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s the Summer season begins to draw to an all-too-early close, and Autumn – or Spring for those of you reading this from the comfort of the Southern Hemisphere, you
lucky devils – begins to set in once more, the idea of change has very much been on the mind. 2016 has, for better and worse, been a year where a lot has happened in very little time. Certainly, there’s been plenty of it here in Europe of late. If, as some are beginning to fear, the stricken German banking giant Deutsche Bank goes kaput over the months to come, by crikey there will be plenty of change, a la 2007. Fingers or toes crossed that this is nothing more than an uncharacteristic blip on the part of the usually-austere German banking sector. Then, up next month will be the biggest change of recent years, when a new incumbent will be packing their suitcase for a 4-year stay in the White House on the 8th November. And that’s just in this corner of the world; there’s no doubt been plenty of change in
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Change is a theme that by chance has appeared to run through this month’s issue of Endeavour. In our feature for Guyana’s New Timehri, we found out more about the company’s role in helping Guyana to build the lucrative tourism sector its natural gifts and hospitable people deserve, whilst CSI Electrical is reaping changing, confident Tanzania. Assystem and Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics are at the forefront of the drive to develop fusion as a viable and affordable form of future sustainable power generation – an event which will change the world beyond all recognition in years to come. As always, I hope you enjoy this month’s issue of Endeavour – we like to think we enjoy reading it as much as we enjoy it making it.
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Endeavour Magazine | 3
31 JESCO FEATURES
Max Planck Institute
4 | Endeavour Magazine
15 Jubail Energy Services Company Seamless Performance 23 COVER STORY New Timehri Handling Services Delivering Service Excellence 29 Omnicane The Sweet Taste Of Success 41 Assystem Managing The Future 47 COVER STORY Max Planck Institute Of Plasma Physics The Energy Of The Future 53 Tobago Cold Storage and Warehouse Facility As Cold As Ice 61 QDVC Building A Nation 67 Constructional Engineering Association (South Africa) The Foundation To Build An Empire 73 COVER STORY Steinmuller Africa Power To The People 81 SAPVIA Harnessing The Power 87 TOSL 33 Years Of Leading From The Front
ARTICLES 3 Editor’s Note 6 Business Headlines Middle East Asia Europe Africa America 20 34 58 78
Amazing World Hudson Yards NYC: Building A City Within A City Pemba Island: Africa’s Secret Shangri-La Lake Natron: Nature At Its Most Eerie The Arctic Circle: A Frozen Land Atop The Earth
Automotives Mazda 626 SkyActiv-D Peugeot 308 GTI
97 SAPVIA Endeavour Magazine | 5
BUSINESS HEADLINES MIDDLE EAST SAUDI ARABIA’S CENTRAL BANK TO INJECT US$5.3BN TO BOOST FINANCIAL STABILITY Saudi Arabia’s central bank said it would deposit about US$5.3bn at commercial banks and introduce two new money market instruments to fight a surge in market interest rates caused by low oil prices. It will inject the funds in the form of time deposits on behalf of government entities to “support financial stability”, it said on Sunday, without naming the entities or providing other details. It will also introduce seven-day and 28-day re-purchase agreements to lend money to banks when needed. Previously, the central bank has typically only used repo agreements with one-day maturities. Low global oil prices have slashed government revenue and the volume of petrodollars flowing into the Saudi banking system. Total deposits at commercial banks, which grew continuously for years, were down 3.3% in June from a year earlier. The central bank reiterated that the Saudi banking system was still healthy, with non-performing loans totalling no more than 1.3% of all loans and provisions set aside for bad loans at high levels.
OPEC FINALLY AGREES TO MODEST PRODUCTION CUTS On September 28th, OPEC agreed to modest oil output cuts in the first such deal since 2008, with the group’s leader Saudi Arabia softening its stance on rival Iran amid mounting pressure from low oil prices. “OPEC made an exceptional decision today … After two and a half years, OPEC reached consensus to manage the market,” said Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, who had repeatedly clashed with Saudi Arabia during previous meetings. He and other ministers said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would reduce output to a range of 32.5-33.0 million barrels per day. OPEC estimates its current output at 33.24 million bpd. “We have decided to decrease the production around 700,000 bpd,” Zanganeh said. The move would effectively re-establish OPEC production ceilings abandoned a year ago. However, how much each country will produce is to be decided at the next formal OPEC meeting in November, when an invitation to join cuts could also be extended to non-OPEC countries such as Russia. Oil prices jumped more than 5%to trade above US$48 per barrel as of 2015 GMT. 6 | Endeavour Magazine
SAUDI ARABIA’S NATIONAL AIRLINE ANNOUNCES 63 AIRCRAFT EXPANSION TO FLEET Saudi Arabian Airlines has announced the addition of 63 new aircraft to its existing fleet, boosting passenger services on national and international routes. The new planes include 15 Boeing 777-300ERs, 13 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 35 Airbus New Generation A320/A321-neos. Announced by the kingdom’s minister of transportation, Sulaiman Al Hamdan, the arrival of the aircraft comes on the back of moves by the General Authority of Civil Aviation to expand and grow through partnerships. Earlier this year, the airline – known as Saudia – received three Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and a 777-300ER as part of efforts to increase its fleet from 119 planes to 200 by 2020. It expects to carry 30 million passengers in 2016. Speaking to local media, Saudia director general Saleh Al Jasser, said agreements were signed with Airbus this year and last year to purchase a total of 113 new planes, the next of which should arrive next year. “The airline will receive four airplanes of model B787-9 in 2017,” he said.
