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Executive Insight: Neil Ritson


Delivering growth to Nigeria

Hiring trustworthy directors

DHL’s unrivalled service and expertise is helping to drive Africa’s largest economy to new heights


alacer gold:

kansai plascon:


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contents 6

In brief

The week that was

In this section youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find news, views and comments as we take a look back at the last seven days.


Executive insight

Neil discusses his biggest achievements, learning from past mistakes and who inspires him professionally.



Top tips for making your meeting more productive

By focusing on meeting productivity, individuals and businesses can greatly reduce time wastage.



Hiring trustworthy directors We keep hearing in the news about directors whose standards fall below that which was expected of them. How can an organisation minimise the risk of such people emerging?



Neil Ritson - CEO, Leni Gas and Oil

[ Issue 92 ] BE Weekly


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Kansai Plascon

Driven to succeed From a single eight seat minibus, Quattro has grown into one of Zambia’s most important transportation businesses, proving along the way that hard work and perseverance can see anyone achieve their goals.

Why green is more than just a colour With a legacy dating back 125 years, Kansai Plascon not only remains one of South Africa’s premier companies, but also one that committed towards a sustainable, environmentally considerate future.

COver story

20 DHL Nigeria

Delivering growth to Nigeria DHL has been present in Nigeria since 1979. Today its unrivalled service and expertise is helping to drive Africa’s largest economy to new heights of prosperity.


Alacer Gold

Sulphide and oxide in golden harmony Alacer operates the world-class Çöpler gold mine that produced a record figure gold during 2013: this is the company’s primary asset and of strategic importance for Turkey’s growing mining industry.



Eyes to the east CEPA has the job of seizing the opportunity to transform the new Port of La Unión Centroamericana into a Central American logistics and distribution hub.


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Winners & losers

Ups and downs in the week that was... UK employment More than 66,000 new jobs have been created by foreign businesses over the past year according to government figures

Evolution of birds A new Cretaceous dinosaur with four wings and a long tail has been found in China, the largest so far identified

Reliance Industries Reported a 14% rise in profits thanks in part to a turnaround in its oil and gas business

Bombardier C-Series was a no-show at Farnborough following engine trouble in May tests

US Tobacco Shares down following $2.3 billion compensation fine awarded against RJ Reynolds Tobacco

Tesco CEO Philip Clark is being replaced by Dave Lewis of Unilever.


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Google Reported a 22% jump in revenue during Q2 compared with a year earlier

UK economy The EY Item Club predicts it will grow faster in 2014 than any other G7 economy

Forbes Media A majority share in the company has been sold to Chinese investors

Blogging A French judge has ruled against a blogger because her scathing restaurant review was too prominent in Google search results

Apple Criticised by the European Commission for not offering any “concrete and immediate” plans to stop misleading “free” apps

Pirates People in the UK who pirate material will start getting e-mails from the government warning them that their actions are illegal

in brief


China’s economy expands The world’s second largest economy showed improved growth in Q2 prompting speculation about a recovery Data just released reveals that China’s economy grew by 7.5 percent in the April to June quarter, a slightly improved rate over the first quarter’s 7.4 percent. As we reported recently, manufacturing output and retail sales also grew in June. However the property market, characterised by over supply, continues to languish. The improvement is a result of a series of stimulus

measures, including increased lending by Chinese banks, which lent $174 billion in June, 20 percent more than expected. China is known to use its banks as a stimulus tool, and the increased lending is illustrative of the leadership’s determination to keep the economy on track. In April, the government committed itself to cutting taxes on small firms, and to encourage the construction

of railway lines across the country in an attempt to develop the more isolated inland provinces, linking them to growth centres such as Shanghai (pictured). The overall trend is encouraging to the global mineral markets, which rely on China and other developing economies to deliver on their perceived long term infrastructure requirements, though it could be longer before the country’s former growth rate in excess of ten percent is retrieved, if it ever is. This year’s target is 7.5 percent overall, which now seems more achievable.

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MTR to run Crossrail The £1.4 billion contract to operate the cross-London Crossrail franchise has gone to Hong Kong-based MTR Corporation To the disappointment of rival bidders Arriva, Keolis and National Express, the eight year concession to run Crossrail, the £15 billion project that will provide trains in an east-west link across London, with links to south London as well, has been granted to MTR. Short for Mass Transit Railway this is a company that operates nine urban lines in Hong Kong, and already runs London’s Overground metro service in conjunction with Arriva. Announcing the deal on July 17, Transport for London (TfL) said MTR was expected to employ around 1,100 staff with up to 850 new roles,


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creating many hundreds of jobs for local people including around 400 drivers; more than 50 apprenticeships will be available for people from communities along the route. Crossrail could also support 55,000 full-time ancillary jobs around the UK. The construction of Crossrail will generate at least 75,000 business opportunities across the country with 97 percent of companies in Crossrail’s supply chain based in the UK. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “This is great news for passengers across the capital and marks a significant milestone in the

project. Crossrail will provide a better and faster service for millions of commuters and will help create up to 30,000 additional jobs in central London by 2026.” This is one of the most ambitious transport co n s tr u c ti o n p ro j e c t s undertaken in London since the original underground was built during the 19th century. MTR will start running services from the end of May 2015 between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, when it takes over the existing stopping services currently operated by Abellio Greater Anglia. New trains will begin entering service in 2017. Due to fully open by the end of 2019, Crossrail will connect Heathrow airport west of London to the county of Essex in the east through 26 miles of new tunnels with the objective of speeding up connections and relieving pressure on London’s congested underground. McLoughlin commented: “Crossrail is a part of our long-term economic plan and one of the many rail infrastructure projects benefiting from record levels of Government investment. Together with Thameslink, investment in rail in the North and a major electrification programme, we are creating jobs, boosting business and generating lasting economic growth across the UK.”

in brief

Best from the web this week

We’ve done the searching, so you don’t have to! Business insider

If you have plans to cash in on your offspring’s sporting success as Gerry McIlroy did this weekend, this might be a useful read.

How to turn your kid into a sports star

Matt Gaw The accepted wisdom is that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to excell at any discipline, but teaching kids to be good at sport is actually more complicated than that. Read the rest

the guardian


The strong link between your self image and business success

How not to cut 12,500 jobs: a lesson from Microsoft’s Stephen Elop Nils Pratley Read the rest

Siimon Reynolds The vast majority of business people focus on tactics to be successful – strategy, marketing, sales and systems. Yet after doing this religiously for ten years still often complain that they have not achieved what they had hoped. Is there something more they needed to work on to succeed at a high level in business? Read the rest

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Neil Ritson CEO, Leni Gas & Oil

Executive insight

Nobody’s perfect. What quality or ability do you wish you had?

