Page 1

APRIL 2019


UK £4.95 CAN $7.95 USA $7.95 EUR €5.95 SA ZAR 69.00


Ankur Arora +968 9701 6189

EDITOR’S NOTE Heads of Departments Managing Editor Alice Instone-Brewer Sales Director Alex Hilling-Smith Sales Manager Emlyn Freeman Head of Editorial Research Paul Bradley Project Manager Steven Weller


s a business magazine based in the

global leaders to now develop a company

UK, we hoped to have some sort

from scratch, and organise the transparency

of insight into Brexit to offer come






the beginning of April, but on reflection,

Mozambique’s gemstone industries in the

that was more than a little optimistic!

process. In the dry sand dunes of Senegal,

The proceedings are currently taking on

we looked at TiZir and the world’s largest

a chaotic version of dragging one’s feet,

dredge mining operation, whilst across the

in many ways resembling the moment of

continent in East Africa, Davis & Shirtliff

failing to do one’s homework and then

are bringing drinking water to communities

Editorial Researcher Dennis Morales

heading to class anyway, in the hope that

that have never had safe access to this

the teacher will be absent or some other

resource. We have had the privilege to

Editorial Researcher David Kimberley

cosmic intervention will save the day. Britain

hear so many success stories this month,

is simply unprepared, and is giving the world

and it has been a far more uplifting focus

Corporate Director Anthony Letchumaman

a fantastic demonstration of its slang-term

than our own politics! It is comforting, at

“faffing about”, presumably in the hope that

least, to remember that whilst governments

Lead Designer Alina Sandu

deadlines will continue to be extended ad

rise and fall in efficiency, innovation in

infinitum. Will the country leave Europe

business continues to strive forwards and

Publisher Stephen Warman

on a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, will Brexit fail to go

achieve results.

For enquiries or subscriptions contact +44 1603 296 100

of affairs continue in a series of indefinite

Editorial Researcher James Lapping Editorial Researcher Alex Hayes

ENDEAVOUR MAGAZINE is published by Littlegate Publishing LTD which is a Registered Company in the United Kingdom. Company Registration: 07657236 VAT registration number: 116 776007 343 City Road Suite 10, Thorpe House London 79 Thorpe Road EC1 V1LR Norwich, NR1 1UA Littlegate Publishing Ltd does not accept responsibility for omissions or errors. The points

through all together, or will the current state delays? Or, perhaps the least likely seeming of all, will a deal actually be agreed upon? One thing is clear; it seems that the ship has sailed on the history books being able to record these events favourably, and the current Prime Minister’s slogan of “strong and stable leadership” seems to have well and truly collapsed, to the point of offering to resign in an attempt to convince Britain’s MPs to back her proposed deal.

of view expressed in articles by attributing

However, whilst the UK gives the business

writers and/or in advertisements included in this

world headaches, companies around the

magazine do not necessarily represent those of

world are demonstrating far better abilities

the publisher. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Whilst

in leadership, organisation and preparation

every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of

for the future. We reconnected with

the information contained within this magazine,

Staatsolie, who may be on the cusp of one or

no legal responsibility will be accepted by the publishers for loss arising from use of information

more significant oil discoveries in Suriname,

published. All rights reserved. No part of this

and who are looking to prompt the country

publication may be reproduced or stored in a

to prepare for the impact of these finds

retrievable system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of


ahead of time. We also spoke with Fura

the publisher.

Gems, whose leadership team are applying

Copyright © Littlegate Publishing Ltd 2019

their ability to turn bankrupt companies into

Endeavour Magazine | 3




12 Fura Gems Emerald City 18 Davis & Shirtliff Group Seeking Higher Things 30 Staatsolie Maatschaappij Suriname NV Traveling Upstream 38 Prommac An Eco-System For Success 50 Formex Industries Shaping A Better Future 56 Tietto Minerals Limited A Fast-Track To Gold 62 Oryx Energies Adapting To Africa’s Energy Needs 72 CCL Products But First, Coffee 78 NH International Shifting Landscapes, Building Nations 84 Finnlines A Voyage Of Discovery 90 TiZir Limited The Grande COte

FORMEX INDUSTRIES ARTICLES Business Headlines 6 Asia 7 Africa 8 Americas 10 Middle East 11 Europe 27 26 70

Amazing World Paris Catacombs Plains, Trains & Flamingos

Automotives 44 DS 3 Crossback

CCL PRODUCTS Endeavour Magazine | 5


were asked to proceed with it. The Indian foreign ministry said in a statement it


welcomed the arrest, and would seek to extradite Modi as soon as possible.

President Donald Trump has warned

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime

Modi and officials at the bank allegedly

that US tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese

Minister, has ordered a top-level inquiry

issued fraudulent Letters of Undertakings

exports are unlikely to go away anytime

into the Christchurch mosque attacks that

to overseas banks to obtain buyer’s credit,

soon — even if the two countries reach a

left 50 people dead.

according to India’s Central Bureau of

deal to end their trade war.

She said a royal commission would

Investigation (CBI).

The United States and China, the

examine whether police and intelligence

“Investigation further revealed that the

world’s two biggest economies, are trying

services could have done more to prevent

fraud was allegedly perpetrated despite

to negotiate a resolution to their trade

the 15 March shootings.

the knowledge of senior officials of Punjab

dispute that escalated dramatically last year

National Bank,” according to a statement

with both sides imposing new tariffs on

from the CBI last year.

huge portions of each other’s exports.

A royal commission is the highest level of independent inquiry available under New Zealand law.

The CBI has seized property worth






Ms Ardern said the formal inquiry would

millions of dollars belonging to Modi, who

markets, fueled political tensions and

also look at questions surrounding the

denies all wrongdoing. He has already

caused problems for companies around

accessibility of semi-automatic weapons

been charged by the bureau for criminal

the world. Businesses have already begun

and the role social media played in

conspiracy, fraud and corruption.

shifting their supply chains out of China to

the attacks.

other countries in Asia to avoid the trade-

Australian Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-

war tariffs.

old self-proclaimed white supremacist,

The Trump administration also accused

has been charged with one murder in

China of stealing valuable commercial

connection with the shootings and he


is expected to face further charges. Ms

forcing American businesses to hand over

Ardern has ruled out re-introducing the

proprietary technology in exchange for

death penalty for the trial.

access to Chinese markets.




Shortly after the attack, the New

Beijing rejects the accusations. But at

Zealand leader announced gun reforms that

the same time, it has recently introduced

ban all types of semi-automatic weapons

measures that attempt to address the

and assault rifles, as well as high-capacity

US concerns, such as a new foreign

magazines. She said she expected new

investment law.

legislation to be in place by 11 April.






billionaire diamond dealer Nirav Modi in London over his alleged involvement in a bank fraud that could be worth $2 billion. Modi was arrested on “behalf of the Indian authorities,” according to a statement from London’s Metropolitan Police. His plea for bail was later denied and he was remanded in custody until March 29. India then issued an Interpol Red Notice for Modi’s arrest and London authorities 6 | Endeavour Magazine


“There is no place for a fifth term,” Bouteflika said in a statement, according to

African Union headquarters, and Nairobi, the UN’s headquarters in Africa.

the official Algeria Press Service (APS). “My

The plane was particularly full due to the

health and my age only permit me to fulfill

UN Environment Assembly. The summit,

Cyclone Idai may have killed more than

my last duty towards the Algerian people --

described as the world’s highest-level

1,000 people in Mozambique, President

(that) is to work on laying the foundations

decision-making body on the environment,

Filipe Nyusi said in an address on national

of a new republic.”

brings together member states to tackle






environmental challenges.

“Officially, we have a record of more

directly, the letter described the decision

“The environmental community is in

than 84 dead but everything indicates that

as a “response to the urgent demand that

mourning today,” Joyce Msuya, the acting

we can have a record of more than 1,000

you have made of me” and promised that

executive director of the UN Environment

dead,” Nyusi said, adding that “100,000

the “succession between generations” is

Program, said in a statement.

people are in danger.”

inevitable. Shortly after the announcement,

The dead included at least 32 Kenyans,

Nyusi was speaking after taking a flight

Algerians took to the streets to celebrate


over affected areas to view the destruction

the news, draping themselves in the

people from the United States, China

and rescue efforts.

national flag. In a series of announcements,

and Italy, and seven from France and the

Bouteflika also said he would reshuffle

United Kingdom, according to the airline.

his cabinet.

The victims’ identities have not yet been







humanitarian disaster of large proportions.” “Waters from the rivers Pungue and





officially confirmed.

Buzi have broken their banks, wiping out


entire villages, isolating communities and we could see, as we flew above, bodies floating,” the President said. Cyclone Idai made landfall near Beira

Militants attacked an Ebola treatment

and moved through neighboring Zimbabwe

center in the Democratic Republic of

and parts of Malawi.

Congo, killing a police officer as the nation





battles a growing epidemic that has killed

Malawi and Mozambique suggested that


more than 150 people have been killed in those three countries, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The humanitarian organization warned that the death toll could rise sharply.

ALGERIAN PRESIDENT BOUTEFLIKA PULLS CANDIDACY FOR FIFTH TERM Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has announced that he will not seek a fifth

The World Health Organization said


a staff member was injured in the attack by armed groups that targeted the center. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was in the nation on a threeday visit and spoke to officials and staff at the center after the attack.

shortly after takeoff was packed with

“It breaks my heart to think of the health

humanitarian workers and international

workers injured and police officer who died

experts, many of whom were bound for

in today’s attack, as we continue to mourn

a major United Nations environmental

those who died in previous attacks, while

summit in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

defending the right to health,” Tedros said.

term in office and that the April 18 elections

Twenty-one UN staff members were

Katwa and Butembo are in North

are postponed, after weeks of protests

among the 157 people killed after Flight

Kivu, a province grappling with a long-

surrounding his candidacy. The 82-year-old,

ET302 plummeted into a field outside Addis

term conflict and dozens of armed groups

who has ruled the country for two decades,

Ababa, Ethiopia.

causing intermittent violence, according

sparked mass protests after he announced

The airline said passengers from at

to the World Health Organization. It said

his candidacy for the upcoming elections.

least 35 countries were on the flight, often

it’s receiving additional support from the

He has rarely been seen in public in recent

referred to as a “UN shuttle” for ferrying

United Nations and local police to protect

years after suffering a stroke in 2013.

staff between Addis Ababa, home of the

treatment centers. Endeavour Magazine | 7


“The European Union has been very tough on the United States for many years,” Trump told reporters, saying the auto

US President Donald Trump’s campaign apparently did not conspire with Russia

tariffs were under review. “We’re looking at something to combat it.”


during the 2016 election, a summary of

Trump received a report from the

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report

Commerce Department last month with the


findings of an investigation into whether

as the first openly gay Latin trap artist, has been shot dead. The




The allegation clouded the first two

imports of automobiles and auto parts could

advocate for the LBGT+ community, was

years of Mr Trump’s presidency and his

qualify for tariffs as a national security threat

gunned down as he rode a motorbike in the

allies see the report’s finding as a boost to

under an obscure Cold-War era statute.

capital San Juan.

his re-election chances.

The report and its recommendations have

Police said he was shot eight times and

But Attorney General William Barr’s

not been made public; Trump has until the

was taken to Rio Piedras Medical Centre,

summary is inconclusive as to whether

middle of May to choose a course of action.

where he was pronounced dead.

Mr Trump obstructed justice. Opposition

Police have been urged to investigate

Democrats are demanding full access to

whether rapper’s murder was hate crime.

Mr Mueller’s report. Former FBI chief

His murder is the 24th in Puerto Rico in

James Comey, whose sacking in 2017 led

the first 10 days of the year, according to

to accusations that Mr Trump was trying to

El Vocero, one of the largest newspapers in

obstruct investigations into allegations of

the US Caribbean territory.

collusion with Russia, tweeted a photo of

In a statement, Fret’s manager said:

woods with the words “So many questions”.

“Kevin was an artistic soul, a big-hearted

Having repeatedly described the inquiry

dreamer. His passion was music, and still

as a witch hunt, Mr Trump said it was an

had a lot to do.”

“illegal takedown that failed”.

“This violence must stop. There are no

Despite the inconclusiveness of the

words that describe the feeling we have

report regarding his alleged obstruction of

and the pain that causes us to know that

justice, the president said it constituted

a person with so many dreams has to go.”

“complete and total exoneration”.

“We must all unite in these difficult

The report was the culmination of

times, and ask for much peace for our

two years of investigation by Mr Mueller

beloved Puerto Rico.”

which saw some of the president’s closest former aides prosecuted and, in some cases, imprisoned, although not on charges related to the alleged Russian collusion. On the issue of whether justice was obstructed, Mr Mueller’s report says: “While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”


Trump said his decision would hinge on how talks with the EU proceed. He has long threatened to impose hefty tariffs on European autos and auto parts. Tensions heightened last year after Trump slapped tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, leading the EU to retaliate with tariffs on American products. The President

President Trump placed more pressure






on the stalled trade talks with the European

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

Union , threatening tariffs on European

last July, when the two agreed to pursue a

automobiles if no deal is reached.

bilateral trade deal.

8 | Endeavour Magazine

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In its letter, Qatar said that a radioactive

In recent years, Egypt has launched an

plume from an accidental discharge could

unprecedented crackdown on reporters

reach its capital in five to 13 hours and a

and the media, imprisoning dozens and

Dozens of people have died after a ferry

radiation leak would have a devastating


carrying families celebrating the Nowruz

effect on the region’s water supply because


holiday capsized in Tigris river near the Iraqi

of its reliance on desalination plants.

city of Mosul, according to officials.




