developed into a strong, diversified organisation that possesses a strong desire to grow in a sustainable fashion� Be asia & pacific | 93

A culture of innovation is maintained

Coogee Chemicals programmes, making donations to a host of important non-governmental organisations and providing employment and training opportunities. One scheme that the company is supporting today is the LyriK youth incentive programme. This aims to recognise and reward young people for their positive acts and provide development opportunities and skills that will assist them in later life. From its humble beginnings in 1971, Coogee Chemicals has subsequently developed into a strong, diversified organisation that possesses a strong desire to grow in a sustainable fashion. In 2012, the company successfully acquired the chlor-alkali manufacturing business, Elite Chemicals, from GE Corporation. Elite Chemicals’ manufacturing facility is located at the port of Brisbane and is responsible for the production of sodium hypochlorite, hydrochloric acid and caustic soda for the water treatment industry and local industrial customers. Elite Chemicals’ business also includes operational branches in Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton and New South Wales, meaning that this acquisition provides Coogee Chemicals with a number of new business growth opportunities. Such acquisitions highlight the fact that the company indeed sees its future as being full of exciting new challenges. For more information about Coogee Chemicals visit:

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Lanka Walltiles

Wall to

wall quality Managing director Mahendra Jayasekera explains how unwavering quality and new technologies have created a leading position in the Sri Lankan ceramic tile market

written by: Will Daynes research by: Abi Abagun

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Lanka Walltiles


The company’s products are of the highest quality

hether they are used on walls or floors, to line showers or bathtubs, create countertops or to make decorative accents inside or outside homes, ceramic tiles are today a fixture of buildings the world over. Made from a mixture of clay, sand and other natural materials that are pressed into shape before being fired at high temperatures, ceramic tiles possess a host of beneficial properties, from their durability to the ease in which they can be cleaned, that have turned their manufacture and sale into a multi-million dollar global industry. Incorporated in 1975 as an export oriented joint venture with Japanese collaboration, Lanka Walltiles is the premier ceramic tile manufacturer in Sri Lanka. Commencing commercial production from its factory in Balangoda in May 1977, the company executed its first export order in July of that same year, and by 1978, 92 percent of its total output was exported. In 1984, a subsidiary company was incorporated under the name, Lanka Floortiles. From its factory in Jalthara, Ranala, this subsidiary continues to manufacture glazed ceramic floor tiles to this day. A second factory to manufacture glazed ceramic wall tiles was set up in Meepe, Padukka in 1994. “Over the years,” explains managing director Mahendra Jayasekera, “the two companies have expanded their respective production capacities, while also investing in other business ventures. Today, the two have controlling interests in Ceytea Plantation Management, Swisstek (Ceylon) and Swisstek

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Lanka Walltiles Aluminium Limited.” At current levels Lanka Since its foundation in 1977, year after year Smaltochimica Walltiles and Lanka Floortiles has focused on becoming one of the market leaders in the have the capacity to produce production of specialty chemicals for the ceramic industry 7500 square metres of wall worldwide. Thanks to constant research and development, tiles and 11,800 square the company has continued to grow, developing and finemetres of floor tiles per day. tuning all ceramic applications including the recent digital decoration method. “In recent times,” Jayasekera These continuous technological developments as well the continues, “we have invested quality of the products constitute important assets for considerable capital in Smaltochimica. “Nature” is a new eco-friendly product lineup building up our capacity and which makes use of natural raw materials that minimize the upgrading the technology in percentage of petrochemical products in the formulations. our factories, always keeping abreast of developments within the industry.” The company’s products are of the highest quality and compare with the very best tiles found elsewhere in the world’s leading markets. This attention to quality sees its products being exported to all four corners of the world. “Particularly strong markets of growth for us,” Jayasekera says, “include Australia, Canada, Pakistan, Oman and the Maldives. Other export markets we serve include Japan, Singapore, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Sweden. In more recent times we have also successfully re-entered the US market as part of our plans to expand our export operations further.”


7,500 m


Lanka Walltiles’ daily production capacity New kiln

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For more than 35 years, Lanka Walltiles has been a major force within the ceramic tiles sector and it has remained as such by playing to its core strengths. The company’s highly skilled technical staff are supported by the very best production equipment and new technologies. “In possessing a high level of quality consciousness that ensures its products

conform to the most stringent of international standards,” Jayasekera enthuses, “the company has built up a loyal and longstanding customer base in both local and international markets. In the local market our presence over nearly four decades has also allowed us to establish a strong distribution and dealer network, a chain of franchise showrooms and of course

“For more than 35 years, Lanka Walltiles has remained a major force within the ceramic tiles sector by playing to its core strengths”