Who or what do you think is overrated?

I wish I was someone who could function perfectly well on 4 hours, sleep a day. There is so much to experience and achieve that sleeping 8 hours a day seems a waste.

Social media! I think the internet is the greatest invention in my lifetime. It provides a massive resource, but its popularist offshoot is I believe overrated and will not be seen as a long term benefit in the way the underlying architecture has been such a boon.

What is the best business book you have ever read, and why? I don’t as a rule read business books, but Who Moved My Cheese provided some valuable insights when I first read it in the 1990’s and those lessons have stayed with me.

Someone you would most like to have met, living or dead, and why? I have always been fascinated by complex people, polymaths, who manage to accomplish huge amounts in their lifetimes. Winston Churchill is therefore an obvious candidate.

What do you consider to be your major achievement (in life or business)? I find this quite hard. Life is actually a series of small steps and on their own none is that memorable; but when you look back hopefully they have led somewhere useful. Perhaps, if pushed, I would say raising a family of five great sons.

What mistakes have you made (professional or otherwise), and what did you learn from them? This is surely too long a list! The only way you move forward is to take risks, accept mistakes and move on with the lessons they provide. One mistake I have made more than once is to make things too complicated. If it seems too complicated then stand back and look at it a different way; there is probably a much simpler solution.

Which one piece of wisdom would you pass on to your successor? In recent years I have certainly learnt that the court system doesn’t necessarily provide justice. So never take anything to court; if it can’t be settled in another way, just drop it; because you can’t afford the time to pursue things through the courts. There is too much else that can be achieved with the time and money you could waste.

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“La vie est trop courtE pour boire du vin mauvais” {life is too short to drink bad wine}

And always treat people with respect, since that way you may not win, but you always retain the moral high ground..

Who has been your inspiration professionally? This is an easy one as I spent my early career in BP working for John Browne, now Lord Browne, at a time of transformation. John had many admirable quantities and there was much to be learnt from him and indeed he was not Business Man of the Year for nothing!.

How would you like to be remembered after you retire? As someone who worked hard, did their best and gave the rarest of all resources, time, generously to others.

Do you have a quote or motto you live (or work) by? I spent a significant part of my career in France and the expression “La vie est trop courte pour boire du vin mauvais” {life is too short to drink bad wine} always seemed very apt both philosophically and in practise.

Learn more about Leni Gas & Oil


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Executive insight

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Top tips for making your meeting more productive All too often meetings take up an inordinate amount of time. But by focusing on meeting productivity, individuals and businesses can greatly reduce time wastage Words by

Lloyd Snowden

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very businessman and woman knows the importance of meetings. A necessary evil they may be, meetings are vital for providing and receiving updates, communicating, planning, brainstorming and making decisions. All too often, however, meetings take up an inordinate amount of time. But by focusing on meeting productivity, individuals and businesses can greatly reduce time wastage. In a business climate where time is precious, that’s an advantage many of us can’t afford not to take. So how do you make sure every meeting is effective? Follow these simple tips: 1) Always have an agenda with defined expected outcomes from the meeting Good meetings are managed events, they do not just happen. I am constantly amazed at how many organisations allow their most precious resource - their people - to sit in meetings with no predefined purpose or outcomes. It is akin to letting a machine in a factory run idle or produce parts to no set specification. Always have a clear agenda and expected outcomes to ensure the meeting stays on track and produces results. This relies on proper meeting preparation, executing the meeting to plan, and then good follow-up. A useful tip in making sure the meeting has been a success, is to simply ask yourself at the end of every meeting ‘did we do what we said we would do?’

“Good meetings are managed events, they do not just happen”


[ Issue 92 ] BE Weekly

2) Assign clear roles and responsibilities One way to make sure your meeting has an agenda, and achieves what it is supposed to, is to assign clear responsibilities to the meeting attendees. Have an allocated meeting leader to prepare material for the meeting, who is responsible for making decisions and designating other meeting responsibilities, such as taking minutes, and assigning actions as an outcome. A facilitator or chairperson, whose role it is to assist in the preparation, control the meeting process and keep an eye on the time, should support the meeting leader. It is this person who is responsible for ensuring the meeting stays on course and achieves the expected outcomes. Other meeting attendees will then be expected to generate ideas, provide recommendations, build on the ideas of others and add expertise to the meeting. 3) Ask ‘So what?’ Focus on the presentation of information rather than data. If you include too much data, significant time is lost whilst the meeting attendees try to determine what the numbers mean, or even argue over them. Use headlines to tell a story and get your point across, and make sure everything passes the ‘so what?’ test, i.e. that it is contributing to the desired outcome of the meeting. If it’s not directly relevant, leave it out. 4) Don’t plan ‘back-to-back’ meetings The cost of having 9 people sitting in a room for 10 minutes waiting for a tenth attendee to arrive so that a meeting can start will run into £100s. Multiply that number by the number of times meetings start late in most


organisations and the annual ‘productivity opportunity’ is significant. One common cause of late meeting starts I have observed is the scheduling of back-toback meetings. The larger the building or site in which a business operates, the more problematic this usually is. For one of my clients it takes 10 minutes to walk from one side of their site to another. Executives with consecutive meetings scheduled at different locations across the site were regularly arriving late for meetings. The simple solution this organisation adopted was to set their meeting calendars so whilst meetings start on the hour they are scheduled to finish at quarter to the hour, i.e. 9am-9.45am rather than 9am-10am. This allows for the 10 minutes participants may need to get to their next meeting location. 5) Prevent distractions Unfortunately poor meeting etiquette is common. Mobile phones should be turned off/set to silent and attendees should be dissuaded from ‘multi-tasking’ during the meeting. It is impossible to focus on a task at hand or to “actively listen” during a meeting if you are typing up an unrelated report or email on a tablet or laptop. The chairperson of a meeting must take on some responsibility for ensuring all participants remain engaged. If a meeting wanders off track then attendees disengage. If individuals don’t need to be there let them go and focus on some value added activity elsewhere. 6) Stand up Where meetings are scheduled for a short period of time, one way to make sure the meeting is as productive as possible is to take away the chairs. ‘Stand up’ meetings are a great way of maintaining the energy