The new regulations allow the Supreme

The contested Barakah nuclear power

Media Regulatory Council to block websites

Husam Khalil, the head of Mosul’s Civil

plant is located in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

and accounts for “fake news,” and impose

Defence Authority, said, according to news

Qatar said regional concerns about

stiff penalties of up to 250,000 Egyptian

agencies, that at least 40 people were killed

nuclear safety will be amplified when the

pounds ($14,400), all without having to

in the accident.

Saudi Arabian civil nuclear programme

obtain a court order.

Most of the casualties were women and children who could not swim, Halil said.

is launched. The kingdom is considering

Prominent Egyptian journalists have

building 17.6 gigawatts (GW) of nuclear



capacity by 2032, the equivalent of about

saying they grant far-reaching powers to

overloaded, carrying around 200 people

17 reactors, making it one of the biggest

authorities to censor the media, in violation

celebrating the holiday of Nowruz, which

projects globally.

of basic press freedoms.









marks the Kurdish new year and the arrival

The nine-page document gave a broad

of spring, when it sank. The holiday is

list of prohibited topics, including “anything

celebrated as the Persian New Year in Iran.

inciting violating the law, public morals,

Al Jazeera’s Natasha Ghoneim, reporting

racism, intolerance, violence, discrimination

from the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, said footage

between citizens or hatred.”

posted on social media showed “a very


distressing picture” at what appeared to be a theme park. “We are seeing video of what appears to be a ferry upside down ... people jumping





into the Tigris River in an attempt to rescue

ambassador to Khartoum to protest Cairo’s


“illegal” call for oil and gas exploration bids in the Red Sea area of Halayeb, claimed by


both countries. Sudan’s foreign ministry said it summoned Hossam Eissa over “tenders invited by the Egyptian oil ministry

Qatar has said a nuclear plant under

for areas under the sovereignty of Sudan”.

construction in the UAE poses a serious threat





“Sudan is asking Egypt to stop all


environment. In a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Qatar also called

procedures concerning the tenders given


the Vienna-based organisation to create a framework for nuclear security in the Gulf.

the situation about the Halayeb triangle.” It also warned oil and gas exploration companies against submitting any bids. Egypt’s




Egypt’s top media regulator put into

Petroleum Holding Co has offered ten oil


effect tighter restrictions that allow the

and gas exploration blocks in the Red Sea

neighbour are already strained after the

state to block websites and social media

for sale through a tender on March 10,

UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain

accounts with more than 5,000 followers,

with bids due to close on August 1. Saad

severed diplomatic, trade and transport

if they are deemed a threat to national

al-Deen Hussein al-Bishri, minister of state

ties with the government in Doha in June


at Khartoum’s Oil Ministry, said the move





2017. The breach came over allegations

The move is the latest step by the

was “a direct intrusion” onto his ministry’s

that Qatar supports “terrorism”, a charge

government of President Abdel Fattah el-

authority to grant exploration licenses in

the country denies.

Sisi to suppress dissent.

the area.

10 | Endeavour Magazine


also said that during the standoff, he had

A total of 29 deals amounting to €2.5bn

shouted “stop the deaths at sea, I’ll carry

($2.8bn) were signed during Chinese

out a massacre”.

President Xi Jinping’s visit to Rome.

Alberto Nobili, head of counter-terrorism

The project is seen as a new Silk Road

One of the children caught up in an

at the Milan public prosecutor’s offices, said

which, just like the ancient trade route, aims

attack on a school bus in Italy is being

the suspect had not linked himself to any

to link China to Europe.

hailed by his classmates for saving everyone

banned groups or movements.

on board.

The new Silk Road involves a wave of

The driver was also known to have

Chinese funding for major infrastructure

The bus driver allegedly hijacked the

a conviction for sexual assault - which

projects around the world, in a bid to speed

vehicle and its 51 schoolchildren near

resulted in a year-long prison sentence -

Chinese goods to markets further afield.

Milan, then set it on fire.

and a drunk driving conviction. Questions

Critics see it as also representing a bold bid for geo-political and strategic influence.

Children interviewed by Italian media

are now being asked about how the suspect

said 13-year-old Ramy Shehata hid his

became a school bus driver with such pre-

mobile phone when the driver confiscated

existing convictions.

them from other students.

It has already funded trains, roads, and ports, with Chinese construction firms given lucrative contracts to connect

The police were then phoned. “He is our

ports and cities - funded by loans from

hero”, one classmate said.

Chinese banks.

The driver, named as 47-year-old

On behalf of Italy, Deputy Prime Minister

Ousseynou Sy, allegedly told the children:

Luigi Di Maio, leader of the populist Five

“No-one will survive.”

Star Movement, signed the umbrella deal

Italy’s Ansa news agency reports that

making Italy formally part of the Economic

Ramy made the call while pretending to

Silk Road and The Initiative for a Maritime

pray in Arabic - but was in fact issuing a

Silk Road for the 21st Century.

warning to his father.

Ministers then signed deals over energy,

His father told Ansa that the family

finance, and agricultural produce, followed

came from Egypt, and Ramy was born in

by the heads of big Italian gas and energy,

2005 in Italy - but has never been issued

and engineering firms - which will be

official citizenship documentation.

offered entry into the Chinese market.

“My son did his duty, it would be nice if he got Italian citizenship now,” he told the news agency. “We would love to stay in this country.” Police vehicles located the bus and forced it to a stop before the driver, during a stand-off with police, set it alight, having already doused the vehicle in petrol. Italy’s La Reppublica newspaper reports that all the hammers to break glass had been deliberately removed from the vehicle. The children were rescued from the rear windows after they were broken by police. Investigators are turning their attention to the driver Ousseynou Sy, an Italian


citizen of Senegalese origin. During the hijacking, he reportedly

Italy has become the first developed

told the captured schoolchildren he was

economy to sign up to China’s global

prompted by the deaths of African migrants

investment program, which has raised

crossing the sea. A police spokesman

concerns among Italy’s Western allies. Endeavour Magazine | 11

FURA GEMS WWW.FURAGEMS.COM // 001 416 861 2269

EMERALD CITY Fura Gems is a coloured gemstone mining and marketing company, currently positioned in Colombia and Mozambique. Although the company has only been in operation for 24 months, it already boasts a highly promising portfolio, backed up by its accomplished management team and an ethical approach to operations that sets it apart from its competition. We spoke with Dev Shetty, CEO of Fura Gems, to find out his motivation for founding the company, and what the future looks like for their gemstone operations. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


Fura Gem’s portfolio currently focuses on rubies and emeralds, two gemstones that Dev’s management team have been handling for over a decade. “Myself and my management team were all successful in the past working for a London-based company called Gemfields Plc.” Dev and his team were responsible for taking Gemfields out of near bankruptcy in 2009 and then converting Kagem Mine into the world’s single largest emerald mine, and opening the world’s largest ruby mine in Mozambique.

his soar-to-success story is what Dev strives for in his career:


To ensure accountability throughout the chain of custody, Fura

“I’m more like an entrepreneur. Even before Fura and before

works to integrate and document every stage of their products’

Gemfields, I always worked at turning around businesses. I

journey from the mine to the cutters and polishers, through to the

would take small businesses to a medium level and beyond.” It is

jewellers and finally the consumer. Fura has introduced blockchain

with this experience and entrepreneurial spirit that Dev founded

technology developed with Swiss gemstone lab Gübelin to support

Fura Gems, but he insists that he doesn’t need to reinvent

this. “Tracer” nanoparticles containing a signature DNA combined

the wheel.

with the rough material and attach to the stone’s surface. Even

Mozambique supplies over 60% of the rubies coming onto the

years later, and after it is faceted, the product can be analysed in the

global market, while over 50% of the world’s emeralds per dollar

lab, and its exact origin traced. Using this technology, a Provenance

value come from Colombia. “Our products are well-branded and

Proof Blockchain can be formed, which documents each transaction

well-positioned,” Dev explains. However, the sector in neither

of a gemstone from the mine to the end consumer. At any time,

country we work in is organised, especially in Colombia, where

free of charge, a client can check the origin of the gemstone, the

Fura Gems were the first listed company to enter the gemstone

date and location it was mined, and its complete journey from mine

sector. Organising the sector does not involve work on mining

to market. According to Dev, the added level of transparency that

operations or on the supply chain alone. Instead, a great effort goes

the project brings to the supply chain will benefit the entire sector.

into marketing. A knowledge gap exists among end consumers

This is the reason that Fura Gems took an industry leadership

about coloured gemstones and according to Dev, this is due to an

position, and why it will continue to support projects that promote

absence of marketing within the sector. Consumers are keen to

transparency and raise consumer confidence.

know that the rubies and emeralds they purchase were ethically

Fura Gems is committed to sharing their knowledge of the

mined, but with as much as 90% of the sector still operating in an

coloured gemstones sector, which has remained opaque for so

unorganised way, accountability and disclosure is hard to guarantee.

long. By working with retail staff, providing educational seminars

Fura is offering well audited emeralds and rubies, with greater

for coloured stones, sponsoring key industry events, and through

disclosure and in doing so, it is educating the end consumer in the

collaborative promotions with jewellers, Fura Gems aims to educate

sector, the origin, the operations and in the treatments used to

and establish brand ambassadors, build consumer confidence and

enhance gemstones.

drive demand. Fura Gem’s global PR campaign is set to start in the

14 | Endeavour Magazine

FURA GEMS forthcoming months and it aims to raise awareness and elevate

the portfolio, Dev reveals, but only after having established their

confidence in the entire sector.

footprint in Mozambique and Colombia. The greatest potential for

Fura Gems is compiling information about the cutters and jewellers, and every step their product goes through before it

sapphire mining operations are in Sri Lanka, Africa and Australia, and Fura is looking into all of those locations.

reaches the market, so that each one is audited and disclosed to

The company works hard to develop its relationships with these

the consumer. “We sell most of our produce b2b to polishers and

communities. “When taking on a new mine, you are also taking

jewellery manufactures, but Fura’s marketing team works closely

on the community around it,” Dev explained. The Coscuez Mine,

with retail brands, stores etc. to spread awareness of our ethical

in Colombia, which Fura Gems acquired in 2017, once produced

route to the market,” Dev explained. If anyone within the blockchain

70% of the world’s emeralds. The communities around the mine

sells on their product without the proper level of disclosure, they

were artisanal miners and although they were not employed

are removed from further business dealings.

formally as miners, many relied on the mines for their livelihoods.

Fura has created an organised selling platform and the first auction for emeralds will be held in July 2019. The event will be

Fura therefore sees the communities around the Coscuez Mine as partners in their operation.

invitation-only, and buyers selected according to a set of criteria

Before operations began at Coscuez Mine, a Sustainability team

defined by their ethics, accountability and buying power. Rough

was working on the ground communicating with the communities

stones will be presented in and sold over the course of a five-day

and establishing a plan to work together. Fura has introduced

silent auction. Dev insists that Fura will sell only rough stones and

formal interview processes, hired 300 local people who are given

will not facet the stones inhouse. That, he says, is best left to the

health and family benefits and offered professional and vocational

experts. Sales are strictly cash, leaving no credit risk for Fura.

training, such as optional English classes. “We have turned the

Fura has developed an ambitious growth strategy, and new

whole game upside down by hiring these people, Dev explains. “As

targets are on the horizon. In 2019 sapphires will be added to

much as we’d like to, we can’t hire all 6000 locals who are living

16 | Endeavour Magazine

around the licence, but we are promoting the development of other mainstream skills and businesses.” Fura has strengthened 70 local business, formalising their processes so that they can expand. A current project is a bakery association and training program, carried out with a government institution to promote local products and empower communities towards self-sustainment. We asked Dev what lessons he has learnt during his dealings both with Gemfields and now, in leading Fura Gems. He had two pieces of advice. One was to have patience. “You have to understand where you’re working, the length of time it takes for mining investments to come to fruition, and to stay focused throughout,” he said. “We tell people, this business is like a huge medium- to long-term opportunity for everyone, and if they put in enough time, they will all be happy, but patience is key.” His second piece of advice was to build and respect a strong relationship with the communities in which you operate. “Wherever you operate, respect the law of the land. You have to respect its laws and the emotions of the community, no matter how big or small you are.”

RB MILESTONE GROUP, LLC (“RBMG”​) is a US-based consulting firm with offices in Stamford, Connecticut and New York City. RBMG specializes in assisting small and venturestage companies with enhancing: corporate strategy, business development, market intelligence and research. These services can be designed to help companies communicate their corporate characteristics to applicable investment and media communities. RBMG partners with clients internationally and across a wide range of industry segments, including: energy, cleantech, mining, oil & gas, cannabis, agriculture, healthcare, technology, media, telecommunications, professional services and consumer goods. Staff specialists have diverse sector knowledge centered on capital markets. For more information, please visit RBMG’s website (www. or contact RBMG’s Managing Director, Trevor Brucato,

Endeavour Magazine | 17


SEEKING HIGHER THINGS After 70 years, remaining successful and relevant proves that a business has more than just good old-fashioned experience behind it; it can adapt. We spoke with Davis and Shirtliff, an East African provider of water related equipment: for this wellestablished company, innovation and continuous improvement are watchwords, and it’s clear to see in its expansion and success. We spoke with Alec Davis, CEO and son of the company’s co-founder, to learn more about its ongoing journey. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


Davis and Shirtliff was founded back in 1946, following the end of the Second World War. E.C Davis has served in the military in Nairobi, and upon leaving, purchased a small, independent plumbing and water engineering firm in Kenya. Through a partnership with his friend F.R. Shirtliff, the two men took this company - RH Paige & Co – and grew it into what seeded the successful and wide-ranging company that stands today.


rom this small start, the Davis and Shirtliff Group now owns a network of nearly 70 branches in eight regional countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda, S Sudan,

Ethiopia and the DRC. It also exports to many other regional countries including Malawi, Somalia, Somaliland, Zimbabwe and several countries in West Africa. This wide network of locations is complimented by a range of cooperative services that are able help each other to achieve optimum efficiency for the Group’s clients, covering water pumps, boreholes, water treatment, swimming pools, generators, solar equipment and irrigation. As Alec Davis told us: “We have a great advantage and strength from our branch network. We also have a very wide product range at various levels, from the volume level and the mass market to the more specialised products as well, in all these different fields. We’re also adding new branches and products all the time, so it does keep us ahead of the game.“ Early operations for the company largely involved work with the agricultural industries and local water supplies - both areas with a clear demand. From here, the company moved on to expand into water pump supply, and this has remained a key area of the Group’s operations. As Alec told us, “We’ve got a wide range of pumps for any application you can possibly imagine, and that is still a core part of our business.” This range of pumps includes those suitable for everything from drinking water to swimming pools, and is provided by three brands: the Group stocks Grundfos, one of the world’s

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DAVIS & SHIRTLIFF GROUP largest pump industry players, Pedrollo, an Italian manufacturer

in need. Davis and Shirtliff serves a wide customer base of private

of quality domestic and commercial pumps, and it also produces its

sector, NGO and government institutions across all industries

own pumps under the brand “Dayliff”. These supplier relationships

and sectors, and a large part of its job is the introduction of water

have been long and reliable ones; the company has stocked

supplies to areas that desperately need them.