Automatic palletizer

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Lanka Walltiles

Effluent treatment plant

company owned showrooms, It is not only in hotels making us highly visible where one will find said throughout the country.” tiles. They have also been These strengths have seen put to use within the the company’s products used Uma Oya Multipurpose in a number of high-profile de ve lopme nt pr oj e c t , Lanka Walltiles incorporated projects. Hotels feature the Sir John Kotelawala Defense University Medical prom i nent ly a mongst Facult y, the Ratnapura these projects, with Lanka Walltiles and Lanka Floortiles products General Hospital and the Api Venuwen found within the Chaaya Bey Hotel in Api Housing Projects. Beruwala, the Anilana Hotel in Pasekudah, While understandably proud of its the Kukuleganga LAYA Leisure Hotel, the accomplishments, the company has its focus Club House Hotel in Uswetakeiyawa and set firmly on the future and how it can expand within Jetwing Hotels’ Yala Properties. and grow further. “In May 2011,” Jayasekera


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New kiln

“While understandably proud of its accomplishments, the company has its focus set firmly on the future and how it can expand and grow further” says, “we commissioned our newest plant in Meepe. The month after this, commercial production began and this took production capacity up by 67 percent. We followed this up in January 2012 with a further 40 percent increase in production capacity at our floor tiles factory and this has now given us the ability to produce glazed porcelain tiles in sizes of 300 by 600 millimeters and 500 by 500 millimeters. Such abilities allow us to

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cater to new segments in the market and thus increase cash flows.” Jayasekera further states, “another new investment has been made that enables us to produce special trim tiles to complement our wall tiles, something that is essential to our success in the US market. At present we produce bull nose tiles, quarter rounds and chair rail moldings, and we plan to increase our range of trims and moldings in due course.”

Lanka Walltiles

Effluent treatment plant

New investments have continued to be made over the course of the last 12 months, the most exciting of which being the digital printing machines that have been installed at both tile factories. “The process,” Jayasekera states, “operates through two state-of-the-art Italian machines from SITI B&T (Keramagic) and TECHNOFERRARI. What we have found is that the use of digital tile decoration dramatically shortens the path from idea to finished product, while also bringing numerous other advantages to the process by being the most efficient and sophisticated tile decoration system on the market.” Quick processing times allow the production of premium replicas of natural designs and textures, including stone, marble and wood. Furthermore, this cutting-edge equipment

Rectification and chamfering of tiles

has the capacity to decorate relief surface, where a design can be printed on any surface of tile, regardless of shape, depth or contour. “This technology,” Jayasekera goes on to highlight, “guarantees a seamless design that covers the entire tile, giving it optimum aesthetic appeal and consistency in color intensity, with the capability of high-definition printing of up to 12 colors at 1000 DPI (dots per inch). Digital tile decoration also opens the prospect of producing a scenario where, much like with fingerprints, no two tiles need be the same.” For more information about Lanka Walltiles visit:

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ZincOx Resources From its recycling plant in South Korea, ZincOx has captured the attention of the metal processing industry by utilising a revolutionary form of technology to recover zinc from electric arc furnace dust

written by: Will Daynes research by: Jeff Abbott

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t is estimated that 12 million tonnes of zinc is consumed across the world on an annual basis. While zinc and other raw materials provide the essential building blocks required by rapidly expanding economies to achieve growth, we do live in a world of finite resources. It is for that reason that recycling has become an increasingly important component in the supply of commodities. Initially formed as a Dutch company by Andrew Woollett and Noel Masson in 1997, ZincOx’s business today is the recycling of electric arc furnace dust (EAFD), a hazardous waste generated by the recycling of steel scrap. Initially set up to bring to account unconventional zinc ore deposits, ZincOx soon identified the potential benefits and uses of EAFD and in the last seven years has shifted its focus away from mining to recycling. As a result of a decade of research and development, the company has adopted a game changing form of technology that has shown itself to be the best way of processing EAFD and recovering zinc. Throughout the world, steel scrap is recycled in electric arc furnaces using a simple remelting process. To protect steel objects from corrosion they are increasingly being galvanised by being coated in a thin layer of zinc metal. When scrap steel is recycled, the zinc from this galvanising process is driven off as a dust and caught up in the flue gasses. These fine particles are then filtered out and the resulting dusty material is collected. For each tonne of steel produced by recycling, between 12 and 20 kilogrammes of EAFD is also created. This dust typically contains in the region of 18 to 24 percent zinc, a figure that is up to five times greater than that gained from

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DBQ & Dryer

ZincOx Resources

ZincOx Resources

the average zinc deposit. In addition to this in EAFD would not only be energy efficient, and zinc, EAFD also contains between 22 and 30 generate no waste, but would also enjoy higher percent of iron and up to three percent of lead. margins that existing recyclers. This meant Historically, the recovery of zinc from EAFD that it could be developed without having to has not been possible without a subsidy being rely on subsidies from the operators of electric provided by the steel industry. Indeed, because arc furnaces. As such, the process represents a the cost of landfill in many developing countries technically, economically and environmentally is much less than the subsidy required, EAFD superior solution to the problem of EAFD. continues to find itself being Today, ZincOx’s technology landfilled. It is estimated that is being demonstrated in as much as seven million South Korea, where its first tonnes of EAFD is generated recycling plant has recently been development and where annually, of which only half is recycled. the company holds ten year Tonnes of zinc in ZincOx’s management EAFD supply agreements that concentrate that the recognised that a technology cover approximately 400,000 recycling plant will produce per annum that would be able to recover tonnes per annum. The plant all of the zinc and iron present itself is being designed in two