in the room. Plus, attendees are unlikely to drag out the meeting if it means standing up for a longer period! 7) Understand the impact of ‘poor meeting behaviour’ on others Naturally, meetings are most productive when people practice positive meeting behaviours: contributing, clarifying, mediating, supporting and facilitating. In a lot of organisations, however, it is fairly common for individuals, including those in very senior roles, to exhibit negative meeting behaviours - to be late, to dominate the meeting, or not focus on the task at hand, for example. Whilst they may not be aware of the demotivating impact this has on their peers and subordinates, it can be very disruptive and counterproductive. This type of behaviour needs to be dealt with in a firm, but friendly manner. Suggest alternative behaviour, utilise non-verbal contact, i.e. eye contact, and reinforce positive behaviours. If necessary, the meeting facilitator should speak to the individual privately. It can be useful in this instance to reflect on the old adage “treat others as you wish to be treated yourself”.  In this period of increased time pressure, no one wants to have his or her time wasted. These are simple tips, but can make a real difference to the amount of time spent (and wasted) in meetings, and greatly improve their effectiveness. Can your organisation afford not to follow them?

About the author

Lloyd Snowden Associate at business improvement specialists, Oliver Wight.

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Hiring trustworthy directors We keep hearing in the news about directors whose standards fall below that which was expected of them. How can an organisation minimise the risk of such people emerging? Words by


[ Issue 83 ] BE Weekly

Stephen Archer



iring the right people is immensely complex – it is no surprise that so many mistakes are made. Getting recruitment right will pay huge dividends, but is enough rigor applied to the process? Though luck will play its part, businesses need the right people to be available and attracted to your organisation. If there are two things that are critical it is to assess people’s values and leadership. Values must come first. Underlying nearly all the failures of directors will be inappropriate values. These are the things that define how a person behaves and in turn, the culture of the organisation. Values also have a big part to play in the way that a person ‘fits’ an organisation. They may have a different style or character to that which you imagine and may even have a slight mismatch of background and experience; but the values must come first. Always. Remember, ‘hire the smile, and train the skill’ – the same simple rule applies to values. ‘Hire the values, train the expertise’. Values are the inner beliefs, the things that define behaviour in individuals. They define how people approach work and how they relate to colleagues – and in a director they define how they behave as leaders. They can and should be defined, but rarely can this be achieved with a five-point list that is hung in reception; these speak to an aspiration, designed by committee. So how do you define the values that you seek in a new recruit? It is not as hard as it may sound. The starting point is analysis of what constitutes the existing organisational culture – the blend of beliefs and behaviours that makes the people effective and the company successful. Do not treat this lightly – in competitive markets the most important differentiator that you have will be your culture and how employees behave. Those involved

in the recruitment process must use this defined value set as a basis for candidate assessment in the interview process. They need to ensure that candidates are assessed in a balanced and objective manner. It sounds obvious, but candidates can all too easily be seized on with too much enthusiasm by senior colleagues when they see the experience on paper. HR and other directors should be looking beyond experience to ensure that the personal fit is matched. In addition to the formal processes, there are two other ways to assess candidates. Firstly, telephone them at home, out of hours. Catching people off guard and away from the mentality of the interview ‘performance’ can be very revealing. Heed the findings because these often represent the real person. Secondly, ensure that many other people in the organisation meet the candidate before they are appointed – especially those that will come into direct contact. Ask these people for their views. They will be most revealing and if this process is used frequently the employees own empowerment will increase. They will also help the new director more when they do arrive and increase the chance of the fit working and lasting.

About the author

Stephen Archer Stephen is a UK-based consultant and business analyst and in 2003 founded Spring Partnerships LLP. He is a consultant to various multi-national companies at CEO level, and has been called the ‘Jeremy Clarkson’ of business speakers, for his amusing and insightful perspectives on the changing business environment.

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Delivering grow

DHL has been present in Nigeria since 1979 is helping to drive Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest ec words by


[ Issue 92 ] BE Weekly

Will Daynes


wth to Nigeria

9. Today its unrivalled service and expertise conomy to new heights of prosperity research by

Abi Abagun BE Weekly [ Issue 92 ]


DHL employees scan parcels


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DHL Nigeria

reviously seen as being hindered by years of mismanagement, Nigeria has risen like a Phoenix in recent years with the economic reforms of the past decade contributing towards the country finally beginning to realise its immense potential. In the last two years alone Nigeria’s expanding financial, service, communications and technology sectors have contributed towards it being recognised as Africa’s largest economy, being ranked 26th in the world in terms of GDP and being on course to become one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020. DHL, the world’s largest courier company, which today is active in more than 220 countries and territories, was first incorporated within Nigeria in 1979. “Like all businesses in the country, DHL Nigeria came from very humble


“From a workforce of just a few individuals, DHL Nigeria has since expanded to the point where today it employs in excess of 700 people in the country, all bar one of whom are Nigerian nationals,” Okereke continues. “Meanwhile, in terms of volume growth, we began by handling less than ten shipments per day, whereas today we are responsible for the movement of more than 20,000 shipments into and around Nigeria on a daily basis.” DHL Nigeria’s fleet of vehicles has also come on leaps and bounds since those early days, going from two motorcycles to a fleet of approximately 260 vehicles as well as the recent addition of a dedicated cargo aircraft, the only one of its kind operating in the country. For the majority of the time that DHL has been in existence within Nigeria its economy

“DHL Nigeria has expanded to the point where today it employs in excess of 700 people in the country, all bar one of which are Nigerian nationals” beginnings operating out of a single office in Lagos,” explains Chrys Okereke, Country Commercial Manager for DHL Nigeria. In the beginning the company was primarily tasked with the transportation of documents in and around Lagos, Abuja and other major Nigeria cities. In time it also became responsible for the distribution of goods and documents on behalf of other DHL divisions shipping into the country, before ultimately growing into a fully-fledged entity, delivering all of the essential services that DHL has become a household name for across the country. The service has basically entailed the transportation of documents and parcels both within Nigeria and to other countries across the world, as well as the delivery of inbound materials into Nigeria.