Grundfos for over 50 years, and Pedrollo for over 25.

“I’ve been in the business for so long, the market has changed

Whilst this area of the business was solid, the company did not

beyond all recognition. However, we’ve always been in water,

stay static. “We have three values,” Alec explained. “One is quality,

we’ve always been with the government, and we’ve always worked

one is integrity, and the other is an old school motto: ‘I seek higher

on projects providing for communities. It’s a part of our history.”

things’. Basically, it’s a focus on continuous improvement, innovation

One of the most important technological advances for Davis and

and creativity, which we’re all very focused on. It’s important that

Shirtliff has been the implementation of solar technology; the

we all keep moving forwards every year. We are, within the region,

Group has expanded its operations into solar energy specifically

an industry giant, and this value is what has taken us to where

to power its solutions, including new solar pumping technology.

we are.”

These technologies have been widely applied throughout many

In the spirit of moving forwards, Davis and Shirtliff expanded

installations, including hundreds of recent solar pump installations

their business by branching out into water treatment. This has now

in remote sites that bring reliable water supply to marginalised

been a part of their repertoire for some time, but that doesn’t mean


that’ve stopped developing what they offer: “We’re now moving

“We have developed some huge projects for various agencies,

into high-tech water treatment such as ultra-filtration and reverse

such as the Danish refugee council, UNHCR and so on, in these

osmosis.” This water treatment work is just one of the many areas

remote areas, putting in large solar pumping systems.” Other

in which the Group continuously improves its technology, and their

government and charitable initiatives the company has worked for

improvements do more than improve value and results for their

include UNICEF, Kenya’s Red Cross, and the ministries of water in

customers: they also allow the company to better empower areas

Uganda, Somalia and the DRC.

22 | Endeavour Magazine

Proud to cooperate with Davis & Shirtliff “We carried out five large scale solar pumping installations in north-western Uganda in several months, for the Danish Refugee Council. Before, it was a very arid area and very hard to get wate. Now, they’ve got these water supply systems in, and it’s really improved these communities’ lives.” The other recent major project of this nature was in Kenya, where the Group carried out 100 smallscale solar installations for institutions, schools, health centres, community centres and so on. “This has made a huge contribution, as many of these sites didn’t have water beforehand.” This new technology allows for water pumping to take place in areas that were previously unable to access the power to support such infrastructure, and it is this sort of innovation that continues to place Davis and Shirtliff as the front of the industry in their region. Whilst remaining ever dedicated to this development, the Group also utilizes its decades of experience to combine the old with the new and bring clients the best of both worlds. One of their earliest and still most important solutions, on top of their wide range of pumps, are boreholes: “We are the leading supplier of borehole equipment in the region. Boreholes are one of East Africa’s most important sources of water; there isn’t much surface water and there isn’t much rain, but there is ground water, and we’ve done an awful lot of work in that area over the years.”

Endeavour Magazine | 23

DAVIS & SHIRTLIFF GROUP 70-plus years in the industry has seen Davis and Shirtliff develop a wide reputation, including a reputation for how effectively they

GDP of this country has also grown by 100-fold, and so, it’s created these opportunities.”

implement new technological ideas. Thanks to this, the Group is

The company continues to grow. In a clear example, it is

frequently approached by inventors and professionals with new

currently constructing a new $5 million. distribution centre, as

products and ideas, to the extent that the Group has established a

its operations have out-grown its previous facilities. The border

board whose role is specifically to review these ideas and choose

procedures between Africa’s many countries make the logistics of

which they will carry forwards. They have even developed a series

shipping around the country extremely complex, which is why stock

of apps, including one that details all of their other products and

on the ground in key locations is so essential. As well as investing

capabilities to allow for digital problem-solving, running through

into this, the company is also in the process of establishing several

the technical complications of difficult water supply demands to

new branches in Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania, as well as introducing

assess what the best way forwards would be. “It’s quite advanced –

a new range of irrigation products and the expansion of their

even our European suppliers have nothing like it, so it does give us a

industrial chemicals range.

great advantage in the marketplace.”

After 70 years of dedication to innovation, it seems unlikely

Davis and Shirtliff’s growth has been steady, the result of

that Davis and Shirtliff will slow down any time soon. Water and

consistent quality and the tireless pursuit of self-improvement.

energy solutions are both still in high demand throughout Africa,

Alec joined the family business 40 years ago, and has been the

and wherever its work is needed, we feel confident that Davis

CEO for the past 25. “We’ve grown organically. Obviously, when I

and Shirtliff will continue to rise to task and develop ever-better

joined, it was a much smaller company: the number of pumps we sell

technologies to tackle the challenges ahead.

has increased by 100-fold since the late 70s. We haven’t grown by acquisition – it’s been an incremental growth each year, assisted by the fact that the entire country has also developed and grown. The

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Endeavour Magazine | 25




eople have always died, and for as long as people have died, the disposal of bodies has been required. Various

methods have stood the test of time, whether they be burial, cremation, or even being sent off to sea like a Viking warrior. As with these methods, we usually keep bodies out of sight, and memorials such as graves or tombs are instead constructed as a visual reminder. However, sometimes much more creative methods are forged. Under the city of Paris, the capital of France, there are hundreds of miles of secret tunnels and passageways that may give you a bit of a shock. The Paris Catacombs consist of an underground




200 miles in length. The word “catacomb” derives from the Latin for ‘amongst the tombs’, and these tunnels in Paris are certainly true to this name, as the ossuary houses the skeletal remains of over six million Parisians. The creation of the catacombs was originally a vital measure for the people of Paris: towards the end of the 18th century, there was a huge public health scare caused by the inner-city cemeteries. Many had been used for hundreds upon hundreds

to dispose of the excess human remains,

From 1787-1814, the majority of the bones

of years, and the bones were piling up -

and they decided to use the former quarries

from the overflowing cemeteries were

literally. The overflowing of the dead led to

under the neighbourhood of Montrouge,

moved to the former quarries, consolidated

many outbreaks of disease and therefore

situated two miles from the centre of the

as underground ossuaries.

meant that the old cemeteries had to be

city. These quarries are known as ‘Tombe-

The tunnels were first opened to the

closed and the remains removed. The

Issoire’ and date back to activity as early as

public in 1809, and are still available for

main cemetery in Paris at the time, Saints

the 15th century. They were closed in 1776

visitation to this day. The first thing that a

Innocents, was closed in 1780. After the

due to many collapses on the ground level

curious visitor will notice is their vast size.

closure, the authorities needed somewhere

during the early- and mid-18th century.

The Denfert-Rochereau Ossuary (the area

26 | Endeavour Magazine

of the tunnels that is available for public

miles, an official tour isn’t even skimming

Paris Mine Inspection Service, Louis-

access) is 11,000 square-metres, and has

the surface.

Étienne Héricart de Thury, the idea of

a depth of 20 metres – this approximates

The Catacombs of Paris are exceptionally

approaching the creation of the ossuaries

to the height of a five-story building. There

unique due to their stylization. When

with a museographical and monumental

are 243 steps to walk in total (131 going

the skeletons were removed from Saints

style. As you can see, Thury made sure that

down, 112 going upwards), and in total

Innocents, workers organized the bones

artistic integrity was engrained into the

there are 1.5km of eerie passageways to

into piles, rather than keeping the bodies

creation of the catacombs. Rows of skulls

travel through. Impressive? Well, given that

together. Because the remains were sorted

line the walls, while impressive columns of

the catacombs stretch for a total of 200

this way, it provided the Director of the

bones have been constructed in the middle Endeavour Magazine | 27

of the caverns. These decorative formations

society, as these individuals were buried in

frequented by French royalty and even

of the dead may seem harrowing at first

the graveyards that bones were removed

NapolĂŠon Bonaparte.

sight, but upon reflection, the beauty of the

from. Notable remains include that of

Because such a vast area of the tunnels is

human body can still continue long after life

Charles Perrault, the author of well-known

uncharted and not (officially) open for public

has ceased to exist.

fairytales such as Little Red Riding Hood

access, they aren’t without their secrets and

Since the tunnels were opened to

(whose version was published before that

controversies. In 2004, the French police

the public in 1809, they became a very

of the Brothers Grimm), Cinderella, and

stumbled across a 500 square metre cavern



Puss in Boots; Jean de la Fontaine, famous

that was home to a cinema. In this cinema,

echelons of society, and gained visitors

for a collection of fables; painter Simon

there were seats where various noir classics

from throughout Paris, the rest of France,

Vouet and Baroque sculptor François

and modern thrillers were available for

and abroad. It is believed to be the burial

Giradon. The Paris Catacombs have also

viewing, as well as a fully stocked bar and a

place for many notable members of French

had their famous visitors: they have been

working restaurant. On the initial discovery



28 | Endeavour Magazine


home to many bizarre goings on. It is

would be rather meticulous to infiltrate.

reported that in one area, there is even a

I am sure many more bizarre stories from

pool of water, accessible for a swim!

the underground will surface in the years

The underground labyrinth was also the

to come.

setting of a wine heist in 2017. Thieves used

Although the Catacombs of Paris may

the tunnels to make it underneath a nearby

seem as if they are a unique phenomenon,

apartment cellar, which they then managed

they are not the only ones of their kind, nor

to break into, stealing over 300 bottles of

are they the first. The term “catacomb” was

vintage wine valued at €300,000. Someone

borrowed from the Catacombs of Rome:

breaking into your house from underneath

these underground ossuaries are believed

is definitely the last thing you would expect,

to be the first in existence, and were

and who knows what other crimes these

created in the 2nd century AD. The idea

catacomb thieves have in mind?

caught on throughout the years and there

The tunnels have been frequented by

are now catacombs and other similar corpse

few, and remain a mystery to many. They

constructions in 20 different countries

were last formally used during WW2, where

across various continents, including Egypt,

of the cinema, during their journey through

the French resistance used it to travel the

the Philippines and the Czech Republic.

the passageways, they were warned off by

city undetected, and the German army are

The Catacombs of Paris are now visited

several signs claiming that building works

also known have had a bunker under a high

by half a million people each year. Of

were occurring and that they should turn

school called the Lycée Montaigne in the

course, these are only the official figures

around and leave. At one point, there were

6th arrondissement (administrative district)

for the small area that is open as a tourist

even recordings of dogs barking to ward off

of Paris.

attraction. Who knows how many other

any other curious parties. When the police

The outer regions of the Catacombs now

groups of people - and individuals - are

returned to the cinema for the second time,

remain with a few, avid explorers known as

lurking under the streets of Paris amongst

nothing remained but a note on the floor

‘cataphiles’, as well as the mysterious people

the dead?

that read, “Do not try and find us.” There

building cinemas, taking swimming trips,

are thought to be many secret societies and

and committing crimes amongst the bones.

sects running throughout the catacombs,

They are, in essence, a secret society, and Endeavour Magazine | 29


TRAVELING UPSTREAM Founded in 1980, Staatsolie is one year away from celebrating its 40th birthday. It is also approaching the final year of its 2016-2020 strategy for success, and is on the cusp of beginning an exciting phase of drilling and exploration through 2019. It seemed the perfect time to get back in touch with the oil company; we spoke with Rudolf Elias, company Managing Director and CEO, about this new strategy and what could lie on the horizon for Suriname. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER

STAATSOLIE MAATSCHAAPPIJ SURINAME NV Staatsolie is the state-owned oil company of Suriname, tasked with overseeing the entire sector for the country, involved in oil exploration, drilling, production, refining, marketing, sales, and transportation. They work closely with the big names of the global oil and gas sector, organising what is currently one of the two biggest earning industries for Suriname, the other being gold. They even have a finger in that pie, with a 25% partnership in a goldmine with Newmont. However, it is oil that is their purpose and focus, and in 2015, they went back to the drawing board of how best to utilise and pursue this resource for their country.

he main focus of Staatsolie’s new Strategy for Success is the


This nearshore exploration is about to take off, with nine valves

decision to pour the majority of their efforts into the upstream.

preparing for drilling, the first of which will begin in April. It will

Whilst some attention would be given to making their

take the company 300 days to drill all nine valves; we spoke with

downstream operations more efficient and cost effective, these

Rudolf, company MD and CEO, about the potential results from

efforts would no longer involve a noteworthy capital investment.

this exploration period: “If I look at the activities that will take place

This is partially due to the fact that over the past ten years, the

in the near shore, the shallow offshore and the deep offshore area

company has spent a great deal on investing in this side of their

in the coming one and half years, I have high hopes that we will

operations, including new refill stations and a new $1 billion oil

have our first commercial discovery. In the coming 300 days, it is

refinery, which expanded Staatsolie’s electricity capacity from 30

quite possible that we will have our first near or shallow offshore oil

MW to 90MW. During this time, the company received exceptional

find. Then, in the deep offshore, together with our partners in the

help and support from the Roodhart Group, who had a hands-on

coming two years, we will drill a further six-eight motional valves.”

role in assisting in the construction of this refinery.