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ZincOx Resources phases, the first of which is Xmetech Corporation now complete. This phase Xmetech Corporation was presented with a unique EPCM cost $110 million to bring challenge by ZincOx, for the Korea Recycling Project. Through to fruition and was fully the expertise and knowledge of its specialist staff, Xmetech financed by a combination of was not only able to successfully complete the first phase equity and debt. of construction of the Electric Arc Furnace Dust treatment Phase two of the plant facility in Gyeongju, but also had firmly demonstrated effective operation utilizing a new technology, with great economic and development will shortly environmental success. Preparations for the second phase commence with all of the are underway, and it is hoped that, with the introduction of major infrastructure already a second RHF to the plant, the facility will bring even further installed. Estimated to cost fortune and recognition for all involved parties. around $100 million, phase two will be financed by a combination of bank debt, offtake finance and equity to be provided either by ZincOx or by the introduction of a partner into the project. As the second largest scrap importer in the world, South Korea is the perfect location for ZincOx to launch its technology on a large scale. At present, the country generates about 380,000 tonnes of EAFD a year, with this figure expected to rise to 400,000 tonnes in short order. It was in June 2008 that the company entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with KOSA, the association representing the Korean steel sector, by which KOSA would assist ZincOx in obtaining EAFD supply commitments from various steel companies and in locating a GHS area suitable plant site.

“As the second largest scrap importer in the world, South Korea is the perfect location for ZincOx to launch its technology on a large scale� be asia & pacific | 113

GHS Area

ZincOx Resources In April 2009, this resulted in the company entering into exclusive EAFD supply agreements with all of Korea’s most significant operators, including Hyundai Steel, Dongkuk Steel, Daehan Steel, YK Steel, Dongbu Steel, Hwanyoung Steel, Korean Iron and Steel Company, SeAH Besteel and Posco Speciality Steel. At full capacity, ZincOx’s plant will be able to generate a concentrate containing 90,000 tonnes of zinc in concentrate a year, a figure equivalent to that recorded at the fifth largest zinc mine in China. At full capacity, the plant will also be able to produce approximately 180,000 tonnes of iron product per annum. ZincOx’s work is now being increasingly recognised by leading figures throughout the industry, with its South Korean recycling plant project shortlisted for the2012 Financial Times and International Finance Corporation Sustainable Investment of the Year Award. Having made a considerable impact with its work in Korea, the company intends to roll out its technology in other parts of the world in the coming years, with considerable progress having been made thus far in Thailand, Turkey and the United States. This work is all part of ZincOx’s long term objective of operating a network of recycling plants covering each of the world’s major steel recycling regions, all in pursuit of becoming the largest, most sustainable recycler of EAFD, and therefore zinc, in the world. For more information about ZincOx Resources visit:

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the trends Brunei boasts one of the most advanced telecommunication industries in South East Asia and as acting chief executive officer See Wei Kie explains, B-Mobile is a company at the heart of an evolving sector

written by: Will Daynes research by: David Brogan

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B-Mobile was the first provider to offer 3G mobile services in Brunei Darussalam



o doubt boosted by its own included bundled video calls, minutes and wealth, the South East Asian SMS.” The bundling of 3G handsets with a nation of Brunei was one of the mobile line was unprecedented in Brunei at first countries within the region the time, making B-Mobile the first company to make a concerted effort to introduce handset and wireless broadband to deliver up-to-date telecommunications in attractive, affordable packages. In 2008, B-Mobile made further services to its inhabitants, achieving 100 percent digitalisation in 1995. Today telecommunications history with the launch the country ranks highly in terms of of Brunei’s first 3.5G service, thus highlighting both telecom service penetration and the premium technology that is mobile infrastructure facilities. broadband. Better known in Brunei as ZOOM! Driven by the encouragement of the Broadband, the company’s 3.5G service was government, the citizens of Brunei have introduced alongside packages that included come to be recognised as great consumers of free laptops and modems that were provided telecoms services. In 2001, the to those families and country’s mobile penetration individuals who previously figure stood at what was an could not afford access to already healthy 32 percent. mobile broadband. The In the years since this has success of this programme continued to grow strongly led to the roll out of other Brunei achieved 100 and by the beginning of 2012 plans including Zoom Lite percent digitalisation had reached 120 percent. and Zoom Unlimited. Incorporated in April 2005 “Over the course of our and commercially launched existence,” Wei Kie continues, in September of that year, B-Mobile became “we have strived to introduce innovative, the first provider to offer 3G mobile services in value-added services that complement our Brunei Darussalam. A joint venture between customers’ lifestyles. In doing so we have also Telekom Brunei Berhad (TelBru) and QAF succeeded in helping the telecommunication Comserve, the company was established as industry in Brunei develop, as per the a challenger brand and through its access government’s own aspirations.” Alongside its extensive portfolio of to resources, expertise, technology and infrastructure it has evolved into a known products and services, B-Mobile has also brand when it comes to telecommunications introduced a range of post-paid and prepaid plans in order to suit the varying needs innovations and discoveries. “We were the first company of our kind,” of its mobile subscribers. “The work we explains acting chief executive officer have done over the last few years,” Wei Kie See Wei Kie, “to introduce and offer a says, “has set an industry benchmark when comprehensive portfolio of services that it comes to finding creative means to serve