has been driven by oil and gas activities. While oil and has remained the economic lynchpin of the country, with DHL Nigeria continuing to operate services both into the country and out of it to major oil producing locations such as Scotland, Norway and the US for transportation of equipment and resources, the growth of other sectors have brought about the prosperity covered at the beginning of this article, and indeed the continued success of DHL Nigeria. “We have watched consumer demands evolve massively in recent years, bringing with them an ever-increasing need for our services,” Okereke says. A sizeable percentage of this demand for DHL’s services in the country is today coming from players in Nigeria’s booming e-commerce market. “In

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DHL Nigeria

the space of 18-24 months we have seen a tripling in the number of e-commerce related shipments that we are handling on a regular basis. The ability for consumers to make electronic payments has gone from being a rare luxury to a widespread activity and this has subsequently become a core driver for our own growth.” The emergence of the country as Africa’s largest economy has also resulted in a surge of imports into Nigeria, particularly from the likes of the large supermarket and retail chains based in South Africa which are looking to capitalise on increasing consumer wealth. Despite having watched Nigeria develop into the thriving country that it is today, DHL Nigeria continues to take great pride in its commitment to helping support the people, communities and environments around which it itself have managed to blossom since those humble beginnings in the late 1970s. Aside from the previously stated fact that the company presently provides employment to more than 700 local individuals, DHL Nigeria carries out its corporate social responsibility efforts via three pillars dubbed Go Green, Go Help and Go Teach. “Go Green is all about environmental conservation and it is through this initiative

“We have watched consumer demands evolve massively in recent years, bringing with them an ever-increasing need for our services”

Within the distribution centre

So Energy So Energy is the downstream, retail operation arm of the Sahara Group, a leading privately owned Power, Energy, Gas and Infrastructure Company established in 1996 with operating companies active in the downstream, midstream, upstream, infrastructure and power sectors. Sahara has presence in different locations including Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. So Energy has operational retail outlets in Nigeria, Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire, and is currently expanding its retail network into other African countries. So Energy introduces to each marketplace a new model of innovative stations with distinctly

African, yet modern architecture. So Energy also provides dedicated diesel supply dumps for some of its business partners such as DHL Logistics, Mass Rapid Transport Ltd, Mbonny Logistics, NIBOL and many others logistics services to industrial companies that require fuel for their articulated trucks and heavy duty machinery needs. So Energy is committed to delivering quality fuels and service with customer satisfaction as the key to our partnerships. So Energy, quality fuels and so much more….

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[ Issue 92 ] BE Weekly

Your weekly digest of business news and views

DHL Nigeria

Fast dispatch by courier

“DHL Nigeria carries out its corporate social responsibility efforts via three pillars dubbed Go Green, Go Help and Go Teach”

that we work with various NGO’s and agencies to ensure that the environments in which we operate are preserved for future generations,” Okereke enthuses. “Our work in this field also includes the monitoring of our own carbon footprint, supporting programmes that are working to conserve native flora and fauna, and encouraging people both within and outside the business to work towards guaranteeing a sustainable future for Nigeria.” Go Help is all about supporting local people and communities in times of need. This can include undertaking tasks including the recent renovation of an old peoples’ residential

home in Yaba, Lagos, supporting children with Down’s syndrome and blind members of society, all the way up to providing financial and material support to corporate and government agencies involved in disaster and emergency management. “Go Teach is all about ensuring that the future leaders of this country have access to a high standard of education,” Okereke says. “Through this initiative we have partnered with other likeminded corporate bodies to build/ renovate schools, and distribute books and educational materials to institutions within our areas of operation. We also continue to fund

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scholarships for children of both our staff and the wider community on a regular basis.” In line with DHL’s global focus, DHL Nigeria’s priority going forward is to expand its activities and presence across the country. To do this the company plans to improve its logistical capabilities by expanding its fleet, specifically its more unique modes of transportation. “We introduced our dedicated cargo aircraft in September 2012 and in less than two years we have already exceeded the capacity for that 737-400 model,” Okereke reveals. “As a result we have decided that,

in order to continue delivering the same high level of service we pride ourselves on, we need to introduce a second aircraft as soon as possible.” A separate, but equally unique, member of DHL Nigeria’s fleet is the boat that it launched only a matter of weeks ago, which is today being used to navigate the waterways surrounding Lagos and is resulting in a much faster means of transportation than that which is experienced on the heavily congested roads of Nigeria’s most populous city. “We are also in the process of expanding our gateway facilities within Lagos International

“At the end of the day we only ever gauge ourselves and our performance on how satisfied the customer is once they have dealt with us”

DHL’s new river service at Lagos


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DHL Nigeria

The fleet has grown from two motorcycles to more than 250 vehicle

Airport,” Okereke says. “We are the only air express company present in Nigeria with its own separate gateway facility at the airport, however having gone from handling around eight or nine tonnes of goods per day to in excess of 16 tonnes in less than four years, we no longer have the capacity that is required. Therefore we will be working to expand these facilities in the coming months in order to meet ever increasing demand.” During the first 32 years of its existence in the country, DHL Nigeria operated a total of 19 offices at its peak. In many ways this relatively small presence created a situation where the majority of the population felt they could not access its services. Today DHL Nigeria boasts a network of over 250 offices and collection points across the country, a rate of growth that has brought it closer to the customers on whom it places such a high level of importance. DHL Nigeria’s commitment is to make its services even more accessible to the

teeming population by setting up more service centres in the months to come. “We have just introduced a new concept within the business that we call our Insanely Customer Centric Culture (ICCC),” Okereke concludes. “This concept captures the essence of what we are about as a company. Everything we do and every action we take is carried out with the ultimate aim of satisfying our customers. At the end of the day we only ever gauge ourselves and our performance on how satisfied the customer is once they have dealt with us. This has been our approach since day one and will be as we continue to grow.”