Staatsolie has many contracts in place for partnerships in

From 2016, Staatsolie felt that it was time to refocus its efforts,

their nearshore and offshore explorations, including contracts

and future investments were focused on the upstream, whilst

with Seadrill and Halliburton for offshore services, and IOCs with

efforts are taken to utilise the resources already in place for the

Apache and Exxon. Out of their partners set to drill, Rudolf is most

downstream as efficiently as possible. This focus on upstream

excited about their planned work with Apache: “Apache might drill

activities falls into three categories: oil production, offshore joint

a few of ours valves back to back, depending of course on success.”

ventures, and of course, exploration.

One of these valves sits very close to Guyana’s latest oil find, which

Staatsolie is currently involved in exploration on three different

of course has the company feeling optimistic about its prospects.

fronts: near short, shallow offshore and deep offshore, with deep

“We have high expectations of this valve, and of course for the nine

offshore defined as anything beyond 70 meters of water depth.

of our own.”

These three categories are all tackles differently; deep offshore

In terms of production, Staatsolie apparently has over 1 billion

exploration is left in the hands of Staatsolie’s IOC partners, whilst

barrels of extractable oil in place, and they are currently only

in the nearshore and shallow offshore areas, they are conducting

extracting 18-20% of the current field. “Moving forwards, we are

their exploration themselves, with the intention of finding partners

actively looking at new techniques, both IOR and EOR, in order to

to help them tap the resources once such resources are discovered.

extract anything between 25-35%. We would like to expand the

32 | Endeavour Magazine

existing production of 6 million barrels on an annual basis for at least another 25 years.” As Rudolf is fast to agree, Staatsolie’s current operations are “built on a strong foundation of people.” The company currently employ around 2000 people – a figure that is much higher if you


also include all of the contractor teams they currently employ. As well as offering internal training for these members of staff, the company is also invested in helping their staff to gain a wider understanding of the industry, and the companies that Staatsolie is working with; therefore, management staff and other

ges! Challen

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individuals who would benefit from the knowledge are now offered programmes that place those employees with Staatsolie’s partners for a year. For example, they currently have staff places in Equinor and Petrofac, amongst others. The company also supports staff through MBA programmes and short periods to study abroad. This level of investment acknowledges that Staatsolie’s staff not only need a high level of skill, but an awareness of the wider industry




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around them, that Staatsolie works so closely with. This valuing of their staff was amongst point highlighted in Staatsolie’s 2016-2020 Strategy for Success. The document outlined a goal to be “people focused”, with a focus on coaching +58 212 693.78.77 www

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STAATSOLIE MAATSCHAAPPIJ SURINAME NV and mentoring to make their “pool of young people ready by

that the oil will not be processed and utilised in the most efficient

design”. The document also mentioned a Culture Change that

way, and there is also the risk that the spike in revenue could cause

seeks to “integrity, excellence, accountability and performance

short-sighted decisions. “In the past, there was gold fever, but

management” in the every-day operations of the company. The aim

black gold also creates a certain fever.” Staatsolie is a state-owned

for all of this, as the document outlined was “to have our entire

company, which allows Rudolf to have direct contact with the

workforce coming to work every day with a true sense of purpose

government, and he continues to agitate for these conversations

and leaving with a sense of accomplishment.”

to take place. “We are coming so close - next month, we are going

When asked what the biggest challenges facing Staatsolie were,

to drill our first hole, and Apache will drill in June. Even if the

Rudolf’s answer was surprising: “We have many challenges that we

conversation is last minute, that is ok, but the minute you have oil,

have to deal with, but the biggest challenge is to get the government

everything changes.”

ready for a big oil find. There is the possibility that we will not only

Rudolf is also looking even further to the future, to the longevity

have one oil find, but we might have several. If this happens, what

of the oil industry as a whole. On the one hand, he knows it cannot

do you do as a business? What do you do as a government? The

last forever, and like his wish to see Suriname prepared for new oil

best discussion that you can have is the discussion before you have

discoveries, he wants to see the country prepared for the future

an oil find, because the conversation you have after an oil find is

beyond that. However, he also isn’t in a hurry: “If you look at the

completely different. We’ve learned that from Guyana and we’ve

most negative outlook, from Equinor, even that predicts that oil

learned that from Ghana.”

will continue to grow until 2035. Exxon predicts it will grow until

Rudolf’s concern is, if these discussions do not take place before

2050/2055.” Staatsolie are a low-cost producer, and for those,

an oil find, that the proper plans to benefit from the industry and

Rudolf feels the future of oil extends even further, predicting that

revenue in a sustainable and intelligent way will not be in place and

for such companies, oil production will remain viable for as long as

ready to help Suriname maximise on the resource. These is the risk

the next 100 years.


A DEEP BELIEF IN SURINAME’S FUTURE A proven finder of large oil and gas resources, Kosmos Energy is excited to explore offshore Suriname, an area with potential for significant hydrocarbon discoveries. We look forward to playing a part in Suriname’s future success.

34 | Endeavour Magazine

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STAATSOLIE MAATSCHAAPPIJ SURINAME NV However, despite not being in a hurry to diversify, Staatsolie

Whilst some might argue that these changes need to occur quickly

still feels that change will be required: “We try to agitate the people,

for the well-being of our planet, this careful pace is smart business,

because oil isn’t infinite. It’s finite. When it will end, we don’t know,

and should avoid the mistakes of some energy companies who

but we have to start looking at new ways to produce energy. One

have committed quickly to renewables and later dropped the

of them is of course solar – 30% of our own power is on a solar

commitment altogether.

panel small grid.” Surname’s government is not pushing urgently

Whether looking to renewable energy, the future of Suriname

towards renewables, but Staatsolie continue to agitate and spread

or simply the future of this year’s exploration projects, Staatsolie

awareness, and have even begun to look into their own options for

are putting their 39 years of experience to work in how carefully

pursuing renewable energy production:

they are preparing on many fronts. Resource processing is a long

“We are looking into a hydro project at the moment. It is not

game, and Staatsolie understands where to invest, when to invest,

100% sure that we will jump into it, but we are looking into it

and how to get ready for what changes to their situation will bring.

actively and we might add it to our portfolio. However, we are not

Between their partners and the government, they are keeping the

saying that as an oil company, you can begin in renewables just like

oil industry in Suriname mobile and organised, determined to learn

that. We would like to be fast followers, rather than the people who

from others’ mistakes and to see their country prosper from the

are leading the way. That is something we have learned from other

resources it possesses for years to come. With their 2016-2020

oil companies – oil people are not renewable people. They are two

plan on course to succeed, we look forward to seeing what the next

entirely different kinds of people that you work with, and it will take

stages will hold for Staatsolie once their discoveries are made.

time to change the behavior from oil people to renewable people.” With different skills and a different industry atmosphere, Staatsolie do not want to jump too quickly into an entirely new way of working, but the gears are starting to move in that direction.

36 | Endeavour Magazine


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Endeavour Magazine | 37

PROMMAC WWW.PROMMAC.COM // 27 82 873 4119

AN ECO-SYSTEM FOR SUCCESS Prommac is a specialist project management and technical services provider that offers a range of mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, welding and drone services to large industrial processing clients, such as companies in the petrochemical, mining, utilities and power sectors. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER

PROMMAC Founded in 2005, Prommac has been involved in the maintenance, shutdown and project industry globally for more than a decade. It forms a part of the larger CG Group of companies which has operations across the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, Middle East and South Africa. Prommac operates primarily in South Africa with offices in Johannesburg, North West, Free State, Mpumalanga and Western Cape. Here, it works alongside its sister company New Age Engineering Services, which provides world-class inspection services, welding engineering, welding fabrication and welding installation solutions.


his may all sound fairly regular, but we spoke with Jason English,

to Jason, “We don’t see our team as a resource; we see our staff

Chief Ecosystem Officer of CG Holdings, who gave us his

as assets to the business.” Even Jason’s title has been redefined:

views on why Prommac stands out from the crowd: “Prommac

instead of being the company’s Chief Executive Officer, he goes by

is a young, innovative company that many jokingly refer to as the

“Chief Eco-system Officer”. This can confuse some, but he does in

Google of our sector.” The comparison is made because of the office

fact hold the same position one would expect when hearing “CEO”.

atmosphere: the company’s offices are filled with bean bags, bright

He explained the change of terminology to us:

colours and motivational quotes that aim to keep the workplace

“I believe that the world CEOs operate in today is very different

fresh and upbeat. The look isn’t typical for a company in this sector.

to the world of yesterday. Business plans, strategy and business

Prommac wants to break stride with this sector by being energised

processes used to be implemented and worked on for years at a

and inspirational, from its décor to its business practices. Ideas

time without much need for change. Today, these strategies and

are generated on the ground and supported by the CG Holdings’

plans last months, sometimes days. The world has access to the

innovation centre, where the Group develops innovative solutions

CEO of any business directly through social media, and every

that are deployed across its group of companies. In particular, this

company is at the mercy of communities. Clients, employees and

centre focuses on the possibilities of further implementing drone

suppliers can all provide negative feedback in the open domain.

technology, virtual reality, augmented reality, APP development and

This essentially is now the CEO’s ‘ecosystem’.”

3D animation. In fact, on top of already being able to offer drone,

“I see my role as one where I need to manage the ecosystem

VR and AR services, the company is currently also able to design

within which we operate which includes our team, clients,

and develop critical work flow animation, digital and animated

communities, supply chains and even our competitors. A sharing

training platforms, and makes use of intrinsically safe field tablets

economy will become the future at some point and having an

and industrial analysis data sets to ensure it remains ahead of the

integrated ecosystem around you will position you best for

standard industry productivity curves. If this weren’t enough, its

greatness. The financial results of a company are just the result of

commitment to progress is further demonstrated by the company’s

how effectively we manage our ecosystems.”

headline sponsorship of the Springbots, the South African national robotics team, who recently competed internationally in Mexico.

So, what exactly makes up Prommac’s “ecosystem”? Jason breaks it down into five pillars: there are the company’s suppliers,

Another sign of Prommac and CG Holdings’ approach to

the communities in which they operate, their clients, partners and,

business is their rebranding of certain terms. Instead of a Human

of course, their own team “I would not be able to single out any

Resources office, they have a “Human Capital” office, as according

particular element above the other. We have a fantastic ecosystem

40 | Endeavour Magazine

around our businesses and people generally like being associated with our group companies.” As service providers, Prommac and its competitors have suffered the knock-on effect of challenging conditions within the sectors they provide for, such as petrochemical, mining and power. “A depressed oil price, overspend on power stations, low mining volumes, and a spate of corrupt transactions have driven prices down, and as a result many of the major players in the sector have fallen victim to cash flow constraints and many have either filed for liquidation or are looking to sell off their assets.” Whilst Prommac and New Age Engineering are faring well and these challenges reduce the competition that they are facing, the market conditions are still poor, which has consequences for all concerned: “A healthy, competitive market place is required to keep business performance optimal. I think the departure of significant players in the sector is worrying as jobs are being lost, client workloads reduced, and this means fewer and fewer skilled craftspeople in the system on a frequent basis. Whichever way you look at it, the market conditions are not ideal for our sectors at the moment.”

Endeavour Magazine | 41

PROMMAC That being said, the market conditions have not stopped Prommac and New Age from expanding and investing in their

JAM’ sessions are also run to allow staff to give their leadership team feedback on how best to run the business.

future. New Age has recently opened a new welding fabrication

Jason became CEO of Prommac in 2012, and in 2018, became

workshop in Sasolburg in the Vaal Triangle as well as in Cape

CEO of CG Holdings in full. We asked him about his career leading

Town and the integrated working relationship between Prommac

up to this point: “I started out as a junior mechanical engineer in

and New Age has resulted in several new shutdown projects in

1999 working on project sites in the field, after serving 4 years

Secunda, Sasolburg and Cape Town, including one in Richards

with the South African Police Services where I was also a qualified

Bay, which will be the first time they have executed mechanical

paramedic. I was always ambitious and wanted the top job, as I

and welding work simultaneously in the region. Prommac’s

believed my ability to view the world through a different lens,

investments and innovations in their drone technology has

together with my focus on building people up, would set me up

also started to pay off, with their new drone-based inspection

for success at a later stage. I served in various roles including field

services adding value to their operations by reducing downtime

engineer, project engineer, site manager, project manager, regional

for clients.

development manager until reaching global development director

Prommac and New Age combined have around 1000 full-time

before making the choice to leave my employer after 14 years. This

employees, plus a temporary workforce that has reached as large as

was no easy decision, yet in hindsight it was the best thing I ever

3500 people. Another demonstration of CG Holdings’ dedication

did. I became CEO of Prommac in 2012, just when I had finished

to their teams is the presence of their stakeholder engagement

my MBA, and since then it has been phenomenal. My personal

officer, whose primary job it is to meet and deal one on one with

growth and learning, and my team’s growth and development has

their employees to address any issues or concerns that they have.

been inspiring to watch and has been a blueprint for others to do

As well as also supporting their staff with training and development

the same.”

programs, they offer internal mentorship, where members of staff

As Jason described his team’s growth as a “blueprint for others”,

coach each other in how to achieve best within their roles. ‘Idea

we asked what leadership advice he has for others to follow, and

For the last 16 years Minerva has provided a training co-ordination service to South African Companies, working with the company’s expert staff and consultants on transformation and skills development. We are proud to have Prommac as one of our clients and congratulate them on their achievements. At Minerva we believe that the funding of skills development should be a strategic decision which not only makes good business sense by upskilling the company’s own staff but also through sponsoring meaningful skills development for unemployed previously disadvantaged South African’s. Our vision to change lives one learner at a time cannot be achieved without the involvement and support of companies such as Prommac. Once again Prommac are involved in providing the means for training unemployed learners in rural KwaZulu Natal, an area of South Africa with a disproportionately high

unemployment and poverty rate. This years learners will undergo theoretical and practical training in the field of Community Healthcare. During their programme learners will undertake mentored workplace experience in a variety of healthcare areas in the field. Their care will provide needed help in rural communities who otherwise may not receive any assistance. On completion the learners will receive a qualification enabling them to seek full time employment in a field of endeavour much needed in the country.