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The citizens of Brunei are recognised as great consumers of telecoms services

Brunei’s telecommunication demands.” to maintaining the level of progressiveness B-Mobile puts its success over the years that has long been a staple of this business. down to one core achievement and that is In moving forward, our aspirations revolve its ability to satisfy its customers. “B-Mobile’s around improving the quality of our service primary purpose,” Wei Kie enthuses, “is and continuing to provide the types of to provide its customers with innovative innovative packages and products that services, a range of options and better overall separate us from our competitors.” value. This has been the case since its first Market research has shown that a sizeable day in existence and it remains so to this day.” majority of B-Mobile’s customers are teenagers The biggest challenge to and young adults on pre-paid this now is how B-Mobile is services, users the company able to tap into the shifting would class as being from interests of its customers and the ‘younger generation’. “We how it can continually evolve aim to provide great value as a business in what is an when it comes to our pre-paid The country’s mobile packages,” Wei Kie states, ever-changing industry. “As penetration figure “and often award bonus we always have been,” Wei in 2012 Kie says, “we are committed credits and similar rewards


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to our most active pre-paid users as a way of expressing our thanks.� With B-Mobile targeting young people and professionals as its two main audience demographics, the company recognises that in a world of rapidly evolving technologies, a plethora of opportunities lay ahead for a service provider such as itself. By maintaining a forward-thinking approach to its operations, B-Mobile aims to retain

and attract customers in equal measure by offering products that capitalise on the themes of innovation, choice and delivering new experiences. As a way of growing the business further, B-Mobile has made great strides in recent times to provide its customers with the means to make economical international calls. This strategy first arose when the company identified that the growing number

“We are committed to maintaining the level of progressiveness that has long been a staple of this business�

Young people and professionals are the main audience demographic

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B-Mobile is focused on creating a dynamic brand identity

of foreign workers in Brunei was itself creating a demand for corporate entities to communicate increasingly with their international counterparts. “The vast majority of budget calls,” Wei Kie says, “are currently made through a toll free number and often require access to pay phones or landlines. What we at B-Mobile do is offer cheap international calls through a voice over internet protocol address. This method provides users with the convenience of being able to dial their intended international number from their mobile phone from anywhere, at any time.” On Sunday 4th November 2012, B-Mobile

officially opened its new headquarters in the city of Beribi. This event marks something of a new beginning for the company, with the move being heralded as both a symbolic and strategic undertaking at a time when the focus of B-Mobile now turns to creating a dynamic brand identity, while at the same time gaining more visibility in terms of customer and corporate outreach. For more information about B-Mobile visit:

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CAT Telecom

Making sense of the future CAT Telecom is striving to lead the way in providing wireless multimedia services in one of Southeast Asia’s most economically dynamic nations

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CAT Tower at Bangrak, Bangkok, with telecommunication facilities suitable for network and service providers

CAT Telecom


ith a GDP worth $602 on transforming itself in order to effectively billion, Thailand is support all services and respond quicker the second largest to changing customer needs. While every economy in Southeast step of development has been carried Asia. Having enjoyed out simultaneously, including network the world’s highest growth rate from 1985 development, the company has also to 1996, during which time it averaged 12.4 launched the Asia-America Gateway (AAG) percent growth annually, the country is today project. A modern international submarine considered to be a newly industrialised, cable system with a capacity of 1.92 terabits emerging economy. per second, this project has greatly helped The world’s 51st-largest country in terms advance the potential of the company’s own of total area, Thailand boasts an advanced CAT Internet Gateway. telecommunications industry that operates Much of the company’s domestic success through an extensive network of telephone derives from its provision of internet services. lines covering the 513,000 As a result of its links with the previous government of square kilometres of the Thailand and its advanced Indochina nation. In recent i n f r a s t r uc t u r e , C AT years, mobile cellular Telecom holds a competitive telephone ownership has grown at a much faster rate advantage over its rivals. This CAT Telecom established advantage is further buoyed than landline ownership. Partly as a result of the by its unique access to the mobile communications price war that country’s fibre optic network. erupted in 2004, which led to prices falling Partnerships with key local and as low as 0.25 Baht per minute, there are international partners have also proved now approximately five times as many mobile invaluable for the company. One such cellular telephones than landlines in use. relationship exists between CAT Telecom Based on the most recent data available, and Hong Kong-based company PCCW more than half of the Thai population owns Limited. In providing PCCW with access to a mobile telephone, with more numbers the Thai telecoms market, CAT Telecom in allocated than number of population. turn receives access to the lucrative Hong Established in August 2003, under the Kong market where PCCW holds interests name of the Communications Authority of in telecommunications, media, IT solutions, Thailand, CAT Telecom exists to provide all property development and investment. categories and forms of telecommunication Not only has the company worked to services, as well as other related solutions, to improve its existing services in line with the customers domestically and internationally. requirements of its customers, and the rapid In recent times CAT Telecom has focused changes in communications technology, but it