DHL Nigeria

0803 907 7000 @DHLAfrica

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Sulphide and oxide in

Alacer operates the world-class Çöpler gold mine that pr a record figure achieved with exemplary safety performa importance for Turkey’s g words by


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John O’Hanlon

r Gold

in golden harmony

roduced more than 271,000 ounces of gold during 2013, ance: this is the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s primary asset and of strategic growing mining industry research by

Abi Abagun BE Weekly [ Issue 92 ]


The first gold was poured at ร‡รถpler in December 2010


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Alacer Gold

t puts the current gold market into perspective when one looks back just a couple of years. In 2012 when we last looked at Alacer Gold’s Çöpler gold mine gold prices stood at just over $1,000 an ounce. Since then they have risen of course to as high as $1,800 in mid-2011 before setting out on a steady decline. Nevertheless at the time of writing, at a level of £1,246 an ounce they are still above what was then considered a very positive level for the TSX listed company, which in 2014 expects to produce at Çöpler 160,000 to 180,000 ounces of gold at all-in cash costs of between $730 and $780 per ounce. Alacer owns an 80 percent interest in the mine, with the remaining 20 percent held by its minority Turkish partner Lidya Madencilik


$322 per ounce. Mining of the Manganese Pit commenced during 2010, and mining of the Marble and Main Pits commenced during 2012. The Manganese Pit has provided the greater part of ore thus far, however, the balance is planned to shift to the Main Pit from the second half of 2014. Processing of oxide ore started in 2011 with a three-stage crushing circuit nominally rated at 15,500 tonnes per day (tpd). Toward the end of last year a parallel clay handling circuit was commissioned to enable processing of ore with a higher clay content. The Çöpler plant now has a capacity of 17,000 tpd. The crushed ore is then delivered to the heap-leach pad. To extract the gold from the ore, a lowconcentration cyanide solution is applied to the agglomerated ore on the leach pad using

“Following necessary changes Alacer is now well placed to execute our new strategy in a cost-effective manner”

San. Ve Tic, AŞ (Lidya Mining). Lidya Mining is owned by Çalık Holding AŞ, a multi-billion dollar Turkish conglomerate that is enthusiastic about Turkey’s mineral potential. Alacer first acquired an interest in Çöpler more than twelve years ago, and by 2004 it had acquired 100 per cent control of the property. At that stage, all it really owned were the rights to mine what was still virgin territory, however in 2009 it entered a strategic relationship with Lidya Mining, and construction of the mine began not long after, with the first gold being poured December 2010 and full commercial production announced a few months later. Çöpler exceeded expectations during its first year of operations. Commercial gold production came on stream earlier than planned and in total the mine produced 185,418 ounces of gold at a cash operating cost of

a low-pressure irrigation drip system. Doré bars are produced on site and transferred to third-party refineries for final recovery of gold and minor amounts of silver. Over the life of the current heap-leach project, approximately 63 percent of the gold contained in the oxide ore is expected to be recovered. It has been a very successful low cost operation, in some contrast to the mines Alacer owned in Australia. The latter returned a poor operating performance, which coupled with the declining gold price last year convinced the directors that the best course of action would be to sell the Australian assets and focus the company’s efforts on Turkey. This was an opportunity for further restructuring and cost reduction, said CEO Rodney Antal in his review of last year’s performance. “The restructuring of our

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Alacer Gold

business has also included reductions in the management team and corporate overheads. Following these necessary changes Alacer is now well placed to execute our new strategy in a cost-effective manner.” He claims that better than expected oxide ore grades and a steady improvement in heap leach gold recoveries will contribute to making Çöpler one of the lowest cost gold mines in the world during 2014. There are

“I am very excited about the progress being made during 2014”

Securitas Turkey Securitas Turkey has been providing security consulatancy and private security services to Anagold Madencilik since 2008. The utmost proirity for Anagold is to ensure a process complaint with local employment and procurement policies in this project that hasn’t faced and security breach or occupational accident. With no occupational accident during the last year, sustainability of training to the security team of 46 persons is ensured by a company in Erzurum. Offering diverse solutions to each segment, Securitas takes its services further by procuring different perspectives to Occupational Health and Safety thanks to risk analyses.

The mine is high in the mountains

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two forms of mineralisation at Çöpler, oxide and sulphide forms, making the ore amenable to conventional open pit mining. The oxide ores are being processed in a simple crush, agglomeration and heap leach circuit. For the deeper sulphide mineralisation, Alacer is at an advanced stage of a definitive feasibility study (DFS) to evaluate the treatment of sulphide ore via a system known as whole-ore pressure oxidation (POX). It is notable, he adds, that the grade of sulphide ore mined during 2013 was significantly higher than had been predicted,

with positive gold reconciliation averaging 39 percent on a contained ounce basis. An extensive work programme is currently being undertaken, in conjunction with the DFS, to understand these positive gold reconciliations. During 2013 Çöpler Gold Mine proved that it is truly a world class asset by producing 271,063 ounces of gold at total cash costs of just $429 per ounce from heap leaching of oxide ore. The mine has very substantial proven and probable reserves of 3.6 million ounces of contained gold and measured and

“Alacer is in an excellent position to capitalise on the transformational changes made during 2013”

271,063 ounces Gold produced in 2013


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Alacer Gold

The remote Çöpler Mine

indicated resources of 8.5 million ounces. Located in central eastern Turkey, roughly 550 kilometres to the east of Ankara and 120 kilometres south west of the city of Erzincan, the nearest population centre is the town of ĺliç (population 3,000) which is just six kilometres from Çöpler. In 2013, the Çöpler joint venture started to fund a regional school in ĺliç. It is estimated that $2.8 million will be invested in this project by the end of 2015. A surface gold mine is very different from an underground coal operation but there is no denying that the recent horrifying accident at the Soma mine in western Turkey has focused world attention on safety in the industry. Safety programmes include training for all employees, special training for exploration and emergency response teams, recognition for safety achievement, and a steady flow of information that keeps people focused on continuous safety

improvement. It is gratifying then to be able to record that in 2013 more than three million man-hours were worked at Çöpler without a single lost time incident (LTI) up to March this year – during a period when the mine hit record production, 28 percent better than had been predicted. “I am very excited about the progress being made during 2014 and the direction in which the company is now headed,” says Antal. “Alacer is in an excellent position to capitalise on the transformational changes made during 2013.”