UAE OVERTAKES QATAR TO BECOME MOST COMPETITIVE MIDDLE EASTERN/NORTHERN AFRICAN ECONOMY
US$4.3BN KUWAIT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT EXPANSION TO BE COMPLETED AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
The UAE has overtaken Qatar to be ranked the most competitive
The US$4.3bn expansion of Kuwait International Airport will
economy in the Middle East and North Africa, according to a new
reportedly be completed two years ahead of schedule under a new
report by the World Economic Forum.
commitment from Turkish contractor Limak Construction Co.
In the 2016 Global Competitiveness Index, ranking 138 counties,
Minister of Social Affairs and Labour and Minister of State for
the emirates climbed one place to 16th thanks to small gains in areas
Planning and Development Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh, confirmed the
including technological adoption and business sophistication.
project will be completed in four years rather than six following talks
This was despite deteriorating macroeconomic stability linked to lower energy prices, which has led to a rise in inflation and public debt and the emergence of a fiscal deficit, according to the WEF.
with Turkish development minister Lutfi Elvan. “The project is of strategic importance - this is why all authorities worked together to facilitate its implementation,” she said. The new
“Overall, the UAE boasts a number of competitive strengths:
708,000-square-metre terminal, designed by Fosters & Partners, will
infrastructure is top notch (4th overall) and goods and labour
allow us to handle 25 million passengers a year when completed. It
markets are open and efficient,” the organisation said.
will comprise 51 gates and stands, with the ability to serve 21 Airbus
The UAE was encouraged to diversify its economy and enhance innovation to improve its ranking – currently 25.
A380 superjumbos simultaneously and include 66,000 solar panels on the roof capable of generating 12MW of power. Endeavour Magazine | 7
ASIA WORLD’S FIRST FREE ‘ROBO-CAR’ TAXI IN SINGAPORE Autonomous vehicle software startup nuTonomy has made rides on its self-driving taxis available to the general public in Singapore for free, expanding a first-in-the-world run that was initially invitation-only. While multiple companies, including Google and Volvo, have been testing self-driving cars on public roads for several years, nuTonomy announced in August that was the first to offer autonomous taxi rides. It beat Uber, which started offering rides in autonomous cars in Pittsburgh last week. The Singapore trial was limited to a 6.5 square kilometre business and residential district called “one north”. NuTonomy CEO
That was 2.2 percentage points higher than in the second quarter. China’s factory output and retail sales grew faster than expected in August, on the back of a strong housing market and government infrastructure spending. The world’s second largest economy has lost some of its momentum during this year, as it has entered a period of readjustment. China is looking to transform its economy away from factories and exports towards domestic consumption. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects China’s GDP to grow by 6.6% this year, close to the low end of China’s own official forecast of between 6.5% to 7%.
Karl Iagnemma said on Friday that the test area has since been doubled by the government. The approved route does not include any highways.
BUSINESSES IN SINGAPORE HIT AS HANJIN SHIPPING SINKS The collapse of a South Korean freight shipping line is starting to cause chaos and confusion at major ports around the Asia-Pacific region. Hanjin — which is the seventh-biggest shipping company in the world — went into at the end of September after its creditors rejected a restructuring plan. While Australia is yet to feel the effects, Hanjin’s fleet have been denied access to ports as Steve Dores demand payment of arrears and cash in advance. The company has literally been all at sea, with 45 vessels denied access to ports in China, Japan, Singapore and India. With creditors - including the state-run Korea Development Bank - in hot pursuit, Hanjin has filed for bankruptcy protection.
WITH DOUBTS PERSISTING OVER ITS ECONOMY, BANK OF JAPAN TRIES SOMETHING NEW The Bank of Japan said Wednesday that it’s introducing a new long-term interest rate target of around zero. The bank has already gone to extreme lengths in its attempts to stimulate the country’s stagnating economy in recent years, gobbling huge amounts of Japanese government bonds and taking a key interest rate into negative territory. The bank’s announcement Wednesday that it’s switching away from its previous bond-buying goals in favour of a ten-year interest rate target “reflects concerns about the sustainability” of the largescale bond purchases, Marcel Thieliant, senior Japan economist at Capital Economics, said in a research note.
CHINA BUSINESS CONFIDENCE CONTINUES TO RISE Confidence among Chinese entrepreneurs has picked up for the second quarter running, according to the country’s central bank. People’s Bank of China surveys showed the business confidence index rising to 51.2% in the third quarter. 8 | Endeavour Magazine
CANADA APPROVES BIG US$27-B LNG PIPELINE PROJECT On September 27th, Canada approved a massive US$27 billion project by Malaysia’s Petronas to build a liquefied natural gas pipeline along its Pacific Northwest coast, targeting Asian markets. The project is the first deal by Canada’s year-old Liberal government that goes against environmentalists in the name of the country’s economic interests. Environmental activists and indigenous groups have opposed the plans. “The government approved the Pacific Northwest LNG project,” said Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. “As the prime minister has emphasized, the only way to get resources to market in the 21st century is if it is done sustainably and responsibly. Today’s announcement reflects this commitment.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly said that the economy and environment should be pursued in parallel, without sacrificing one for the other. The project includes a pipeline and two Petronas terminals to ship gas to Asia. The gas terminals are to be built on Lelu Island, near Prince Rupert on the Pacific coast. Each will have a capacity of six million tons per year, with the possibility of adding a third down the road.