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CAT CAT TELECOM Telecom CAT Telecom feature text

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has also strived to create new same time CAT Telecom is to go here......Lorem ipsum et dolore magna aliqua. Ut solutions that bring added increasing the capacity of its dolor sit amet, consectetur enim ad minim veniam, value to the voice, broadband telephone exchange system to adipisicing elit, sed do quis nostrud exercitation and wireless products that its support a growing subscriber ullamco laboris nisi ut eiusmod tempor incididunt users already enjoy. base. aliquip ex ea commodo ut labore et dolore magna In the company’s 2010 In the last two years the consequat. Duis aute irure aliqua. Ut enim ad minim annual report, great detail company has commenced dolor in reprehenderit in veniam, quis nostrud was given regarding a series work on phase two of its voluptate velit esse cillum exercitation ullamco laboris of projects that will help drive Universal Service Obligation dolore eu fugiat nulla nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo business in the months and (USO) project. Phase one pariatur. Excepteur sint consequat. Duis aute irure years to follow. At the top of Opening ceremony of the annual saw it install both fixed line dolor in reprehenderit in This is a caption this is a caption occaecat cupidatat non its agenda was the building CAT Network Showcase 2012 and public telephones in proident, sunt in culpa qui voluptate velit esse cillum of a digital trunked radio some of the more remote dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. system (DTRS) mobile network. This will villages found in Thailand to low income sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur replace the old analog network and further households, schools and health stations, as in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor extend services to areas such as Bangkok’s well as providing phone cards to people with est laborum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. industrial zones, the eastern seaboard of disabilities. consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud To implement the second stage of this the country and its central region. At the

TRUE CORPORATION PLC True Corporation Plc, one of Thailand’s strongest and most recognizable brands, is the country’s only fully-integrated telecommunications operator. True’s strength is its ability to offer the convergence benefits of its networks, products and services. True operates three core businesses: TrueOnline, the largest broadband and fixed-line phone provider in the Bangkok Metropolitan Area, as well as the leading Wi-Fi service provider; TrueMove, Thailand’s third-largest mobile operator, and TrueMove H, which provides nationwide commercial 3G services via HSPA technology on 850 MHz in conjunction with CAT Telecom Public Company Limited (CAT); and TrueVisions, the dominant nationwide pay-TV operator. Other

businesses include TrueMoney which offers payment and booking solutions, and TrueLife which comprises digital content and lifestyle convergence services. True’s mobile business arm was the first to officially launch the iPhone 3 in Thailand, and has quickly over the past five years become the market leader in smartphones covering many operating systems. This leadership is further strengthened by True’s convergence platform and by TrueMove H, the group’s flagship carrier and a reseller of CAT, in rolling out 3G+ services on a 3G (850 MHz) network that delivers the fastest speeds and has the largest nationwide coverage across all 77 provinces in Thailand.

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project CAT Telecom will establish a combined telephone and internet service within the aforementioned communities. Furthermore, it will promote and support technology development in terms of equipment and telecommunications services to facilitate the telecommunication requirements of children, the elderly and the disabled in society. Broadband internet is the central theme behind the majority of the company’s on-going and forthcoming investment plans, particular its CAT-TeleHouse plan, fibre to the

x (FTTx) project, Gulf of Thailand submarine cable network project and its IP core network development programme. The CAT-TeleHouse service is designed to support the growth of ICT business in those telecommunication organisations that own massive amounts of data and wish to have access to a reliable data centre system. Said telecommunication or service providers also want to have the ability to link their main network to either national or international gateways. The FTTx project is a large scale

“CAT Telecom is increasing the capacity of its telephone exchange system to support a growing subscriber base�

CAT Network Showcase 2012, an annual event to show IT & telecoms technology innovation