Alacer Gold


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Driven to

From a single eight seat minibus, Quattro has grown businesses, proving along the way that hard work a words by


[ Issue 92 ] BE Weekly

Will Daynes



o succeed

n into one of Zambiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most important transportation and perseverance can see anyone achieve their goals

research by

Richard Halfhide BE Weekly [ Issue 92 ]



uattro was incorporated in 1993 and is the brainchild of its founders, Graham White and Dimitri and George Klironomos,” explains Administration Manager, Sanjika Phiri. “Beginning life with just a single eight seat minibus, Graham surrounded himself with a strong management team, and together with the company’s employees built it into the business that it is today, a multimillion dollar operation with a fleet of more than 500 vehicles.” In 2005 Quattro began transportation work for the mines of Zambia and today boasts transportation contracts to ferry employees and goods for these mines. Besides personnel transport, it also deals in waste management for the mines and is able to provide equipment such as sewerage trucks, skip trucks and skip bins on a contractual basis. Quattro also has a newly opened engineering workshop comprising engine reconditioning services including, crankshaft grinding, reboring, line boring, con-rod resizing, cylinder head repairs and reconditioning, injector pump and injector overhauls. “We have branches in Kitwe servicing Mopani Copper mines Plc and Chambeshi Metals Plc,” Phiri says. “We also have three branches in Solwezi district that cater to Kansanshi Mine Plc, Lumwana Mine (Barrick) and Kalumbila Mine. Our total workforce currently stands at close to 1,000 throughout all branches” Initially focusing on the handling of imports into Zambia, Quattro gradually moved into the field of transportation. “Our first contracted transportation role saw us running personnel transportation on behalf of Chambeshi Metals to and from the Chambeshi Mine,” Phiri continues. “It was the seizing of this opportunity that allowed us to get a foothold in the mining market. Subsequently we established a strategy to achieve considerable growth, one that saw us investing in our fleet of vehicles and equipment in order to seize


[ Issue 92 ] BE Weekly

“Together the company’s e business that it is today, a m with a fleet of more

employees built it into the multi-million dollar operation e than 500 vehicles”


the initiative once contracts became available at the next mine site.” There can be little doubt that this strategy would prove to be effective, what with Quattro today servicing five of Zambia’s six largest mining operations. That is not to say that Quattro is a company happy to remain static once an initial goal has been reached. Far from it in fact, what with the company making strong moves in the last several years to further diversify its service offering, one that already includes the transportation of explosives, hazardous materials and waste products. One of the more recent developments involving Quattro has been its opening of a dedicated trucking division. Here the company operates a fleet of international trucks tasked with the haulage of materials such as copper or cement. The copper these trucks carry is typically being carried to mine sites across South Africa where it can be processed. Understandably it is a source of great pride that Quattro today finds itself involved in such a large scale industry as the copper trade. “Diversification can, without question, be a challenging process, however it has long been a belief of those of us within Quattro that one shouldn’t necessarily keep all of their eggs in one basket,” Phiri states. “Having honed our skills in the field of passenger transport it was decided that one of the best ways of creating new business opportunities, and in turn greater employment, was to branch out into other fields like trucking.” The challenge at the heart of any new undertaking is the time it takes to adapt to new ways of conducting operations, a process that extends to multiple areas of Quattro’s own business including staff training, risk management, and health and safety. “When it comes to passenger transportation we are accountable first and foremost to our clients, the mines themselves, and safety is key as there is no compromise when it comes to human life,” Phiri says. “Each client possesses certain standards that they live by and it is

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our responsibility to ensure that we comply 100 percent with those standards while providing no room for error. These clients expect nothing but the best from their service providers and we go all out to ensure that we meet those expectations.” Maintaining the highest levels of standards also defines the ways in which Quattro approaches its handling of explosives, waste and other hazardous materials. “Working within and around mine sites makes for a hugely unique logistical environment, one

where the absence of tar roads makes for extremely harsh conditions in which to transport goods and personnel. Such a climate calls for the highest of safety standards to be maintained at all times, with vehicles also being serviced frequently. Safety is key at all times, especially when it comes to explosives and hazardous materials. A lot of people tend to think that because all of what we do involves transportation all the same rules must apply, however that is very far from the truth.” When it comes to the future of the

“Clients expect nothing but the best from their service providers and we go all out to ensure that we meet those expectations”


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company, Quattro’s immediate goal is to maintain a steady ship, whilst continuing to identify potential opportunities that could result in further growth forward, including the possibility of venturing across Zambia’s borders into the Congo to work for some of the mines there. In the meantime however, the company is more than happy to be growing steadily in line with the mines and clients it serves, and who have contributed towards Quattro’s growth. “There is a bit of a misconception among some people that only big, multi-national investors can come into Zambia and be successful, however what Quattro, under the guidance of Graham White, has done is prove this to be untrue,” Phiri concludes. “We are

a Zambian company that has grown from strength to strength as a business, while also ensuring that we do our bit to help others whether that be in the form of employment or supporting schools, orphanages and others in need. What Graham and Quattro as a whole have achieved to date proves that if you put your mind towards something and if you persevere and work towards your goals anything can be achieved.”


+260 21 221 0442

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Kansai Plascon

Why green is more than just a colour With a legacy dating back 125 years, Kansai Plascon not only remains one of South Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier companies, but also one that committed towards a sustainable, environmentally considerate future words by

Will Daynes

research by

Vincent Kielty

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hen a young Welshman by the name of Herbert Evans first arrived in Johannesburg in 1889 he probably would never have believed that in 2014 a company would exist that traces its history back well over a century. It was however the young Mr Evans who introduced the production of floor polish, carriage varnish and ready-mixed tinted paints to the country of South Africa. In the years that followed, Herbert Evans & Co. would go on to expand rapidly, while



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at the same time developing an unmatched reputation for innovation, quality and customer service. The success of Herbert Evans and his company was not lost on others, specifically Solly Rudner, an individual who would go on to cultivate a similar reputation with Chrome Chemicals, a company which manufactured Plascon Paint, and other products. The Plascon Paint brand would in fact go on to become so popular that its success led to the creation of a whole new business entity, Plascon Paints and Chemical Industries,

Kansai Plascon

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The company guarantees that when a customer uses its any of its seven premium quality paint brandsâ&#x20AC;?

in 1945. Within 25 years of the new entity being established it has become a whollyowned subsidiary of Barsab, the mining services group co-owned by SAB and Thomas Barlow & Sons Ltd. A year after this, in 1970, Plascon Paints and Chemical Industries would embark on a highly anticipated merger with the aforementioned Herbert Evans & Co to form Plascon Evans. Most recently, in 2012, the company was formally renamed Kansai Plascon following a merger with Japanese company Kansai