Prommac’s sponsorship and involvement in this and other projects to develop skills of individuals is making a difference and CHANGING LIVES.

Tel: +27 16 423-1030, Fax: +27 866 981-265, Cell: +27 82 451-5712, e-mail:

42 | Endeavour Magazine

what lessons he feels he’s learnt in growing Prommac that others

have allowed our group to grow at scale without compromising on

can apply:

safety, schedule, quality and cost. By investing in technology that

“Create a vision and understand the real purpose of your business

supports productivity, digital learning experiences and master class

other than delivering shareholder value. Then, communicate this

training programs, we are able to scale our systems and young team

vision regularly and inspire the team to achieve it. Remain humble

to be their best. The more ‘OROS’ you can instil upon your team,

and treat people fairly as today’s success could lead to tomorrow’s

the better the culture will be.”

failure. In today’s society, it is easy for everyone to get confused by

With a strong dose of ‘OROS’ in everything they do, Prommac

the world around us… geo-politics, poor economies, unemployment,

put as much focus into the internal management of their company

poor financial situations, technological advancements and artificial

as they do their careful management of their clients’ projects. As

intelligence all have different effects on people. Our role is to make

part of a wider network of teams, they are both clear on their own

sure we don’t give our teams so much that they fall hard, but at the

identity, and an essential cog in a wider, harmonious machine. It’s

same time, to give them enough slack that they can challenge our

unusual to find their approach to work culture within their sector,

own beliefs and ways of doing things. Everyone has talent, and it’s

but why not? If it works for Google, it can work for anyone, and as

up to us as leaders to unlock that talent and place them in the best

Prommac and New Age’s growth suggest, it is!

position in the team.” An analogy that Jason often uses when he talks about success is something that he called the “OROS Effect”. OROS is a concentrated fruit drink in South Africa, and Jason uses it to demonstrate that growing a business too fast can dilute the sense of company culture if there isn’t a strong enough presence of it. This balance between culture and growth is the OROS-to-water balance in Jason’s metaphor: “I believe we have achieved the right strength of OROS through several innovative initiatives, which

Endeavour Magazine | 43




hen the DS brand launched, it promised to introduce a new vehicle





each new model of vehicle would also be released in an electric version. This year, the brand is delivering on that promise with the DS 3 Crossback and their first fully electric vehicle, the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense. With this model, the brand intends to continue in their ambition to become the leader of the B-SUV premium segment. Their previous model, the DS 7 Crossback, gave

Marion David, the Product Director for

charisma, whilst the solid bonnet and

them a boost in reputation due to its high

the DS series, lists the DS 3 Crossback’s

690mm wheels befit an attractive SUV. In

standards of comfort and technology, but



fact, its wheels are the largest in its class,

the DS 3 Crossback seeks to take this to

style”, “driving pleasure” and “high tech”.

giving the vehicle a strong stature on the

the next level.

It combines highly attractive styling with

road. Little details such as invisible window

To clear up a common misconception

more high-tech features than any other

seals keep every inch of the design looking

before we continue, this latest vehicle is not

vehicle in this segment: the flush-fitting

sleek, and just as much attention is paid

seeking to replace the brand’s standard DS

door handles, fully digital cockpit and many

to the interior; attentive craftsmanship

3: the DS 3 is a three-door hatchback less

driver assistance systems are all exclusive

has been put into the watchstrap design

than 4m long, while the DS 3 Crossback is

to this model, as are its DS Matrix LED

for the vehicle’s leather seats, the padded

a far taller five-door SUV, measuring 4.12m

Vision headlamps.

dashboard and of course the use of pearl

in length, continuing to enjoy success in its own right. 44 | Endeavour Magazine




The exterior design seeks to impress:

stitch, a decorative top stitch unique to

its finely chiseled grille offers a sense of

DS in the world of cars. The way their

leather is treated cannot be industrialised;

designed, offering a variety of storage

any length of trip. In some versions of

the watchstrap design is made by hand by

options, a phone charger, cup holders, and a

the DS 3 Crossback, these seats may also

upholstery experts.

sliding armrest. In the front and in the rear,

be electric powered, heated and offer a

As well as paying this level of attention to

there is notable elbow room, roof height

massage function.

the minor details, the brand has allowed its

and leg room. The split-fold rear bench seat

customers plenty of freedom in customising

allows you to increase the 350-litre boot

importance to the design of the DS 3

their car to their specifications. The DS 3

volume to 1,050 litres, providing a generous

Crossback. To achieve as much sound

Crossback’s ‘floating roof’ is available in

loading space given how compact the


three colours, as well as ten wheel styles

vehicle is. The upholstery of the passenger


and ten body colours, including the brand

compartment also offers high levels of

including increasing the thickness of door

new ‘Pearl Crystal’.













comfort thanks to its use of high-density

panels, using thickened glass and adopting

The passenger compartment of the

foam. The seats are contoured and feature

an acoustic windscreen. Within this quiet

DS 3 Crossback is not only huge but well

this foam to offer maximum comfort for

environment, passengers can then make the Endeavour Magazine | 45

most of the model’s audio system, for which

inside the shark fins, which helps give a

the DS team renewed their partnership with

balanced sound.

However, out of all of this, the truest innovation has to be the E-Tense. The DS

French company FOCAL. FOCAL previously

Great attention has also been paid to

3 Crossback E-Tense is a pioneer for DS, as

worked with DS engineers and technicians

safety; designed with a high waistline and

its first all-electric vehicle. With a 50-kWh

to develop the Electra®, used exclusively

fitted with eight airbags to strive to be as

battery and an electric motor of 100 KW

in the brand’s vehicles. Equipped with

safe as possible, the DS 3 Crossback is

(or 136 bhp DIN), it delivers an exceptional

12 speakers and 515 W amplifier for an

equipped with a variety of contemporary


exceptional audio experience, this system

active and passive safety systems such

torque available from start-up. As a result,

features speakers ideally spread and

as the tire pressure monitoring system,

it can accelerate from 0 to 100 km in just

positioned throughout the DS 3 Crossback’s

ABS with braking distributor, ESP, active

8.7 seconds (and from 0 to 50 km in 3.3

passenger compartment. For example,


seconds). Taking advantage of a very low

the rear tweeters have been placed

hill-start assist.

46 | Endeavour Magazine









centre of gravity, with the batteries under

the floor, the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense

DS’s stores and showrooms, and it is even

delivers a flawless ride. Moreover, with the

possible to order the vehicle online and

ICE model already providing an excellent

have it delivered to your home, including

base in terms of soundproofing, the

customisations. It is both a reliable and

electric version also sets a new standard

sleekly designed vehicle, and we aren’t

for interior ambient noise levels. Offering a

surprised that DS is so proud of the result.

range of 320 km in a WLTP cycle, the DS


3 Crossback E-Tense can complete an 80%

E-Tense, their latest contribution to the

battery charge in just 30 minutes from a

ever-evolving EV market.





public fast-charging point. Both the DS 3 Crossback and the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense can be purchased via Endeavour Magazine | 47






Specialist Builder of Structural Steelworks Leading Manufacturer of Bolts, Nuts, and Tunnel & Rail Systems | 18 Tuas Street, Singapore 638455 Tel: (+65) 62650550 / Fax: (+65) 6262 0550 | Email:


SHAPING A BETTER FUTURE A vital cog in the South African automotive and export markets, Formex Industries is shaping more than just the metal components that it has become respected for. WRITTEN BY AMY BUXTON


The most successful companies in the world are those that design every facet of their operation, down to the minutest detail, in order to contribute to maximised efficiency and Formex Industries (Formex) is a prime example of this approach.


hile the day-to-day activities of Formex revolve around the manipulation of metal, careful scrutiny was given to pertinent details, right from the company’s inception,

including location, “Formex Industries is a metal forming and assembly company that supplies a variety of complex products to the local automotive industry and export market. The company is based in the Nelson Mandela Bay metropole, South Africa’s foremost region for automotive manufacturing and export.” They say that location is everything, but when you add in an exceptional product and a commitment to creating employment opportunities for local people, that’s a real recipe for success. It’s also the secret to standing out in a potentially crowded market. Quality products will only take a company so far these days, as ethics and a local connection are consistently being heralded as sought-after requirements in any supply chain. Fortunately, Formex identified this very early on and has shaped itself, as well as its product portfolio, accordingly.

BUILT FOR PURPOSE Formex is owned by Deneb Investments Limited - a subsidiary of Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited (HCI) - one of South 52 | Endeavour Magazine

FORMEX INDUSTRIES Africa’s biggest true B-BBEE companies listed on the Johannesburg

Six Sigma (a data-driven approach for eliminating product and

Stock Exchange (JSE). The company is proud to supply parts to

manufacturing defects).”

OEMs, including Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, as well as exporting out to North and South America, Asia and Europe


and its offerings are suitably diverse. Metal pressing, complex

The South African automotive industry is competitive and

welded assembly, laser tube welding and tube manipulation are all

a little different in that tenders for the supply of parts to OEMs

part of the services portfolio, with some more specialist options

have to be opened up to international bidders. Because of this,

also available,

Formex has to perform on a global platform at all times and to give

“Formex specialises in producing components for the catalytic converter industry (cones, manipulated tubing, straight tubing, half

it an edge, the company has committed to a set of standards that sets it apart,

shells, manifolds, heat shields etc) as well as metal components

“Quality products with efficient pricing and a reliable supply is

and assemblies for the various vehicles (oil sumps, clutch and brake

absolutely key in the local automotive industry. Formex was one of

assemblies, tunnel and sill assemblies, inner door frames, room

the first few companies in South Africa to make the transition to

members etc).”

the new global industry standard by the International Automotive

Not only is Formex a first-tier supplier, working directly with OEMs, but it has also carved itself a niche within the second tier of the local supply chain, by selling to other first-tier operations:

Task Force (IATF). Formex holds an IATF 16949 certification, which guarantees quality products, efficient cost and reliable supply.” The IATF certification is a recognised guarantee of subscription

“Formex has a deep understanding and knowledge of world-

to globally compliant standards and coupled with Formex’s track

class manufacturing processes, including lean manufacturing (waste

record for enjoying successful working relationships with its

minimisation practices that don’t compromise on productivity) and

partners, it makes for a covetable partner in a crowded market.

54 | Endeavour Magazine

CONTRIBUTING TO A STRONGER SOUTH AFRICA As previously mentioned, Formex has an intrinsic interest in

and Formex has met all the relevant criteria to be eligible for an opportunity-giving grant,

contributing to the local economy and it takes its responsibility

“With a start base grant of 25%, the Automotive Investment

seriously. There’s no simple paying of lip service here, as that

Scheme will increase the grant proportionately to a maximum level

wouldn’t benefit the country and the people that live in it, but

of 35% if a company meets the added criteria of B-BBBEE Level 4

instead, a rooted and deep desire to do the most possible, not least

and up, a turnover growth and job creation. Formex has met and

to merely look compliant,

retained all the criteria to maximise this grant.”

“Formex is accredited as being a Level 2 B-BBEE (Broad-Based

“Formex has remained focused around their clients’ needs

Black Economic Empowerment) supplier with over 80% black

and with the dual intent on transformation and investment, will

ownership, of which more than 40% are black women. Industry

resolutely aspire to new heights and realise immense opportunities

transformation is an important step to securing the future through

for the automotive industry. This is a powerful message of vision

skills development and equity sharing. Employee education and

and accountability, both for the Eastern Cape and for the country

skills development are a priority for Formex, ensuring that technical

as a whole.”

and management skills are improved and transferred into the local economy.” This ties in beautifully with an objective that has been set out for South Africa to account for 1% of global vehicle manufacturing

A global industry-supporting company, underpinned by quality, ethics and a desire to go above and beyond the call of duty. That’s Formex in a nutshell and it’s going to be fascinating to see how it continues to shape the future of South Africa.

outputs, including 60% local parts in vehicles made in the country. There is also a mandate in place to double the number of industry employees and to become a global leader in terms of standards

Endeavour Magazine | 55


A FAST-TRACK TO GOLD Tietto Minerals is a junior exploration company operating out of West Africa that bills itself as focusing on “fast-tracking the development of gold”. We spoke with Caigen Wang, company Founder and Managing Director, to see how they attempt to achieve this goal. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


Tietto Minerals was founded in 2010, when Australia-based Caigen decided to turn his academic involvement with the mining sector into the practical kind. The junior exploration company was originally intended to operate in Western Australia, where Caigen had working in the sector for ten years, following a career in education where he specialised in mining technology.


amiliar with the Australian mining world both through

“We really enjoy working in Côte d’Ivoire. They have very

experience and study, Caigen assessed his options, but

good infrastructure and logistical supplies. Finding spare parts

eventually concluded that the industry was bloated, and that

for machinery can sometimes be a challenge, but the country’s

it was too dominated by established names to provide fruitful

Ministry of Mines is very efficient, so we really don’t encounter

opportunities for his new company. So, he turned his attention to

many challenges.” It is partly these working conditions, but largely

the rest of the globe, and soon settled on West Africa. If one was

the promising explorative data, that has prompted Tietto to put

willing to invest the time and the funds, Caigen saw the potential

most of its eggs in the Côte d’Ivoire basket. That said, their projects

in West Africa to yield far greater success; it would be more of a

in Liberia are also starting to explore in earnest.

challenge, but the rewards would be a less glutted market to operate within, and the space to find promising prospects to explore.