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CAT Telecom

CAT and Laos service provider, Lao Telecom (LTC), hosted the International Network showcase 2012

telecommunication network development being undertaken by Thailand. For its part, CAT Telecom will build the Lastmile network, an optical fibre network linking providers and clients, giving them access to ultra-high speed broadband internet and other new applications that will be developed in the years ahead. The target areas for this project include Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi and Phathum Thani. The Gulf of Thailand submarine cable network project meanwhile aims to increase the number of connecting business groups across the Thai Gulf region, providing them with all forms of telecommunication services, from multimedia to broadband internet services. Utilising DWDM technology, the submarine cable will link Chonburi and Songkhla. Lastly, CAT Telecom’s IP core network development project has been established to improve the efficiency of the network in order

to support high-speed data transmissions, as well as expanding the network to cover more zones. The 100 Gbps, IP core network project, the largest of its kind in Thailand, will provide increased benefits for residential clients as well as organisations, educational institutes and multinational companies. Playing a crucial role in the development of Thailand’s telecommunications sector, CAT Telecom is also a provider of 3G mobile services. The company provides a 3G HSPA service, enabling its customers to experience speeds of up to 42 Mbps. This service represents a new milestone for high speed internet that Thai customers can now experience through their mobile phones. For more information about CAT Telecom visit:

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A passion for P@SHA Jehan Ara, president of the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES, talks about the role of P@SHA in developing the technology sector in Pakistan, and in helping to set policy standards for the country

written by: Martin Ashcroft research by: David Brogan

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Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES

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he Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES has a delightful acronym, P@SHA. Now president of the association, Jehan Ara joined about eight years ago, “so I’m not responsible for the name!” she says. P@SHA was founded in 1992 by nine technology companies, but its membership has since grown to include more than 400 of the country’s largest software houses, product development centres, BPO companies,

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animation and new media studios and consulting and system integration companies. As president, Ara is the equivalent of a chief executive. “I run the secretariat and work with member companies; I work on all the events, and I work with government on policy. It’s what you make of it; the role is evolving all the time.” P@SHA’s main objective is to promote and develop the software and services industry in Pakistan and to protect the rights of its


A discussion panel at the P@SHA Annual conference 2012 in October, Lahore, Pakistan

members. One way it does this is by sponsoring annual innovation awards in the technology sector, selecting winners in 15 categories who then go on to represent Pakistan in the annual APICTA event (Asia Pacific ICT Awards). The P@SHA ICT Awards program has been going for nine years and the 2012 event took place in Lahore in October last year. The main APICTA event was held in Brunei Darussalam in December, with Pakistani companies collecting four second place awards. “This

time we didn’t have too many nominations,” says Ara. “We had only seven products competing but four of them got runner up awards. We normally take 15 to 20 but this year I had been ill so we did not have as many as usual.” With 16 countries represented at APICTA, bringing 153 different products to the event, four out of seven is not bad at all. The APICTA judges look at innovation and a range of other factors, including whether the product can be scaled and sold in countries

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other than the country of origin. “They look at how well the product has sold already and whether it has the potential to sell more,” adds Ara. “They also look at marketing, the technology aspect, and what benefit or impact it has in its particular category. If it’s a banking product, for instance, they want to know what kind of implementation there has been, and what benefit there has been to the financial sector because of the product’s use in customer applications. “One of the things we like about the awards is that sometimes our participating companies go on to work with companies from other countries,” she continues. “I see that as more of a benefit than just the award itself. In Asia Pacific there’s a lot of innovation and a lot of talent and the fact that we can collaborate and work together helps the whole tech sector in the region.” P@SHA also has a number of industry and social initiatives in operation. A recent one that Ara is proud of is the P@SHA Social Innovation Fund, set up with a $250,000 grant from Google. “The purpose of the fund is to give grants to young people who develop solutions to community problems using technology,” she says. “We have five initiatives so far and we’re going to be funding another five in the next few weeks.” The fund will provide a grant and

a mentor to help recipients get their solutions off the ground, because the two major factors preventing young people from starting up initiatives for the community are usually lack of money and guidance, she explains. Another key role for P@SHA is to engage with government in the formulation of policy. “I feel that the government in Pakistan does not understand the full potential of the technology sector in the economic

“P@SHA’s main objective is to promote and develop the software and services industry in Pakistan and to protect the rights of its members” 136 | be asia & pacific


Delegates make their mark at the P@SHA ICT awards 2012

development of the country,” the technology and business says Ara. P@SHA worked sectors but also to safeguard closely with the Ministry of the interests of consumers,” Information Technology last she explains. “We also year on the development of interact with the National Members of the national ICT policy. “Most Standing Committee on IT, P@SHA today of the input for that came which is a parliamentary group that advises the cabinet from P@SHA,” she says. “We more or less drafted the and the national assembly on document, but we want it to be a continuous legislation, and with the Internet Providers process, not something that is written once Association and the security agencies.” There and then implemented. The technology keeps is often resistance to new legislation from the changing so it needs to be a live document security agencies, she explains, who feel that that is updated all the time.” too much freedom on the internet and in the P@SHA is now currently working with tech sector could interfere with their work. government on cybercrime legislation. “All “We need them to understand that what we the different parties within government need do is not going impinge on what they do,” to be convinced that it’s important not only for she affirms.