Endeavour Magazine | 9
EUROPE DEUTSCHE BANK CHIEF CRYAN TRIES TO REASSURE ON BANK’S STRENGTH AS SHARES CONTINUE TO RATTLE STOCK MARKETS The chief executive of troubled Deutsche Bank has emailed the 100,000 staff to reassure them that the German giant’s finances are strong. John Cryan told them the bank had become the object of “hefty speculation” and that “new rumours” were causing the share price
EUROPEAN BUSINESSES CRITICISE UNFAIR CHINA-EU RELATIONSHIP
to fall. Deutsche’s shares hit new lows on Friday as confidence in
The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China called on
the bank continued to falter. Mr Cryan said the bank’s reserves and
Beijing to follow through with its proposed economic reforms and
profits underlined its strength.
lift restrictions on foreign investment, as the country prepares to
He pointed out that Deutsche had €215bn in reserves and made
host the G20 summit for the first time starting this weekend.
€1bn in profits for the last six months. At no point in the last 20
“European business continues to hear reform commitments
years had Deutsche been as strong as it is now, Mr Cryan insisted.
aimed at affording foreign-invested enterprises more market access,”
“The release of the memo... seems to have taken the edge off of
the European Chamber said in an annual report published on
the German company’s dramatic” share price decline, said SpreadEx
September 29th. “As welcome as these are, they have been heard
analyst Connor Campbell.
before: it is hoped that words will now be paired with actions.”
Deutsche shares were down 5% at midday, having fallen 9%
Criticism of the country’s business practices has mounted as
earlier. That followed a big fall overnight in the bank’s Wall Street-
Chinese companies, motivated by a slowing economy, have sought
listed shares, a drop sparked by reports that some hedge funds had
out desirable European “targets,” or potential acquisitions. Chinese
withdrawn money from the bank.
foreign direct investment (FDI) in Europe hit an all-time high of US$23 billion (20.6 billion euros) in 2015, while 2016 has already seen a number of high-profile acquisitions of European firms.
LLOYD’S OF LONDON SURVEY REVEALS NINE OUT OF TEN BUSINESSES HAVE SUFFERED A MAJOR CYBER ATTACK According to a new survey, nine out of ten big business in Europe have fallen victim to a significant cyber-attack during the last five years, though less than half are concerned regarding the possibility of future breaches. Lloyd’s of London conducted a survey of chief executives and senior bosses at 346 European companies with a turnover of €250 million or more. The boss of the company, Inga Beale believes that the results of the survey show that European businesses are “complacent” when it comes to cyber-attacks and the damage they could cause their business and brands. Ms Beale offered further insight into the role cyber-attacks play in today’s business market, saying: “It is a reality, you will be hacked or attacked in some way. There’s been an element of complacency in the past, but it’s going to become more prevalent. We used to think, ‘what if an office is flooded or if there’s a great big fire?’ But now we need to work out how to assess the damage from a cyber-attack, including the harm to reputation and costs of getting the business up and running again.” 10 | Endeavour Magazine
AFRICA KENYA’S ECONOMY EXPANDS BY 6.2% IN Q2 Kenya’s economy expanded by 6.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2016 compared to 5.9% at the same period last year, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has announced. The growth was largely driven by expansion in agriculture, forestry and fishing, transportation and storage, real estate, and wholesale and retail trade. The value of exports of horticultural crops grew by 47.1% in the quarter under review from Sh17.7 billion in the second quarter of 2015 to Sh26.0 billion.
CATERPILLAR PLEDGES US$1 BILLION TO HELP BOOST AFRICAN BUSINESS The world’s largest manufacturer of earth-moving equipment will invest heavily in African nations over the next several years, developing a broader business base and providing training for workers. Caterpillar Inc., its network of dealers and the Caterpillar Foundation will pour more than US$1 billion into projects in Africa over the next five years, CEO Doug Oberhelman announced Wednesday at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum in New York City. “Today, we bring not only construction machinery to the continent, but also traditional and renewable power generation solutions, diesel-electric locomotives, marine engines and mining equipment,” said Oberhelman. “With today’s announcement, we are proudly confirming our plan to make a long-term investment to help build, develop and power communities, and serve as an education and training partner to broaden and strengthen local work force talent and expertise.” The investment is intended to upgrade customer service capabilities, including new Certified Rebuild Centers, new dealer branch locations and expansion of Caterpillar’s technicians for their online skills development program.
KENYA’S LARGEST SOLAR PLANT PENS CONTRACT FOR POWER SALE DEAL East Africa’s largest solar power plant in northern Kenya is set to add cheap power to the national grid for onward sale to homes and businesses.