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Kansai Plascon

Paint, the world’s sixth largest coatings company. Today the company continues to drive innovation and excellence in the retail, trade, industrial and furniture coatings markets in South and Southern Africa, all while championing the Plascon brand. It does so from its three strategically placed manufacturing sites in Mobeni, KwaZuluNatal, Luiperdsvlei in Krugersdorp, and Epping in Cape Town. Kansai Plascon prides itself on the fact that it appreciates that a person’s home is their greatest investment and that maintaining it can be an expensive business. Nevertheless it is an investment that ensures that one’s home retains its long term value. With this in mind the company guarantees that when a customer uses its any of its seven premium quality paint brands, Double Velvet, Cashmere, Velvaglo, Bathrooms and Kitchens, Wall and All, Micatex and Nuroof Cool, they end up with the finest finish and long lasting results. Kansai Plascon’s seven year Quality Guarantee pledge on these premium brands proves that the use of higher quality paint reduces the overall cost of coating over time by around 50 percent when factoring in the paint and labour costs of having to repaint sooner with lesser quality paints. Plascon wholeheartedly believes that its technically advanced products, coupled with thorough surface preparation and

NETZSCH The Business Unit Grinding & Dispersing, with its headquarters in Selb/Germany, offers a comprehensive program for the many challenges in mechanical process engineering. Here the Business Unit is primarily involved in the areas of wet and dry grinding, mixing, dispersing, de-aeration and classifying. The laboratory- and productionscale machines, as well as complete production lines, are used in almost all areas of industry, such as the forward-looking nanotechnology, the production of paint and ink, minerals or foods. The bundling of processing know-how, our extensive machine program, solutions for customer-specific problems and our global presence are unique and hence the strength of the Business Unit Grinding & Dispersing.

“Equal pride within the company stems from its South African heritage and with this comes a strong sense of social responsibility”

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Kansai Plascon

“The company continues to pioneer the use of environmentally sensitive products, all the while without compromising the exceptional standards and performance that it has become so well known for”

correct application, will leave one’s home protected and looking beautiful for longer. Equal pride within the company stems from its South African heritage and with this comes a strong sense of social responsibility. Kansai Plascon is actively committed to investing in local communities and upliftment programmes across the country, as well as providing ongoing employee education on environmental and health issues. In addition to supplying paint and in some cases, funding, to various schools, children’s homes, orphanages and crèches, the company’s involvement with the free CID University in Johannesburg has helped to train and employ many students to carry out building and maintenance work on the campus. Kansai Plascon is also a member of Business and Arts South Africa, an organisation dedicated to ensuring the sustainability of arts across the region, and one of its employees assists directly with their mentoring programme. Other important foundations and agencies including The Wilderness Leadership Foundation, Endangered Wildlife Trust, and the SPCA have also received assistance from Plascon. In East London there even exists what the company describes as a “a very grateful” penguin called Molly, who, thanks to Plascon’s sponsorship after she was rescued from an oil spill, enjoys a happy, healthy life at the local aquarium. Kansai Plascon also accepts and acknowledges its responsibility towards the

encouraging of a culture that is dedicated to progressive and sustainable solutions. Green, the company claims, is not just a colour in its mind. Rather what Green represents is a commitment to implementing environmentally considerate practices in every aspect of its business. Striving to inspire more ecological considerate decisions, the company has responded to the challenge by innovating unparalleled sustainable solutions based on the three key pillars of compliance, sustainability, and products. Kansai Plascon has successfully implemented Environmental Management Systems in each of its South African manufacturing plants, and attained ISO 1 4001 certification at all of them, while it has also continued to develop and implement groundbreaking environmental processes to ensure that its future remain sustainable. Lastly, the company continues to pioneer the use of environmentally sensitive products, all the while without compromising the exceptional standards and performance that it has become so well known for.

Kansai Plascon

+27(21) 505 2400 @Plascon

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Eyes to t

El Salvador is a small country but a fortunately transportation enterprise CEPA has the job of se of La Unión Centroamericana into a Centr words by


[ Issue 92 ] BE Weekly

John O’Hanlon


the east

y placed one: its government-owned multimodal eizing the opportunity to transform the new Port ral American logistics and distribution hub research by

Abi Abagun BE Weekly [ Issue 92 ]



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l Salvador’s Executive Autonomous Port Commission (CEPA) is the organisation charged with managing the country’s transportation infrastructure – its ports, airports and railways. Tracing its origin back to the 1950s it has accrued responsibility for a number of projects over the years in a piecemeal way. Over this period El Salvador has attracted international attention for some of the wrong reasons, taking attention away from the considerable strengths that derive from its strategic location at the heart of the Americas. Nevertheless, since 2001 when it adopted the US dollar, Central America’s smallest country has grown to be the region’s third largest economy. El Salvador is located at the centre of the Americas, giving easy access to the north and south as well as the Caribbean


Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perception Index, this looks like a very attractive place to invest in. And that is before even mentioning its ports – but it does underscore the rationale for siting the Port of the Central American Union here, turning El Salvador into a platform for regional logistic services. CEPA itself has had a bumpy ride over recent years, however, with successive government administrations failing to set a strategy for the organisation: it has been led by twelve leaders over the last 20 years, eight of them in the eight years leading up to the appointment of its current President, Alberto Arene. As an institution, CEPA has suffered from years of neglect. Low public and private investment during the last 15 years is reflected in the infrastructure and

“The creation of a regional platform for logistic services that will transform the old model is essential” markets, offering a large market to investors. The country has good roads linking it with neighbouring Honduras and Guatemala. And El Salvador has the most modern international airport in Central America and the Caribbean, with 20 daily flights to nine cities in the United States, among other direct daily flights to cities in Central America, Italy, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Dominican Republic and the rest of the world. It has the capacity to move 2.5 million passengers and 30,000 tons of cargo on 25,000 commercial flights, a year. Thanks to the investments made by the government in education, Salvadoran workers have been judged the most productive in the region. Add to that the fact that El Salvador is one of the most transparent countries in Latin America, taking the 83rd position among 177 countries worldwide, according to

management model of the enterprises administrated by CEPA, which pushed them into debt and reduced their value. Between 2003 and 2009, CEPA invested $126.69 million in building and equipment for the Port of La Unión Centroamericana alone. As of the end of May 2013, the financial obligations that CEPA had accumulated were in the order of $106 million, of which $85.2 million represents an outstanding loan due to JICA (Japan’s International Cooperation Agency) for the La Unión project. But since Arene’s appointment two years ago the task of creating a roadmap for the future of CEPA has at last been taken in hand. “The creation of a regional platform for logistic services that will transform the old model is essential,” he says. “Then we can create a new economy that is much more productive and