“At this stage, we are focusing on resource growth, so will not be rushing towards a mine development at this stage. However, we

Nine years later, Caigen is continuing to apply what he learnt

have a major resource update this month, and another at the end

in Australia, but has also become well-acquainted with his new

of the year. After these, we will then begin to look properly at the

environment. The company started out with a licence in Liberia in

mine development side of operations.”

2010; it now has two projects in the Republic of Liberia, in Dube

“I think it’s going to be a slow growth moving forwards. However,

South and Cestos, and it has also expanded into Côte d’Ivoire.

we’re expecting the transition from exploration to production to be

Despite not entering Côte d’Ivoire until 2012, two years after their

a smooth transition, as we have the support of the community, and

first project began, this has become the most advanced, and is now

of the government as well..”

treated as Tietto’s main focus.

At their Côte d’Ivoire project, Tietto currently employs between

This jewel of their portfolio is still only 5% explored, but they

70-120 people, with the addition of many part-time locals. In their

have high hopes for its prospects. Multiple sections of gold veins

Liberia projects, as well, a full-time team of both local and expat

have been exposed by artisanal mining. All illegal miners have now

employees in complimented by part-time local labourers. In all

been removed from the area by the government, and the company

three areas, this allows Tietto to give back to the local economies in

has set out 11 key areas that it plans to drill. Of these, it has so far

a direct way, as well as helping to address the issue of the artisanal

drilled four. “We are currently working towards a resource update

mining that its operations have replaced. In fact, expats are only

at the end of this month,” Caigen informs us, “And we are expecting

hired in specific cases, where a particular skill cannot be found

to have a mature increase of this resource.”

locally, but the company makes it a priority to hire locally as much

58 | Endeavour Magazine

TIETTO MINERALS LIMITED as is possible. “Working in the community is our main principle.

As well as being careful not the disrupt the local people. Tietto is

We also work to bring awareness of our operations to these

careful not to disrupt the local environment. The two are essentially

communities, to make sure they understand what we are doing.

one and the same, because any damage to the environment has a

So, that cooperation has been quite successful.” This open back

direct impact on the people living in and around it, and in many

and forth has allowed Tietto to navigate local feeling and avoid

cases, relying on it. Currently, there is little fallout to watch out

causing a clash with or damage to the community, which is always

for, but Tietto is still being mindful of it: “At this stage, as we are

an essential focus and concern for a mining company, whether

still in the exploration stage, our impact to the environment is at a

explorational or operational.

minimum, particularly as in West Africa, you have so much rainfall

Tietto’s exceptions to hiring locally are reserved for roles such

that if you cut some grass, say, it is soon back to normal.”

as technical experts, who are brought it to work closely with these

“In Côte d’Ivoire, we did need to cut down a few trees to make

local managers. Both technical knowledge and an understanding

an access road, but we did this is a careful manner. We have experts

of the land and community are essential for overseeing projects

working on an assessment of the cost of the tree – how much it

such as these, and so these two groups are asked to work together

would cost to replace – so that we could prepare the funds and

and combine this knowledge. Sometimes, sourcing technical

deliver them through government officials to the farmers and land

experts has involved Tietto taking on students, offering them the

owners who were affected.” This carefully assessment, combined

opportunity to put their talents into action, whilst providing the

with an open communication with said land owners, has proven

company with the talents it needs. These students assist in the

successful in allowing Tietto to stay accountable for any impact

implementation of the most modern exploration technologies,

they make, and to make this minimal impact whilst maintaining a

combining geophysics and geochemistry. However, this is only a

positive relationship with the community.

handful of staff, compared to the many locals that Tietto employ, from labourers to team supervisors well-versed in the land.

60 | Endeavour Magazine

From working as a university lecturer on the topic to working his way through the sector itself, Caigen feels that the only successful


Fast D

way for an exploration company to operate is to balance its perspective between a geologist’s mindset, and a mine engineer’s. Whilst exploration is a geological undertaking, a project must have

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a potential commercial value that justifies the amount of work and investment going into it. Exploration is, essentially, an informed gamble, and when appealing to investors, this gamble must seem as limited as possible. “It is quite hard to find the right project, but the money is there. You have to make sure that your investors understand the industry and the real value of the project. If that can be presented to them, then everything will be fine.” A gamble will always be involved, and you can’t win every time, but through a careful approach and the right level of expert analysis, Tietto does its best to minimise its investors risks and maximise a speedy return on their investment – at least, as ‘speedy’ as anything can be in the world of mining!

PROFESSIONAL, EARNED THE TRUSTWORTHY. With A NOCK600 drill rig, Tiebaya Gold SA has achieved an average 1655m/month drilling progression in its Abuja Project, Cote D’Ivoire. Its 2nd drill rig of NOCK800 has just appeared at the same site, at where the rig is expectable to be much better performance.

NOCK MAN-PORTABLE DRILL RIGS MANUFACTURED FOR Fast Drilling ○ Quick Moving ○ Reliable Running  0086-13666235996 Endeavour Magazine | 61


ADAPTING TO AFRICA’S ENERGY NEEDS A highly respected independent provider of oil and gas products and services across sub-Saharan Africa, Oryx Energies is on a mission to grow and develop in proportion with the region it is so committed to supporting. WRITTEN BY AMY BUXTON


Attending to the oil and gas needs of Sub-Saharan Africa for over 30 years, Oryx Energies (Oryx) has become something of an expert in the field. The result of an exciting merger managed by AOG, a private investment group that enjoys majority ownership of Oryx, the company has been consistently driven by both demand and consumer satisfaction in the oil and downstream sectors.


ur oil trading division began in 1987, as the first activity of the Addax and Oryx Group (AOG). Focused, initially, on the purchase and delivery of crude oil and refined

Private Oil and Gas Company Registered in 2014 in Kenya Trading in Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo, South Sudan, Mozambique, Tanzania, Burundi and Somalia.

petroleum products for Africa, it rapidly expanded, ensuring imports of gasoline, jet fuel and heating oil for coastal and inland nations in West and then East Africa. It subsequently became a leading company in the independent petroleum trade in Africa.” To immediately enter into a programme of diversification and growth is a bold move, but Oryx clearly identified a gap in the market

Similar to the history of the Texas oil boom in the U.S, Texas Energy Ltd positions itself as a Pan African Oil and Gas company with a vision to offer African countries energy solutions to our African continent. Our purpose is to participate in the development of the downstream sector opportunities as well as partner in the upstream activities with renowned petroleum E&P companies in sustainable extraction and exploitation of oil and gas discoveries for the benefit of the African people

for certain products and took advantage of an opportunity to bring

Phone: +254 20 2000 421 Mobile: +254 708 414 874 13th Floor, Barclays Plaza, Loita Street, Nairobi. Kenya

special operation, but let’s not forget that downstream operations

“Our downstream operations also began in 1989, when AOG

64 | Endeavour Magazine

them to waiting consumers. This is clear from the fact that 1989, just two short years after initial oil trading began, extra offerings were added to the service roster, including a bunkering arm. Providing fuel, lubricants and vital services to offshore clients, this part of the company exploited the woeful lack of servicing available to commercial ships, fishing vessels and offshore platforms. It’s extraordinary to note that Oryx was able to offer services to a wealth of different customers and industries, while simultaneously remaining niche in its level of expertise. That truly is the mark of a were also being undertaken. acquired and upgraded the Exxon petroleum depot in Dakar, Senegal. This natural and rapid extension from trading into physical

AINUSHAMSI ENERGY has embarked on a rapid expansion drive in Kenya and other Eastern Africa markets aimed at positioning the company among the top leading oil marketers in the region. In the last two years, the company has opened seven retail stations in Kenya and another six in Uganda under the AS Energy brand. In 2016, Ainushamsi introduced their own lubricants brand while this year, the company has ventured into the LPG segment.

Our Products and Services

Petroleum fuels (Diesel, Super Petrol, Kerosene & Jet Fuel) both Local & Export Fuel Oil, Furnace Oil & Bitumen Lubricants, Oils & Greases Bunkering & Ship Back loading Transport and Logistics ( Both dry & wet cargo)

Quality, High Performance Lubes Quality, High Performance Lubes

Ancillary Service Station services including Service Bay, Tyre Centre & Convenience Stores

Ainushamsi Energy Kenya Limited| P.O Box 5134-00506 | TEL: +254 704 923473 | Email: | 4TH Floor Mayfair Centre | Ralph Bunche Road | Nairobi, Kenya


Safe, Clean, Reliable Gas Endeavour Magazine | 65

ORYX ENERGIES assets reflected our early understanding and commitment to the

related specialist products over the years. These include Liquefied

need to respond to Africa’s growing energy needs by reaching end

Petroleum Gas (LPG) as a modern replacement for firewood,

consumers. This commitment has continued to grow over the years

charcoal and paraffin (kerosene) for heating and cooking; lubricants

and makes Oryx Energies one of the largest and longest established,

for consumers, businesses and marine customers and, more

and most experienced, independent downstream businesses on

recently, bitumen to support infrastructure development.”

the continent.”

So why has Oryx embarked on such a fierce programme of

With such expansion in place, support systems were duly looked

expansion? Firstly, there is a demonstrable need for the products

at next, with numerous secure storage facilities being erected in

and services that the company specialises in and secondly, Africa

strategically sensible locations. Designed to guarantee a reliable

needs innovative and committed organisations to support the

supply of high-quality products to both regional hubs and those

economy. This responsibility is taken extremely seriously at Oryx:

areas that are notoriously more difficult to service, these storage

“Our vision is to be the most admired, independent oil and

outlets were just another example of how important integrated

gas company in sub-Saharan Africa. With over 30 years in Africa,

solutions are to Oryx.

and a presence in over 20 Sub-Saharan countries, this vision

So many other operations would have simply sought to expand,

reflects our continued commitment to supporting economic and

without thought or acknowledgement of potential consequences

social evolution in Africa. Our business strategy for achieving

down the line, but Oryx is on a mission to “inspire change” and

this focuses on our becoming the most extensive, integrated

you don’t manage that through incomplete diversification plans. In

downstream platform in the region. This will reinforce our ability

fact, Oryx has made diversification look far easier than it actually is,

to respond and adapt, quickly and reliably, to the product and

in practice:

service needs of our oil and gas customers, whether businesses

“Our commitment to providing a complete range of energy solutions in Africa has seen us diversify into several energy-

or private consumers, across one of the fastest growing regions in the world.”

Northline Limited 4th Floor, AACC Building, Waiyaki Way, P.O. Box 50690-00200, Nairobi, KENYA Mobile: +254-704-231-737

are proud to be working together with

Oryx Energies

on their successful endeavours

66 | Endeavour Magazine

We at PRIMEFUELS aim to offer regional logistics solutions in East and Central Africa. We have a successful history of transporting bulk liquids and are happy to support Oryx Energies as a transport partner. As a team we are dedicated to providing transportation solutions that include trained staff, use of quality equipment with a focus on safety, reliability and use of technology to update our customers. The trust our customers place on our performance for each delivery is our highest priority.

Integrated Supply Chain in Motion.

Email: Contact: +255 784772701(Tanzania), +254 798449976 (Kenya), +256 706000198(Uganda) Endeavour Magazine | 67

ORYX ENERGIES There’s no questioning that this vision has been brought into being and that integration has well and truly been accomplished.

it’s the specialty products and services that will make the biggest impact on the country:

With a supply, storage and distribution operating model in action,

“Expansion of our network of LPG storage, filling and

Oryx is able to maintain industry domination, while satisfying

distribution centres that supply key industries and the demands of

customers countrywide and being ready to react to any and all

domestic cooking and heating in urban and rural areas of Africa will

market changes. As an added bonus, there is a level of environmental

be key. Growth of our young bitumen business, as a vital resource

awareness and responsibility being demonstrated that is unusual

for the infrastructure projects that are accompanying Africa’s

for high-performing companies within the energy sector:

development is also critical.”

“Our model will enable us to help to reduce the environmental

Having a proven track record of successful growth initiatives,

and health challenges of the extensive use of firewood, charcoal

there’s no doubting that Oryx is going to continue going from

and kerosene energy sources.”

strength to strength, but it will be fascinating to see how sub-

Oryx is therefore proving that diversification and growth don’t have to be attained to the detriment of other important issues. By constantly investigating environmentally advantageous energy solutions and promoting them throughout Africa, the future looks set to be a whole lot greener, as well as even more successful. In a bid to continue on the same path of conscious growth, with a side helping of social responsibility and new product development, Oryx has devised a corporate strategy that will see it focussing on presence expansion in three key areas. Both the fuel and storage and distribution arms are set to be significantly invested in, but

68 | Endeavour Magazine

Saharan Africa benefits from playing host to such a responsible and giving operation.