SOUTH AFRICA MINES STRUGGLE AS COMMODITIES DOWNTURN CONTINUES According to SA Mine, PwC’s annual overview of the sector, mining revenues increased by just 2%, largely off the back of increased prices for gold and iron ore, while the industry recorded an aggregated net loss of US$3.3bn. The historically crucial sector, which accounts for some 8.3% of
The Rural Electrification Authority (REA), which is developing the
national GDP today, has struggled with low prices, violent labour
plant, has signed the power purchase agreement (PPA) with Kenya
disputes and spiraling costs since the onset of the global commodities
Power to sell electricity from the Sh13.7 billion solar plant at Sh12
slump. 2015 data from the Chamber of Mines revealed that some
($0.12) per kilowatt hour (kWh) — about Sh8 cheaper than diesel-
35,000 mining jobs were shed in the prior two years, resulting in one
in 14 industry workers losing their jobs.
The 55-megawatt solar farm in the north eastern town of Garissa
Companies continue to suffer record impairment charges on
will be fed to the national grid and is expected to produce enough
their investments, with some R60bn written off over the last year
power to light up 625,000 homes.
- the highest amount since the SA Mine report began in 2009. This
“Construction will start anytime from now, after we signed a 25year PPA with Kenya Power on Wednesday,” REA chairman Simon Gicharu said at a meeting in Nairobi with officials from China — the financier. China Jiangxi is the contractor of the solar firm, using a Sh13.7 billion ($135.7 million) loan from China’s Exim Bank.
has resulted in new investments largely being put on ice, according to one of the report’s authors. “Companies had to cut back on new developments, focus on prof rather than maximum production and save costs… We have probably reached the bottom of the cycle but may stay here for some time,” says Michael Kotzé, mining industry leader for PwC Africa. Endeavour Magazine | 11
AMERICA AOL CO-FOUNDER STEVE CASE: CLINTON IS BETTER FOR U.S. BUSINESSES AOL co-founder and former CEO Steve Case has steered away from the political fray over the course of his 30-year career. Case explained why he decided to endorse Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by saying, “I have concluded that I cannot sit on the side-lines this year. At this pivotal time, the choice is too important.” While he respects Trump as a business leader, Case said the
revenue and 16 million employees, said the decision “must not be allowed to stand”. “The precedent set by this decision, if upheld, would increase uncertainty significantly with a consequent adverse effect on foreign investment in Europe, making this decision a grievous self-inflicted wound for the European Union and its citizens.”
CANADA’S ECONOMY GROWS MORE THAN EXPECTED ON REBOUND IN ENERGY SECTOR
Republican presidential nominee hasn’t provided a clear plan on
The Canadian economy got off to a stronger-than-expected start
what he would do for innovation, technology issues and job creation
in the third quarter, fuelled by a rebound in oil and gas extraction
in order to move the country forward. ‘The Third Wave’ author
that had been disrupted by wildfires in Alberta earlier this year, data
said he waited several months for the Trump campaign to lay out a
from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.
convincing plan before making his decision.
Gross domestic product grew 0.5% in July, topping analysts’ forecasts for a gain of 0.3%. June’s growth was unrevised at 0.6%
U.S. HOME PRICES CONTINUED BRISK GROWTH IN JULY Home price growth showed no signs of abating in July, as strong demand for homes and a shortage of inventory helped drive prices close to new highs.
Activity in the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector jumped 3.9% in July. The non-conventional oil extraction sector surged 19% as production returned to normal after the wildfire and maintenance shutdowns in April.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices rose 5.1% in the 12 months ended in July, slightly higher than a 5% increase reported in June. The ten-city index gained 4.2% from a year earlier down slightly from 4.3% last month, and the 20-city index gained 5% yearover-year, down from a 5.1% increase in June. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a 5.1% increase in the 20-city index. Home prices are nearing their pre-crisis peak in 2006—good news for homeowners. But price increases have led to a slowdown in the volume of home sales because it is making it difficult for new buyers to enter the market. “The pace is probably not sustainable over the long term,” said David Blitzer, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
APPLE TAX RULING MUST BE OVERTURNED, SAYS US BUSINESS GROUP
ENBRIDGE INC. SALE OF A SASKATCHEWAN PIPELINE SYSTEM FOR US$1 BILLION ANNOUNCED Tundra Energy Marketing Ltd, a privately-held Canadian energy infrastructure company, said it has agreed to buy a regional pipeline
US businesses have warned European leaders they risk a
system from an affiliate of Enbridge Income Fund for US$1.075
“grievous self-inflicted wound” unless they overturn Brussels’
billion. The South East Saskatchewan system includes more than
demand that Apple pay the Irish government €13bn.
1,600 kilometres of crude oil and liquids gathering pipelines, 547
In an open letter to the leaders of the 28 European Union countries, the Business Roundtable group defended Apple over its tax dispute with the European commission.
kilometres of “trunk line” that feeds into the Enbridge Mainline system and four truck terminals. Enbridge’s Mainline is the main conduit for Canadian crude
The US tech giant was ordered to pay €13bn to Ireland after
barrels being shipped south to U.S. markets. The SE Saskatchewan
Brussels ruled that the tax breaks it was given between 1991 and
system currently transports 175,000 barrels per day of crude to the
2015 amounted to unlawful state aid. But the group of US chief
Mainline at Cromer, Manitoba, a major hub for barrels in Canada’s
executives, who between them run companies with US$7tn of
southern prairies region.