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As a predominantly Muslim country, Pakistan can be extremely sensitive to offensive content in the media, especially on the internet. On 17 September 2012, the Government of Pakistan banned all access to YouTube in the country, after an independent film maker posted an antiIslamic video to the site. This was the third time that the Government has restricted access to YouTube in the country, following earlier bans in 2008 and 2010.

“This is the kind of thing we get involved with because it affects our members directly and every other user in the country,” says Ara. A careful approach has to be taken, however, she explains. “We prefer to engage and convince them rather than making a lot of noise,” is her diplomatic explanation. “We don’t want to alienate them, we want them to make changes in policy. It works better for us that way.” At the time of writing, YouTube is still

“The purpose of the P@SHA Social Innovation Fund is to give grants to young people who develop solutions to community problems using technology”

P@SHA Brainstorming session for the social innovation fund

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P@SHA blocked in Pakistan. In November 2012, P@SHA conducted a survey of its members to gauge the effect that the ban was having on their businesses, finding a significant impact on education, research, knowledge creation and overall business in the country. “At the moment the YouTube ban is very difficult because of the religious element,” explains Ara. “YouTube is used by a lot of people here, not only business people but also in education, the entertainment industry and the media. We’ve been trying to tell the government that it has been shooting itself in the foot. The ban is not harming YouTube. It’s just harming us. “We don’t want censorship of the internet,” she continues. “I personally don’t think that is right. I can understand why people are offended but I don’t think they are being forced to look at that content. I try to convince people of that but when religious passions are aroused people are not as reasonable as you would like them to be!” One possible solution would be for Google to provide a local version of YouTube for Pakistan, as it does for Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries, so that specific content could be blocked without disabling everything else. “Personally, I don’t think anything should be blocked,” says Ara. “It’s a question of what people want to see. There is no reason any Muslim would want to see that video, so why would you want to block it? But you can’t explain that to people, so the next best solution is a local version of YouTube, but you need to be very careful. Once you start blocking one thing, where do you stop?”

A picture from P@SHA ICT Awards 2012, president P@SHA extreme left & chairman P@SHA extreme right

P@SHA is discussing this issue with government, encouraging them to avoid a proliferation of unnecessary bans by the creation of a multi-stakeholder group to decide on the issues. “There should be some criteria,” she concludes, “because how do you know they won’t block political content that they don’t like? There should be a process and there should also be a form of redress for content that is blocked that should not have been, and the whole process should be transparent.” I can see a busy year coming up for Jehan Ara and P@SHA in 2013. For more information about P@SHA visit:

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written by: Will Daynes research by: James Boyle


enhancers MSCL has been providing quality IT solutions for over 12 years. CEO and MD, Sheikh Nisar Ahmed, discusses how the company is looking to capitalise on new opportunities

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Millennium Systems & Consultants Limited (MSCL)

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Nisar Ahmed Sheikh, CEO

Millennium Systems & Consultants Limited (MSCL)


n the eyes of the vast majority of people without success. Nevertheless, we were throughout the world we are today able to complete said project and do so on living in what is a new digital age, a time, within budget and in such a way that period of time in which the growth in exceeded all of the business requirements telecommunications, information and demanded by the client. As a result of this other technologies has had an immeasurable we went on to sign three more contracts impact on the ways in which companies with NADRA, supporting its IT operations provide value to their customers. These for a further three years.” companies are increasing utilising technology Since it was founded, MSCL has focused to develop strong, innovative value solutions its efforts on domestic opportunities, on a continuous basis. completing more than 30 projects for Established in August 2000, Millennium customers in the banking, utility and Systems & Consultants (MSCL) is one garment sectors, and for government such company. An information technology departments. However, in March 2012, (IT) company created by a the company took a leap small group of experienced forward in extending its industr y professionals, geographical presence by it specialises in system successfully completing integration, IT consultancy, a project for United Bank project management and UK, formerly known as the Year MSCL was software development. United National Bank of established “It was in August 2000,” London. Since completing explains chief executive its first project for this client officer and managing director, Sheikh in April 2012, United Bank UK has awarded Nisar Ahmed, “that I received a call from MSCL with two more add-on projects in chairman’s office of the Fauji Foundation, what is a clear sign of its satisfaction. inquiring as to whether I would be willing “Demand for our services and remote to assist them on a project of national banking transaction server (RBTS) product,” importance. It was this call that instigated Ahmed enthuses, “has been increasing steadily, both from existing and new clients. the creation of MSCL.” The project Ahmed refers to involved Couple this with our first success in Europe the development of an integrated system and it makes us very keen to expand our for the production and management of business further into the banking sector. It is Computerised National ID Cards (CNID) that for this very reason that we are investing in would be supplied to citizens by Pakistan’s building up the skills of our banking team, National Database and Registration Authority while further maturing our RBTS product (NADRA). “NADRA had previously tried into a complete system that can deliver for two years to implement such a system remote or branchless banking.”