We don’t just represent our clients’ views. We champion their causes. A well-balanced blend of legal disciplines and outstanding skill KSMO Advocates is a private legal practice firm founded in October 2006. The firm has five (5) partners and a distinguished consultant with excellent academic and professional qualifications and vital hands - on - experience in legal practice.

KSMO Advocates is a full service commercial law firm with two broad practice areas, namely; Corporate and Commercial Services and Civil & Commercial Litigation.

Telephone: (+256) 414-237796 FAX: (+256) 414-237 794 Crested Towers 5th Floor, Short Tower, Plot 17 Hannington Road. P.O.Box 23064 Kampala.

P. O. Box 8710-30100 Eldoret-Kenya Phone: +254722647101 Office: Santury Court 2nd fl, Eldoret Email: Single-disciplinary company offering fuel logistics solutions

We have massively invested in the fuel transport sector so as to offer you with the most reliable fuel transport solutions.

Massive fleet of over 30 Fuel transport trucks

These vehicles are always in perfect operating conditions to ensure no unnecessary inconveniences are caused to our clients

GPS enabled trackers

The safety of your cargo is essential to us. Endeavour Magazine | 69




ocated in the southwest of Bolivia,

50% of the world’s known lithium reserves

Every November, the Salar becomes a

near the crest of the Andes, the Salar

alone. The Salar also contains large amounts

major breeding ground for three species

de Uyuni on first glance seems like a

of sodium, potassium and magnesium.

of pink flamingo: the Chilean, Andean and

vast open plain devoid of life or interesting

Following rain, this expansive area of

rarer James’s flamingos. The pink of these

features. However, look closer and it

nothing but clear skies as far as the eye

birds against the white of the salt flats is a

quickly becomes apparent that this is one

can see transforms into a breath-taking

sight to behold. Flamingos are not the only

of the most wondrous locations to visit

spectacle. A thin layer of completely calm

creatures to reside there either, with some

in the world. Salar de Uyuni is the world’s

water turns the Salar into the world’s

80 other bird species visiting the Salar. The

largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometres

largest natural mirror, giving it an eerie

Andean fox (known as a culpeo) can also be

(4,086 square miles) and sits at an elevation



found roaming the flats, searching for the

of 3,656 metres above sea level.



attracts many visitors each year between

rabbit-like viscachas who make their homes

Formed as a result of the changes

February and April (the rainy season in

on the ‘islands’ found in the Salar.

between several prehistoric lakes, it is

Bolivia), offering them a frankly humbling

One major tourist attraction to be

covered by a few metres of salt crust that

experience as they stand in the deafening

found in this desolate place is an antique

hides a pool of brine exceptionally rich in

silence in one of the loneliest places on

train cemetery. Located 3 kilometres

lithium. Unbelievably, it contains nearly

Earth, staring into infinity.

outside the city of Uyuni, which itself sits

70 | Endeavour Magazine

just to the southeast of the Salar, this industrial graveyard is a stark reminder of Bolivia’s difficulties in the 1940s. Rail construction started originally in 1888, encouraged by then Bolivian President Aniceto Arce, who believed that his country

Despite the aim being for the train

in minerals, and the trains were slowly

would flourish from having such a reliable

service to carry passengers as well as cargo,

abandoned, left to slumber on their tracks

transport system.

the mining companies took precedence.

like sleeping metal behemoths. The Salar

Uyuni became a distribution hub for

However, problems soon began to arise

and the region around it became silent

the trains carrying minerals from the

when the local indigenous people (the

once more.

mining operations set up across the region,

Aymara) saw the railway network as

The Salar de Uyuni is unique. Where

taking them to ports on the Pacific coast.

an intrusion to their lives and so they

else can you walk on infinity while watching

This spike in industrial activity increased

constantly sabotaged trains and railways in

thousands of flamingos fly over a graveyard

the population of Uyuni as rail engineers

defiance of this new industrial era.

of locomotives?

moved to the area, many of them coming from the UK.

However, in the 1940s, the mining industry collapsed, partly due to a depletion Endeavour Magazine | 71


BUT FIRST, COFFEE The only way to start the day for many people, coffee is a commodity that is consistently gaining popularity and traction, but CCL Products has long seen the potential of the liquid ‘black gold’ and is now a serious global player. WRITTEN BY AMY BUXTON


Few products can be heralded as fueling or supporting countless others, but coffee is one of them. Moreover, it has become a passion, a ritual and a lifestyle for countless people around the world, which means that there is an enormous market for high quality coffee that can satisfy even the most discerning of palates and that’s where CCL Products (CCL) comes in.


tarted in 1994, before coffee was the fashionable commodity

parts of the world. Our coffee is manufactured at -60 degree Celsius

that it is now, CCL had a vision of creating and distributing

to retain the original flavour and aroma. We are among the only

the best instant product in the world. The foresight of the

companies in the world to produce all four types of pure soluble

company allowed it to become a household name, before so many lesser competitors jumped on the bandwagon, and it has remained committed to the standards and integrity that it was founded upon

coffee from a single location; we deliver only the finest.”


“At CCL Products, we have taught ourselves to do business with

CCL enjoys a large worldwide customer base and that’s only

integrity, commitment and an unwavering effort to maintain the

ever going to grow, thanks to the increase in coffee interest, and

highest quality standards in the industry. Our strong infrastructural

to be able to cater to everybody, the company has been careful

backbone and a global client repertoire in over 90 countries have

to invest in suitable premises, equipment and processes. With

led us to evolve into the largest instant coffee exporter in private

this in mind, a state-of-the-art soluble coffee plant was set up in

labelling, in the world.”

2005, alongside the first freeze-dried plant, supported by the best technology that money can buy,


“CCL Products has adapted Swiss and Brazilian technology,

You’d be forgiven for assuming that instant coffee is a one-

purchased from world-renowned pioneers in turnkey instant/

dimensional product and maybe for some companies it is, but

soluble coffee technology at its plant. This adaptation of technology

CCL has consistently sought to branch out into new, exciting and

has enabled CCL Products to produce international quality soluble

convenient lines that will delight and satisfy customers in equal

coffee, which is currently being exported to more than 80 countries

measure. From freeze-dried granules to powder, decaffeinated,

across the globe.”

flavoured and even pre-creamed and sugared, there’s a coffee

The investments have paid off and then some, given that CCL

product for everybody in the CCL portfolio and they’ve all been

has been certified to produce a number of carefully vetted and

produced alongside the same set of stringent standards,

specialist products and is now able to produce organic, Rainforest

“Upholding the reputation for being one of the most trusted

Alliance and Fairtrade coffee in a variety of different incarnations.

brands in the industry, CCL Products is committed to delivering its

This is something of an honour and one that is only bestowed onto

promise of manufacturing unparalleled quality products. Roasted,

companies that can clearly demonstrate compliance to stringent

blended and processed to the precise requirements of our clients,

rules and quality standards. In a similar vein, kosher and halal

the Arabica and Robusta green coffee is handpicked from different

certifications are also in place, demonstrating that diversity isn’t

74 | Endeavour Magazine

CCL PRODUCTS limited to the style of coffee on offer from CCL, but is contingent

rural areas, infrastructure and sanitation development, welfare of

on pleasing as many customers as possible, addressing their needs

children and facilitating pure drinking water to the identified rural

or wants:

areas in and around the factory at Duggirala. The Company also

“At CCL Products, we are devoted to achieving the highest

contributed towards improvement of health and sanitation to set

standards of quality. As part of this process, we at CCL Products

up green toilets at several places throughout the Guntur District

carefully choose the coffee beans, with utmost care, to meet the

and constructed houses for Hudhud cyclone victims.”

requirements of the customer, for manufacture of the final product.

By being willing to combine a thirst for commercial success with

Further, a comprehensive control system has been put in place,

ethical underpinnings, CCL is proving that the two can go hand-

alongside sampling and tasting procedures, in consonance with the

in-hand. Moreover, employment opportunities and community

best industry standards, in order to ensure the best quality of the

growth can be guaranteed as well, which ties into the business

final product.”

objective of respecting surrounding societies, the environment and

It’s not just products that are given the high-quality treatment, however, as CCL has long been dedicated to upholding levels of Corporate Social Responsibility far above those that are expected.


all stakeholders. If just one word could be used to describe CCL, it would have to be ‘diverse’. From the sheer volume of different products on offer through to the various packaging options and even the ways in which each blend is produced and for whom, CCL is no one-trick

Keen to operate as a Fairtrade outfit, as well as an environmentally

pony. What it is, is a global giant that shows no sign of slowing

responsible one, CCL consistently seeks out opportunities to

down or becoming diluted. If anything, it’s set to remain just as

contribute to the local communities that it operates within,

strong and eye-opening as the products that have made it such a

“The Company, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, undertook many projects like promotion of education in

76 | Endeavour Magazine

commercial force to be reckoned with.

Flavourtech are world leaders in the design and manufacture of thin-film, spinning cone technologies for the production of premium aroma, extracts and concentrates. Their expertise covers turn-key solutions for the production of highquality Instant and Ready To Drink Tea and Coffee. Flavourtech are proud to be working with CCL Products to produce premium, full-flavoured instant coffee utilising unique processing technologies.

f l avo u rt e Ch

partnering with

CC l to create

high quality

i nsta nt Co f f e e integrated extraCtion system High Quality High Yield

NH INTERNATIONAL WWW.NH.TT // 001 868 622 7402

SHIFTING LANDSCAPES, BUILDING NATIONS A bright, spacious office building in the sun-drenched city of St James, Trinidad, is the pleasant location of the head office of one of the Caribbean region’s most expert and trusted construction companies. WRITTEN BY CLAIRE HAMILTON RUSSELL


Containing all the primary support functions, from IT to HR, technical services and procurement, as well as the offices of the Executive Chairman and Managing Directors, this building is the nerve centre of NH International (Caribbean) Ltd, whose sphere of operations spreads out from here to over a dozen countries across the entire Caribbean region, stretching from the Bahamas in the North to Trinidad and Tobago in the South; from Barbados in the East all the way to Jamaica in the West.


has built its reputation in the Caribbean region from the

in Anguilla, the Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat,

ground up. Initially founded 26 years ago as an alliance

St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, and Trinidad and Tobago,

between Emile Elias & Co Ltd and Northwest Holst

but international institutions such as the BAA, for whom one of

International Ltd, the company came about in its present form in

the fledgling company’s first projects, Hewanorra Airport, was built

1995 when the Emile Elias Group – a long-established company

in 1993.

which celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2015 – undertook a strategic

In addition to their public works, the company has also produced

buyout of the Caribbean operations of its partner business. NH

more than US$1 billion worth of construction for private developers

International (Caribbean) Ltd was thus born as an industry leader,

in the Caribbean area, tackling projects such as commercial resorts,

proudly acclaimed as a flagship company by its parent group, and,

office buildings and residential building developments, providing

in the 23 years since, has cemented its reputation as a respected

infrastructure that has boosted tourism and commercial revenue

constructor and financer of vital large-scale private developments

as well as attractive but affordable housing stock across the region.

and social infrastructure projects which frequently transform their

Executive Chairman Emile Elias speaks with great pride of the

local and national communities.

company’s record in building vital infrastructure and expanding

Refusing to allow itself to be pigeonholed, NH has embraced

social and commercial development in the region’s many young

the challenge of project diversity with enthusiasm and gone to

countries. “We encourage innovation to achieve our goals, making

undertake construction and development projects across a broad

sure our staff has the skills, information and the latest technology

scale; from small-scale specialist projects, such as the complete

required to meet client specifications. We take pride in consistently

furbishment from the building shell of four orthopaedic wards in

exceeding our clients’ expectations.”

San Fernando Hospital, to the creation of entire city square areas,

The company’s governing philosophy emphasises a strong

namely the Government Campus Plaza in Port of Spain, and the full

ethos of corporate responsibility, sustainability, cost-effectiveness,

infrastructure of new residential estates, for example the still-in-

willingness to innovate, and service, both directly to clients and

progress Bon Air North Housing Project in Arouca.

indirectly to the wider community of the region. Elias made these

Although their greatest concentrations of projects are found in

beliefs clear, stating that, “Throughout NH there is the belief that

St Lucia and in Trinidad and Tobago, NH has undertaken building

we must all be good stewards of the resources that are available to

works and developments all across the region. Clients have

us. We see ourselves as nation builders, and we will continue to be

included not only government departments and local authorities

governed by transparency, accountability and fair practice.”