12 | Endeavour Magazine
14 | Endeavour Magazine
JUBAIL ENERGY SERVICES COMPANY WWW.JESCO.COM.SA + 966 (013) 350 4999
SEAMLESS PERFORMANCE WRITTEN BY DJAMIL BENMEHIDI
Saudi Arabian pipe manufacturer, Jubail Energy Services Company (JESCO), is recognised throughout the oil and gas sector as a key partner to the biggest names in the business. Established in 2006, for 10-years the company, with its state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, has been a leading producer and supplier of Carbon Steel Seamless Pipe products to the likes of Saudia Aramco, Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Petroleum Operations, and Petroleum Development Oman. Endeavour took the time to find out more about this vital and pioneering business. Endeavour Magazine | 15
JESCO ENERGY SERVICES COMPANY JUBAIL
In spite of the great strides made by the global renewable energy
sector over the past decade, the availability of, and proven end-use technologies and supporting infrastructure for oil means it would be naïve to believe it’s primacy as the world’s leading source of energy will end anytime soon. With demand for the black stuff projected to rise markedly until at least 2025 and beyond, cyclical price blips aside, it will continue to remain the most valuable of commodities.
t is news to nobody that, in spite of the present crisis which
and parent company, TAQA, and one of the world’s largest steel
continues to engulf the industry, oil and gas remains the
trading companies, Duferco, is a leading producer of two types of
lifeblood that sustains Saudi Arabia’s still-considerable wealth
the seamless pipes used by the region’s oil and gas operators; Oil
and geo-political influence. Second only to Russia, Saudi Arabia is
Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) – a product which consists of drill
one of the world’s top oil producing nations by measure of crude
pipe, casing and tubing, used to draw oil and gas up from below
oil production, which reached 10.5 million barrels per day for Q1
ground to the surface, and larger line pipes – a high-strength pipe
2016. Maintaining its dominance as one of the world’s leading oil
used for transporting oil & gas horizontally, over-ground or under.
producers is not merely key to Saudi Arabia’s prosperity, but its long-term survival.
JESCO’s manufacturing facilities are strategically located just 10km from the Jubail Commercial Port, which allows for the easy
It is therefore understandable, and perhaps to be expected that
transportation of goods to international clients in the US, Asia, and
Saudi Arabia has in recent years gone to great lengths to ensure
Europe. Such convenient placement has shortened the supply chain
key supporting industries to its world-class oil and gas industry,
significantly, and made the logistics behind transporting its goods
which provide essential services and products, operate locally and
to its neighbouring GCC client nations infinitely more efficient
in-house, so to speak. The decision to form and implement Jubail
and timely, not to mention the movement from port to site of the
Energy Services Company was made with both this strategy and a
imported raw materials needed for production of pipe.
commercial one in mind.
As one might expect of a company of JESCO’s stature, the production capacity of its seamless pipe mills is vast, allowing
THE FIRST WORLD-CLASS PRODUCER OF SEAMLESS PIPE TO ENTER OPERATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
for the output of 500,000 tons of large diameter seamless pipe, ranging from 4 ½ to 16 inches. Alongside its rolling mill can be found heat treatment, finishing, hydrostatic and non-destructive
Initially founded in 2006 to meet the heavy demand for seamless
testing (NDT) lines, all of which are built on 730,000 square meters
pipes from the region’s oil and gas industries, JESCO represents
of land provided by the Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu.
the fruition of a plan first conceived over thirty years ago by Saudi
Additionally, there is also a cutting-edge laboratory onsite, which
Arabia and its regional parties in the GCC. JESCO, a semi-state
enables JESCO to continually test product quality and develop ever
owned company, which is also partially owned by primary investor
new innovations that allow it to stay ahead of the industry pack.
16 | Endeavour Magazine
Your Drilling & Production Tubular Challenges is Our Business The Eurotechnology Group is a leading manufacturer, supplier and service provider of innovative Inspection Technologies, Hardbanding Equipment and sophisticated Tubular Threading Systems. The Eurotechnology Group utilises the latest advanced technologies developed inhouse providing a managed service approach focusing on client-led requirements. From day-to-day management of the client’s tubular and associated equipment to complete logistical support, the Group provides services related to the refurbishment of O.C.T.G., Drill strings, BHA, Service tools and equipment inventories employed in the various facets in drilling and the completion of oil and gas wells. Logistical support for Eurotechnology’s One Stop Shop approach to Tubular Management is provided to the end user through a dedicated service focal point responsible for ensuring that the client is fully informed at all times of its tubular and equipment inventories at Eurotechnology’s service facilities via a dedicated real time software interface.
Total Tubular Management Services include: • Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) of Casing, Tubing, Line Pipe, Drill Pipe using propriety full length UT & EMI technologies. • Inspection and refurbishment of BHA and the associated tools & equipment • Third party inspection / Quality Assurance / Quality Control • Hardbanding Services, Tungsten Redress of BHA and service tools • Innovated CNC Machining Systems for the refurbishment of Drill Pipe, BHA and O.C.T.G Tubular Goods • Management of Tubular Inventories and Logistical support
The Eurotechnology Group is also a provider of NDT inspection training programmes tailored to meet the customer’s personnel training requirements.