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MSCL’s ability to manage complex IT projects has undoubtedly contributed to its success, but so too have a number of other qualities that differentiate the company from its rivals. “Our employees’ unwavering commitment to success, our management teams’ focus on sharing the rewards of said success and our ability to keep our overheads low are all reasons why we have managed to weather what have been difficult times in the past,” Ahmed states. “Equally as important has been our continued determination to find stimulating work for our people. This has helped us to retain those talented individuals that have contributed so much to MSCL.” MSCL also values its membership status within the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES, more commonly known as P@SHA, of which it has been a part since its own formation. “There is no doubt,” Ahmed says, “that P@SHA provides an effective platform upon which to promote IT business in Pakistan. One of our strategic aims as part of our corporate reorganisation taking place during the first quarter of 2013 is to increase our participation within the organisation.” There are a number of different case studies and examples of successfully

completed projects that one could use as a way of drawing attention to MSCL’s excellent track record of delivering the results its clients demand. One particular example formed a part of the aforementioned NADR A project. This saw NADRA award MSCL yet another key development and system integration contract to be implemented at more than 300 of NADRA’s district offices, including

“In March 2012, the company took a leap forward in extending its geographical presence by successfully completing a project for United Bank UK” 144 | be asia & pacific

Millennium Systems & Consultants Limited (MSCL)

The MSCL team celebrating a project completion

its Swif t Registration and other remote banking devices, as well as through Centres (NSRCs). This system helping bring about internet and mobile banking a pioneering change in programmes. Our RBTS the way that government provides communication Domestic projects departments operate in this across all such devices and MSCL has successfully part of the world. systems and has also played completed since The company’s RBTS a major role during Habib it was formed Bank’s three year migration product has been at the phase, during which time heart of several of its both its old and new systems larger undertakings. One particular project involved the upgrading were able to co-exist without any operational of Habib Bank’s banking system. Pakistan’s problems occurring.” second largest bank, Habib Bank operates Looking outside of the banking industry, approximately 1500 branches. “In addition MSCL management has long viewed the to upgrading Habib Bank’s system,” Ahmed health care sector as being a source of reveals, “they also wished to further extend business opportunities. Following a study of services to their customers through ATM the local health care market, the company


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embarked upon providing a cloud computing based solution to small hospitals and clinics. For the purpose of this it developed its MSCLClinic product. “This,” Ahmed continues, “is a clinic management software solution designed to carry out such tasks as managing patient appointments, scheduling patient visits, carrying a patient’s treatment history, providing diagnostics information

as well as handling payments and other administrative tasks.” Another product of growing interest is MSCL’s “Pahrahan”, an ERP system optimised for the garment industry that is able to systematically perform tasks such as taking multiple orders for styles, colors and sizes, and coordinating production resources. MSCL’s Project Management Complete System (PMCS), meanwhile, is a set of

“Over the coming years MSCL expects not only to retain its current revenue growth, but double its annual turnover by the end of 2015”

Launching new MSCL project

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Millennium Systems & Consultants Limited (MSCL) integrated tools, designed to enhance project team effectiveness. PMCS helps to guide project and business managers in qualifying an identified opportunity, assess initial risks, preparing a quality proposal and helps in preparing a risk f ree contract. PMCS also manages project cost and revenue, while also allowing project managers to evaluate their employee’s performance. MSCL’s Revenue Management Complete System (RMCS), a system developed on ERP principles, is a set of integrated tools specially developed to improve financial performance of the utility companies. Through online connectivity this system can be accessed in a controlled manner at towns, union councils, consumers service centres, call centres and other departments, while its collection module provides bills payment facility through Banks, ATMs, kiosks, call centres and the internet, ensuring timely and accurate recording of bills payments and identifying the defaulters. As we enter a new year, MSCL fully expects to be ready and well placed to address the opportunities it envisions arising as a result of Pakistan’s projected economic revival. “Over the coming years,” Ahmed reveals, “we expect not only to retain our current revenue growth, but double our annual turnover by the end of 2015. We intend to do so be continuing to follow our strategy of sharing our business opportunities with our partners who can add value to our project performance. Meanwhile, we will change our current policy of sharing project profit with project performers, and effective from

Project management workshop for executives

January 2013 project revenue will be shared with the project team.” By the end of 2013, MSCL plan to have increased its core team from 20 members to 35 and in turn it will increase its focus on foreign projects, particularly in the Middle East and European markets. “As we move forward,” Ahmed concludes, “we will seriously consider the possibility of opening a permanent office overseas, while retaining our commitment of investing in our people and finding the most stimulating work for them to undertake.” For more information about Millennium Systems & Consultants Limited (MSCL) visit:

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