80 | Endeavour Magazine

NH INTERNATIONAL This respect is returned by their clients in the region. A particular

are well known to have always met or exceeded requirements for

mark of the esteem in which NH is held in Trinidad and Tobago

insurance coverage and bonding in their projects, and have a long-

is that they are seven-times recipients of the Trinidad and Tobago

term relationship with their insurance broker which has gone from

Contractors’ Association’s Contractor of the Year Award, but there

strength to strength since the inception of the company.

are many others. The sheer number of public contracts NH has

Even a brief pass across a few of their recent projects shows

been granted by the different governments and departments across

the range and scope of NH’s operations. The Besson Street

the region speaks for itself, as does the massive number of repeat

Police Station in Port of Spain, Trinidad, which was completed in

contracts they continue to win from both government and private

December 2016 - a modern three-storey police station constructed

clients. Their name has become a byword for trustworthiness and

from reinforced concrete using the FORSA aluminium formwork

value for money in the region, while their range of recent projects

system, housed on a post-tensioned slab. For the Fairfield Housing

show that this need not preclude the use of innovative methods

Project, completed in November 2016, NH was contracted for the

and techniques, or of unusual designs made to fit the specific needs

full design and construction of nearly 550 family homes, made of

of a project’s local area and their proposed users and residents.

cast in place reinforced concrete superstructure using the FORSA

This passion for quality and cost-effectiveness in their actual

formwork system atop reinforced concrete columns on augured

construction work is matched in their banking and insurance

piles, while the still-in-progress Bon Air North Housing Project

facilities. NH are known for their strong ethic of financial

is a mix of nearly 400 two-unit and four-unit block townhouses,

responsibility and for keeping in close contact with funders and

and three- and four-storey apartment buildings, including the

financial officers at all stages of a project. They have earned

surrounding civil infrastructure and landscaping. Rosemont Roman

a great deal of respect in the region by offering to meet with

Catholic Primary School was not only constructed on a very limited

clients’ financiers when important projects have run into financial

space due to site restrictions, but also in a very limited time

difficulty, seeking to find ways to keep them moving forward. They

period, with the FORSA aluminium framework and superstructure

82 | Endeavour Magazine

constructed in just fifteen weeks. Available space was so limited

Within the construction sphere specifically, Elias co-founded

that it proved impossible to locate suitable playground space for

the Joint Consultative Council for the Construction Industry (JCC)

the pupils at ground level; the NH teams showed their creative

in 1978, and, while Executive Chair of NH, has served on it to

flair by creating innovative play areas within and on the roof

represent the Trinidad and Tobago Contractors’ Association from

area instead.

1996 onwards. During this period, he also played a substantial part

However influential their creations are in transforming the

in founding the Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute.

landscape, they are not the full story of NH in the Caribbean.

He continues to lead NH forward in offering time, expertise and

NH’s parent company, Emile Elias and Company, and its Executive

resources to many local community and campaigning organisations,

Chairman, Elias himself, have a record of community service and

NGOs and development projects across the Caribbean region, while

engagement in the region extending as far back as the 1960s, when

remaining a major and influential voice for fairness, accountability

they became involved with planning, team building and advocacy

and following best practice within the construction agency.

work for the family planning movement, then expanded to offer these to other local social movements and NGOs. Keen to extend the benefits of his experience as a self-made builder to the community at large, Elias himself founded the National Commission for SelfHelp, offering training and partnership opportunities to a variety of development projects, and served as Chairman until 1996. He was installed as the first lifetime member of the Executive Committee of the Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago, and later went on to found the Cancer Society of Trinidad and Tobago, and co-found the Beryl McBernie Foundation for the Arts.

Endeavour Magazine | 83


A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY Despite some choppy waters for the freight and ferry industry, Finnlines has managed to not only navigate its way through, but also emerge in a buoyant position and Endeavour magazine took a close look, to find out how. WRITTEN BY AMY BUXTON


Founded back in 1947, Oy Finnlines was originally designed to be a solution for the management and traffic of Merivienti Oy, a Finnish operation at the heart of the forestry industry. Don’t let the local element fool you, however, as it quickly became an international marine company, with regular routes being established through the Baltic and North Seas, as well as the Bay of Biscay and into the U.S., all up until the mid-seventies.

Supplier and service partner for shipping and shipyards, on-/offshore, industry, handicraft and construction industry


ith trade routes in place, Finnlines made the adventurous decision to branch out into passenger services as well, back in 1962. Offering services between Hanko, Gotland

and Travemünde, it was instantly recognised that there was a significant need for passenger and ferry connections to mainland Europe. In this way, Finnlines established itself as an innovator in

Everything a ship needs

the industry, which is a reputation that has remained in place up to today. Finnlines is proud to highlight its legacy as a marine operation that is always seeking out new ways to improve existing services and build upon them. A particular point of pride is the consistent investment into the fleet of vessels being utilised: “Over the years, the company has introduced several ‘next generation’ innovations, such as a new kind of gas turbine vessel Finnjet in the mid-1970s, the “jumbo” ro-ro vessel Arcturus in 1982, the new ro-pax vessels Finnstar, Finnmaid, Finnlady and Nordlink in 2006–2007, and last but not least the state-of-the-art ro-ro vessels Finnbreeze, Finnsea, Finnsky, Finnsun, Finntide and Finnwave in 2011–2012.” It gets even more impressive than this. While new vessels are vital for the provision of reliable, efficient and safe transportation of both freight and passengers, there has to be some thought given to environmental concerns. After all, this is 2019 and you can’t enjoy a conversation about a forward-thinking company without

Please contact: Martin Wirz Phone: +49(0)40 - 781109574 · 86 | Endeavour Magazine

addressing its green initiatives and commitment to minimising

FINNLINES its impact on the planet. While it might come as a surprise that a

that everything has properly come together. So much so, in fact,

shipping operation could be aligned with eco-efficiency, Finnlines

that now, the roster includes in excess of 170 weekly freight sailings,

genuinely is:

alongside 80 scheduled passenger journeys. With efficiency at the

“In recent years, Finnlines has invested considerably in environmental technology and the fleet has undergone a large

core of every departure, Finnlines is the strongest it has ever been and it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

number of improvements: exhaust gas scrubber installations,

Recognised as a go-to shipping operation in Finland already,

propulsion upgrades and rebladings and silicone anti-fouling. All

Finnlines has set about enticing customers old and new to take

these measures improve ship efficiency and have a positive, long-

another look at the services on offer. For ferry passengers, this

lasting impact on the environment.”

includes a number of special offers, as well as instigating a loyalty

It’s no secret that bringing in fresh blood can revitalize and re-

scheme and investing in vessels that make the experience that bit

energise even the most successful of companies and that’s exactly

more luxurious. From exceptional food through to spa facilities, gift

what happened to Finnlines in 2005, when the Grimaldi Group

shops and provisions for even the younger sailor, Finnlines seeks to

began its campaign of interest.

offer an inclusive experience for everybody looking to explore the

What would follow is a gradual 11-year total acquisition

Baltic region.

process, with the Grimaldi Group building on its 2006 30.5 percent

With sailings from Germany to Finland, Sweden and the

stake hold: “In August 2016, the Grimaldi Group completed the

Åland islands, throughout the year, there’s no sense of this

acquisition of Finnlines thus gaining control of 100 per cent of

being a commercial freight operation that has tried to move

the Company and is now the sole owner. As a result, trading in

into the lucrative ferry market. Rather, there is a sense of

Finnlines shares on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd was terminated.”

organic growth that can only stem from high levels of customer

It’s fascinating to note that Finnlines has been operating at a

satisfaction, leading to an intrinsic confidence that the same

high success rate for over 70 years, but it’s in these last ten or so

principles could be applied to passenger services. The gamble

88 | Endeavour Magazine

has more than paid off, but not to the detriment of the original freight interest: “The ro-ro services concentrate on transportation between Finland and its major trading partners in Europe. With offices in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Germany, Russia, as well as the United Kingdom, together with an extensive international network of relationships, high quality service is guaranteed.” While the ethos of safe and reliable transportation has remained the same, since Finnlines’ inception in 1947, the items being moved have diversified. From the humble beginnings of just forest and steel industry products, now, anything and everything can be transported, from lorries to mobile machinery and even boats. Moving into the future, Finnlines is in an incredibly fortuitous position. Having announced an increase in annual revenue of almost 10% in 2018 and with a number of hybrid ro-ro vessels having been ordered for delivery in 2021, it’s clear that amazing things are on the horizon. This commitment to always looking forward and being at the forefront of the industry, driving change by setting an example, means that Finnlines is staying true to its original incarnation as an innovator, come smooth waters or difficult industry conditions.

Endeavour Magazine | 89


THE GRANDE COTE TiZir Limited is a vertically integrated zircon and titanium business, owned in a joint 50/50 split between Australia’s Mineral Deposits Limited and France’s ERAMET. This company produces and sells ilmenite, zircon, rutile, leucoxene, titanium slag and highpurity pig iron. It also handles the largest single dredge mineral sands operation in the world, found deep in the hot dunes of Senegal. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


TiZir is a company that benefits greatly from the combined strengths of its two halves: from ERAMET, it gains wide-reaching expertise in mining, metallurgy, logistics, R&D and marketing, whilst from Mineral Deposits, it gains a more focused expertise in mineral sands mining. That latter ingredient is essential in tackling one of its two key projects: the Grande Côte mineral sands mine in Senegal.


s we’ve said, the Grande Côte mineral sands operation (GCO)

Sand is then washed through spirals, separating the heavy mineral

is the largest single dredge mineral sands operation in the

concentrate from lighter quartz sand, which is sprayed out the back

world. It is located on a coastal dune system that starts about

of the pond. This final step means the mine processes restore the

50km north-east of Dakar, with the deposit extending northwards

landscape as they work, making this a low-impact way to mine.

more than 100km. TiZir operates this mine in closer partnership

The heavy minerals are then transferred to the MSP, where

with the Republic of Senegal, which is striving to see its economy

magnetic, electrostatic and gravity processes separate the heavy

emerge on a global scale through ambitious projects such as

mineral concentrate into various minerals – zircon, ilmenite, rutile

this. The government is invested in developing the country’s

and leucoxene. Again, in order to maintain a low-impact operation,

infrastructure and achieving accelerated growth by inviting in

no chemicals are used in any of these separating processes on site.

overseas companies such as TiZir, and by providing what they call

As well as its limited impact on Senegal’s dunes, TiZir’s

a “world-class economic environment” to attract such companies

operation has meant a boost for the country’s infrastructure – in

to develop projects on their soil. These goals are all part of the

particular, its transportation. The company refurbished the existing

country’s “Plan Senegal Emergent” strategy.

rail line that led to the project, and linked it to a new 22km spur

Senegal gained its independence from France in 1960, and

line, which allows GCO to send its products easily from its facilities

has since become known as one of the most stable democracies

to the Port of Dakar, Africa’s largest international shipping ports.

in Africa. This stability gives the country an appeal to foreign

At the port itself, the company has constructed its own, dedicated

companies and investors, and it now seeks to promote this appeal.

storage facilities, complete with fixed and mobile conveyors and a

TiZir were one of the many companies to respond.

mobile ship loader. From Dakar, the mine enjoys easy access to the

It total, the GCO operation comprises of a dredge, a wet

European and North American markets.

concentrator plant (WCP), a mineral separation plant (MSP), rail

To take a closer look at the two companies behind TiZir, ERAMET

and port facilities, and a dedicated 36-megawatt power station.

is a French multinational mining and metallurgy company that has

The operation has a predicted 25-year mine life, and will mostly

become a leading global producer of alloying metals, particularly

produce high-quality zircon and ilmenite, but is also expected to

manganese and nickel and high-performance special steels and

produce small amounts of rutile and leucoxene. The nature of the

alloys. Its metals are used in a variety of high-demand industries

sand dunes allows for these materials to be easily dredged and

such as aerospace and power generation. The Group operates in 20

processed – there is little to no vegetation to cause complications,

countries with a total team of about 15,000.

and a shallow water table means the sand moves easily. The dredge

Their partner in TiZir, Mineral Deposits Limited, is an Australian-

itself travels through the dunes, mining sand from the front of

based mining company with extensive experience in precisely

the dredge pond and pumping slurry to the floating concentrator.

this manner of mining. In early 2000, MDL shifted its focus from

92 | Endeavour Magazine

TIZIR LIMITED Australia to Senegal, where it successfully built and operated the

As well as reducing its impact on the sand dunes themselves,

Sabodala gold mine, which was a game-changing discovery for

the company seeks to reduce its impact on the local community,

Senegal: the country’s first major resource project for 50 years.

with careful land compensation provided where needed. More

MDL now focuses on mineral sands operations, and it was

than just compensating negative impact, however, the company

this company that developed the Grande Côte project through its

actively provides many boosts and benefits to this community to

construction phase, before moving it over to TiZir in 2011.

make sure that its presence is a positive addition to Senegal; its

TiZir existed between MDL and ERAMET long before the

Social Mining Program offers support to local education, health

Grande Côte project joined its portfolio. In 1986, the company

and sanitation, water supply and community socio-economic

commenced operations at the TiZir Titanium & Iron ilmenite

development, including the construction of schools and health

upgrading facility (TTI) in Norway. TTI is an uncommon set-up;

centres, establishing new water sources, the provision of ambulance

there are only six facilities like it in operation, and out of them, it

services, and partnering with AFRIVAC to provide immunisation

is the only one found in Europe. This project uses pre-reduction,

programs for children. Additionally, the project provides support to

metallisation and smelting to upgrade ilmenite, which now includes

local businesses, using Senegalese contractors and other services

ilmenite mines at GCO, to produce a high-value titanium slag that is

wherever possible, and also directly employs 500 locals.

largely sold to pigment producers. It also produces high-purity ‘pig

This positive effect on community life, coupled with the low

iron’, a byproduct of the smelting process that is sold to ductile iron

environmental impact of TiZir’s dredge mining, makes the Grande

foundries, and is also used in windmills, in automotive and engine

Côte operation an exciting prospect that should be a boon to

parts, as well as tools and heavy castings.

Senegal and TiZir alike. With few drawbacks and many positives,

GCO is the largest operation of its kind in the world, and

this is an operation that is predicted to yield results for years to

fantastically, it is also conscious of the community and environment

come, not only in terms of resources, but in terms of the benefits it

around it. As we’ve seen, it restores sand on the go, and no

can provide to the communities around it.

chemicals are introduced into the environment by their processes.

Designers and suppliers of dredgers and dredging equipment for the recovery of alluvial minerals since 1935.

Designers of the dredger ‘Yeene’ for the Grande Côte Operations in Senegal and the designers and suppliers of the vessel’s 27,500 cu.m/hr centrifugal dredge pump. 94 | Endeavour Magazine

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Endeavour Magazine April 2019  

Endeavour Magazine April 2019