T: +966 13 3510 7172 | F: +966 13 893 8496 E: email@example.com www.eurotechnologygroup.com
Headquarters in Al Khobar with service operations in Jubail & Tanajib EUROTECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONAL CO. LTD. P.O Box: 4275, Al Khobar 31952, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,
Endeavour Magazine | 17
JESCO ENERGY SERVICES COMPANY JUBAIL
STANDING TALL IN THE FACE OF CHALLENGING MARKET CONDITIONS Not that JESCO has been unaffected by the hugely challenging state of the industry, of course. With the calamitous drop in oil prices and the fast-slowing economy of China looking ever more like it will grind to a spluttering halt with each passing day, demand for seamless piping, whilst still considerable, has fallen away considerably in recent years.
measures. Fortunately, JESCO’s strong and enduring relationships with marquee clients has gone a long way to helping the company weather these difficult and turbulent market conditions.
STRONG PARTNERSHIPS WITH REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONALLY-BASED MARQUEE CLIENTS Saudi Aramco is a particularly close partner, and as one of JESCO’s major clients and partners, providing gas used onsite at
However, whilst demand from international clients has
JESCO’s Jubail facilities, accounts for a majority of JESCO’s sales to
fallen, Saudi Aramco’s decision to buck the market and ramp-
the local market. Other key clients whom JESCO produces seamless
up production, along with its counterparts in the UAE, Oman,
pipes for include the main national oil companies of neighbouring
Kuwait, Egypt, and Iraq, has mitigated this somewhat. That isn’t to
nations, including Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Petroleum
say present market conditions are ideal but JESCO certainly has
Operations (ADCO) and Petroleum Development Oman (PDO).
in-place the resources and relationships in place, along with the
JESCO’s 750-strong workforce, made up of a mixture of Saudi
short, medium and long-term strategies needed to survive what
nationals and international expats, is smaller than it once was, due
some companies within the oil and gas sector have found to be
to the difficult market conditions. However, those who remain are
an existential crisis. Seamless pipes mills operated on average
undoubtedly the highest-quality workers in the region, due to the
at a capacity of around 40%, an unsustainable level, and this
fact that JESCO was able to headhunt the best talent, following
has forced JESCO to take hard decisions through cost-cutting
a spate of redundancies from its industry rivals, and the wider oil
18 | Endeavour Magazine
and gas sector. Huge importance is placed on training in order to enhance knowledge and improve service delivery, and thanks to an alliance with the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) - a government fund dedicated to the development of Saudi nationals â€“ JESCO always strives to employ local wherever possible. In terms of what the future holds, it is likely that the market will remain difficult, if not outright hostile to the many companies within the oil and gas sector who are gritting their teeth and waiting for the storm to break. Now is a time to concentrate on survival rather than profit or expansion. However, with local demand for innovative pipe solutions forecast to remain high within the GCC, and ambitious plans to expand for the expansion of product offerings, including drill pipes and further extensions to pipe size ranges, in the pipeline, JESCO may indeed struggle over the near future, but importantly it will endure.
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Endeavour Magazine | 19
AMAZING WORLD HUDSON YARDS NYC: BUILDING A CITY WITHIN A CITY The fabulously rich GCC states in the Middle East and China
New York’s first Neiman Marcus - and a collection of restaurants
in South-East Asia have enjoyed something of an oligopoly when it
curated by Chef Thomas Keller. The urban development will include
comes to vastly expensive multi-billion-dollar construction projects.
approximately 4,000 residences, 14-acres of public space, a 750-
However, New York City’s Hudson Yards – a US$25 billion private
seat public school, and a 200-bedroom luxury hotel with over 200
real estate development and the largest, most ambitious private
rooms, all offering unparalleled amenities for residents, employees
sector funded venture in the nation’s history – has moved the
spotlight back onto the US.
In essence, the Hudson Yards development will see the
To provide a sense of Hudson Yards’ massive scale, the site will
construction of a city-within-a-city, and the sheer complexity of the
include more than 17 million square feet of commercial and residential
build is as unprecedented as its price-tag. Hudson Yards is not being
space, state-of-the-art office towers, over 100 shops - including
built on land, but on elevated platforms; stilts, in effect. Constructed
20 | Endeavour Magazine
on 28 acres over a working rail
upon which an entire city is built. These columns, which weigh a
yard, two platforms will create a
staggering 90 tons, are colossal in size and had to be custom-made
roof over 30 active train tracks
for the project. Only six cranes exist in all of North America capable
and the new Gateway Tunnel.
of lifting one, and one of these cranes is now deployed on-site.
Once completed, dozens of
Building a city on stilts has proved to be one of the most
skyscrapers and other colossal
challenging engineering undertakings in New York real-estate
buildings will sit astride this
history; even the construction of the cityâ€™s Grand Central Terminal in
roof, covering one of the worldâ€™s
the early 20th century posed fewer challenges.
busiest railroad yards. The trains
It raises the question â€“ is this the first of many similar projects,
will keep running, uninterrupted,
as cities like ever-expanding Manhattan run out of space, but
just like they always have, below
cease to run out of ambition? Time will tell, but with the luxury
the glittering new metropolis
and architectural beauty planned for Hudson Yards, those who will
that will exist above them.