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“The ferry will be a breakthrough regionally, allowing us to establish a multi-modal transportation hub” export oriented. CEPA must now connect El Salvador with the world and with the future!” Now is the moment, as Central American countries wake up to the advantages of integration, hoping to create a Mesoamerican corridor that will extend down the longneglected Pacific Coast with a view to spurring trade ties to Asian markets. The Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), between the United States of America, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic, encouraged these countries to increase the compatibility of their trade policies; and in response Mexico took the initiative of harmonising its free-trade

agreements (FTAs) with various Central American partners. Central American countries have signed an FTA with the European Union and are negotiating with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). They also have FTAs in place with Chile and Mexico. El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have an FTA with Colombia. Recognising the importance of trade with the East, Costa Rica has signed an FTA with China and Singapore. The other four members of CAFTA-DR have FTAs with Taiwan. Don Alberto is an economist by training. His goal is to turn CEPA into a modern and profitable company which will make a major contribution to the economic development of

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El Salvador and Central America. Currently, road transport carries for almost 40 percent of El Salvador’s external trade. This is a high figure compared to Europe, for example, where other transport modes account for more than half of all goods movements. The principal reason for this dependence on the road links is the disrepair of alternative infrastructure. In Arene’s own assessment: “The railroad has been abandoned for 30 or 40 years; the International Airport of El Salvador for 10 to 15; Ilopango Airport for at least 20 years and the port of Acajutla for a couple of decades.” In

his estimation, CEPA itself was three decades behind where it should be. That is beginning to change as he pursues a clear goal for CEPA, in line with El Salvador’s vision 2020. A key part of this is the government’s National Integrated Logistics Policy which aims to transform the country into a Central American logistics and distribution hub – a platform with a young, skilled work force, accelerated technological transfer, state-of-the-art logistics and industrial parks, an investment-friendly legal framework, and process specialisation in the

“We are setting our house in order after decades of abandonment, and now we are working towards very concrete goals”


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global value chains. “We are setting our house in order after decades of abandonment, and now we are working towards very concrete goals,” declares Arene. He wants El Salvador’s airports to be the most modern in Central America, with excellent cargo facilities and an experience comparable with international airports anywhere in the world. He envisages a new railroad system carrying passenger and freight efficiently within and beyond the country’s boundaries. But important as these aims are – vital even – the first task will be the revival of the ports. Acajutla should be developed as a specialised bulk cargo port with adequate storage and downstream business facilities – but the keystone project that will enable El Salvador to capture the potential of the rapidly growing trans-Pacific trade has already been completed. This is the Port of the Central American Union, La Unión Centroamericana or simply La Unión, which is sited in the natural harbour formed by the Gulf of Fonseca in the south east of the country, in an area that has been starved of investment but is ideally placed for this key infrastructure project. The port was started in 2004 and completed in 2008, using debt funding from Japan. The plan was to then hand the port over to an operator who would provide the further investment needed to equip it and develop the adjacent land as a logistics hub and industrial centre. In the absence of any satisfactory legal and regulatory framework, the government financed the purchase of container handling equipment and built a 1,700 square metre cargo shed and the port was opened in 2010, directly managed by CEPA. The process by which an operator, or concessionaire, will be appointed has been progressing ever since, the ‘Law for the Concession of the Multi-Purpose Port Terminal of Phase I of the Port of the Central American Union’ was approved on September 8, 2012. This statute, drawn up with the help of the IFC, allows CEPA to grant a 30-year concession to operate, maintain and develop the 346,578

square metre container port, including docks, yards and wharves. Bidding has taken place over the summer, and the result will be declared before the end of 2013, bringing to an end the uncertainty surrounding the project. Whoever wins will be expected to invest an amount of at least $30 million in the first ten years and to purchase both the specialised equipment currently installed and to install whatever new equipment will be necessary, such as post-panamax gantry cranes. The appointment of a PPP operator is aimed to coincide with the opening of a ferry service between the port of Corinto in neighbouring Nicaragua, and indeed the first sailing between La Unión and Corinto took place at the beginning of February 2014. The ferry will transport trucks and containers from Nicaragua to El Salvador and Guatemala. Eventually CEPA would like to reach a transshipment agreement with Honduras, which also shares the Gulf of Fonseca. Granting the concession and launching

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“The commitment of a country towards the progress of its people can be measured by the transformation and modernisation of its logistic services platform”

the ferry will be the first big wins in Alberto Arene’s grand plan to integrate logistics platforms in Central America in a way that will finally give El Salvador the economy of scale that it needs to establish it as a destination for trans-Pacific freight. “It will be a breakthrough regionally, allowing us to establish a multimodal transportation hub here, cutting cost and time for the shippers.” At the same time, CEPA will be working on cutting the amount of red tape involved in customs clearance. Multimodal supply chains are not something that Central American countries have had much experience in, so it will be a learning curve for all stakeholders. In October 2013 four companies from South America, Europe and Asia presented documents to CEPA in the pre-qualification process for the concession of La Union port. These were SAAM from Chile, the Spanish Grup Maritim TCB, Bolloré based in France and Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI), presented their experience in port management and financial capacity. A special committee has examined the documents, and in February 2014 CEPA invited the selected firms to present technical and financial bids. Hand in hand with the port development and the ferry is the plan to create a land route that could be cheaper and quicker than the Panama Canal to bridge the Central American isthmus. The proposed Logistic Corridor, also known as El Canal Seco (the dry canal), is a 371 kilometre road between Puerto Cortés on the Atlantic coast and Puerto La Unión on the Pacific. The Logistic Corridor could turn

Central America into the most important logistic and distribution centre in the Americas, immensely benefiting El Salvador and attracting millions of dollars in revenue for both countries, as well as encouraging further development along the Logistic Corridor - particularly in the hinterland of Puerto La Unión Centroamericana. That is another important upside to the Port. The project will revitalise the east side of the country, bringing in much needed jobs and investment. Large tracts of land adjacent to the port but not included in the concession will be available for development, encouraging entrepreneurship and further job creation. Above all, it will provide a much needed hub to facilitate transpacific trade into Central America at a time when the expansion of the Panama Canal has enhanced the strategic importance of the entire region. As Alberto Arene puts it: “The commitment of a country towards the progress of its people can be measured by the transformation and modernisation of its logistic services platform. This is true for any country but particularly for a small one like El Salvador, which needs to become organised and internally strong in order to be in a better condition to participate in regional and international competition.”


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Issue No.92


Issue No.92