be able to afford it will experience a new side to New York, where
The columns to support this roof must hold the foundation
not only the skyscrapers, but now the streets and parks reach for the stars. Endeavour Magazine | 21
22 | Endeavour Magazine
NEW TIMEHRI HANDLING SERVICES WWW.TIMEHRIHANDLING.COM 592.261.3021
DELIVERING SERVICE EXCELLENCE WRITTEN BY DJAMIL BENMEHIDI
Guyanaâ€™s new government has pledged to re-pivot the Guyanese economy away from its traditional reliance on agriculture and commodities, in favour of an ambitious economic diversification scheme which will help open the country up the world, not to mention the investment riches that this will bring. Endeavour Magazine | 23
NEW TIMEHRI HANDLING SERVICES
Thanks to Guyana’s quite outstanding natural beauty, tourism
will be an important mechanism for economic growth in years to come, and the country’s aviation sector and leading airport, the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), the instruments to achieve it. As Guyana’s leading airline ground handling services provider, New Timehri Handling Services – a company which, thanks to its international standard professionalism and dedication to employee excellence, has long enjoyed industry leader status - will play a less visible, but no less important frontline role in facilitating the growth of Guyana’s budding tourism sector. Endeavour Magazine spoke to New Timehri CEO, Maurice Gajadhar, to find out more.
s an economic sector which accounted for 9.8% of global GDP last year – equivalent to US$7.6 trillion - tourism’s role as an engine for wealth creation, and catalyst for socio-
economic development in developing countries is well-known, not to mention valuable for the countries with the natural gifts to host it. Few countries in the world are fortunate enough to enjoy the wonderful natural gifts Guyana enjoys, however; the potential of its nascent tourism sector is truly incredible. Guyana is nature unspoilt. Its spectacularly bio-diverse rainforests have escaped the plight faced by the forests of its neighbours, and remain lush and unspoiled. Its rolling green savannahs, and the ancient mountainous highlands of the Guyana Shield are no less impressive, whilst its picturesque capital, Georgetown, is the epitome of old-world charm. Unsurprisingly, the wider world is finally beginning to catch wind of one of nature’s best kept secrets. The country’s gateway to the world, the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) is experiencing ever increasing visitor numbers as the number oftourists who step off the plane and pass through its gates continues to swell.With
AN INVALUABLE SILENT PARTNER TO GUYANA’S AVIATION SECTOR Established in June 2001, following the collapse of its former parent company, Guyana Airways, Timehri Handling Services provides a range of services to the largest airlines currently operating out of CJIA, including passenger check-in and baggage handling services, flight operations assistance, ramp services, ground equipment leasing and maintenance, loading and unloading of cargo from carrier and freight flights, and aircraft grooming services.In terms of its international-level credentials, its recent admission to the global IATA Ground Handling Council is telling. It cannot be said that New Timerhri’s reputation for excellence wasn’t earned the hard way, however. The collapse of Guyana Airways hardly set New Timehri good stead, and, initially, New Timehri began life from a position of reduced circumstances. But whilst it began life as a 12-employee company which served only Suriname Airways, a lot can change in 15-years - today, New Timehri Handling Services is now a robust performer which enjoys
over 180,000 visitor arrivals last year, Guyana’s aviation sector is
near-market monopoly status. This is due in no small part to the
under great pressure, as it faces the unenviable task of not merely
heavy investment the company has made in the equipment needed
sustaining but improving the customer experience of large flows of
to serve the biggest airlines, meaning that airline clients can call
tourists, whilst at the same maintaining its vigilance in the face of
upon New Timehri’s large stockpile of ground handling equipment,
the ever-present threat of international terrorism. It’s little wonder
which includes motorised airstairs, belt loaders, transporters, tugs,
that the aviation sector, and the airline ground handling sector, in
aircraft scaffolding, a 200-ton aircraft jack, and other essential
particular, is such a tough, competitive field in which to operate –
equipment when the need arises. A focus on quality has played no
in the face of such challenges, not to mention tight profit margins,
less an important role in New Timehri’s success, however.
only the best survive.
Achieving market leader status, and becoming the go-to ground
As Cheddi Jagan International Airport’s primary airline ground
handling service provider for international airlines setting up shop
services provider, New Timehri Handling Services Inc. knows this all
at Cheddi Jagan International Airport, was built on the company’s
too well, and has established a longstanding reputation as an outfit
ability to offer client airlines a level of service and professionalism
which delivers the best airline ground handling service delivery in
beyond that what rivals can match. New Timehri recognises how
the business, whatever the demands or circumstances.
the delivery of service excellence is based around the simple fact
24 | Endeavour Magazine
NEW TIMEHRI HANDLING SERVICES
that customers have a choice, not to mention long memories. Quality and Safety is key, and this means giving each and every passenger undivided attention each and every time they are greeted by a New Timehri employee. The average check-in process only takes a matter of minutes – ample time for the company to make a strong and lasting impression. Professionalism is everything in this business, after all, and a business is only as good as its staff - New Timehri’s155 employees have proved their worth time and againas an invaluable aide for client airlines, as they strive to fulfil their commitments to the customers they serve.
THE BEGINNING OF GREAT THINGS FOR BOTH NEW TIMEHRI AND GUYANA’S TOURISM SECTOR All in all, these are exciting times for the company, and the inevitable continued investment in and expansion of Guyana’s tourism sector will undoubtedly see New Timehri continue to grow over the years to come. For starters, Cheddi Jagan International Airport is currently in the process of a US$150 million upgrade, which will result in the airport’s 7,500ft runway being extended significantly. Additionally, the company is set to benefit directly from the construction of a modern, cutting-edge new headquarters which will replace the two-story wooden building the company
WORLD-CLASS SERVICE DELIVERY FROM THE BEST STAFF IN THE INDUSTRY In aviation, the role of staff is, in many respects, ambassadorial in nature; for the visitors to Guyana who pass to and from Cheddi Jagan International, New Timehri staff are often a first point of contact. Training, therefore, is key, which is why the company places great emphasis on continual training programs which recognise and promote natural talent, and develop expert knowledge and skill. Maurice, who was clearlyand visibly proud of his staff, told us: “Each
presently operates from – a fitting development indeed for a company of New Timehri Handling Service’s stature. This much is certain; we’ll all be hearing a lot more of Guyana over the years to come, as it finally grows to become the tourism centre that’s its outstanding natural attractions merit. And you can be certain that through every step of the journey, New Timehri will be there, both on the frontlines and in the background, improving standards and ensuring continued industry best practice for the hundreds of thousands who flock to Guyana, now and in the future.
individual airline has their own individual training program; they tend to be demanding, to ensure that staff can offer an adequate level of service. However, our team at New Timehri, through their work with each of these airlines, must at the very least match the minimum service and training requirements of each client airline. This is achieved because not only do they gain so much on-the-job experience working with each of them, but also our staff training at New Timehri is ongoing and mandatory.” He continued, “this is why most airlines who do business in Guyana currently, along with those who are looking to set-up new flight routes into Cheddi Jagan International, come to us first. I believe our staff are unique; elite, even. And our clients recognise as much” Knowing as it does how its reputation is so heavily reliant on its staff, New Timehri offers a range of employee benefits to help it recruit, retain, and motivate its workforce. As a rule, the company employs locally, and strives to develop the best talent from within, so as to ensure staff know that they have a long-term career ahead of them in a company which offers real opportunity for growth and personal development. Most importantly, however, New Timehri staff know that they are working for a company in which their health and safety is paramount. Throughout the business, there is an imbedded culture of safe working practice where employees know they are able to raise issues and concerns with senior management.
26 | Endeavour Magazine
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Â© Sylvie Dutoit Endeavour Magazine | 27
28 | Endeavour Magazine
OMNICANE WWW.OMNICANE.COM +230 212 3251
THE SWEET TASTE OF SUCCESS WRITTEN BY DJAMIL BENMEHIDI
If ever you’re interested in reading a cautionary tale about how quickly the winds of fate and fortune can change in business, simply email a meeting request to one of Omnicane’s senior directors – they’ll be able to tell you a real-life tale about how one of Mauritius’ oldest, most successful sugar producing company’s suddenly found itself, with the mere stroke of a pen in Brussels, teetering on the edge of collapse, before pulling back from the brink and then climbing back to the top again. Endeavour Magazine | 29
Endeavour Magazine caught up with Omnicane to find out more about its rollercoaster journey to the brink and then back again.
t would be safe to say that 2009 - the year when the EU voted
its 150-year sugar-producing heritage. Traditionally a major sugar
to tear up a number of preferential trade agreements, which
milling company since its inception in the 1850’s, Omnicane’s sugar
gave huge benefits to Mauritian sugar producers in terms of
product offerings are now significantly more diverse, reaching
annual sugar quotas allowances – was a very bad year for business
out from production of sugarcane, to the refining of sugar and
for Mauritius-based Omnicane. In fact such was the impact of
manufacture of bio-ethanol – a sustainable fuel which is fast
this, along with a 36% fall in the price of sugar, it seemed for a
being adopted around the world. Not that Omnicane’s ambitious
while at least as if Omnicane and the wider industry in which it
diversification drive stops here, of course – the company has also
operates was facing the same ignominious fate as the country’s
invested heavily into what it knows best, the agro-food sector, and
most well-known and sadly extinct flightless denizen, the dodo.
now benefits from full and partial-ownership of a network of food
Jacques M. d’Unienville, CEO of Omnicane, laughed, “you’re right,
preservation infrastructure, such as the cold rooms and facilities
the Mauritius sugar sector could have gone along that way,” when
needed to safely store staple food products such as vegetables,
the idea was put to him.
palm hearts, shrimp, venison, and even flowers.
Fortunately for Omnicane, its staff, and the wider economy,
Interestingly, for all the company’s history and heritage, the
the implementation of an ambitious and aggressive strategy of
Omnicane brand is indeed young. Following its launch in July
rapid diversification, which saw Omnicane enter into the textiles,
2009 via a strategic re-branding of MonTrésor-MonDésert, the
upmarket tourism, banking, and business processing sectors, saw
Omnicane as we know it was born, and has since led the line as it
the company not only stave off disaster but plant the seeds of its
sought to stabilise not only its own operations, but also the island’s
economy. As a result of its success in this regard, the future now looks altogether sunnier for both parties.
SURVIVING TIMES OF DIFFICULTY THROUGH A FRESH STRATEGY OF DIVERSIFICATION Not that Omnicane has strayed too far from the market it knows
STREAMLINING OPERATIONS AND MOVING UP THE VALUE CHAIN
best, of course. D’Unienville said: “At Omnicane we had a choice of
That said, streamlining the business and embarking on an
phasing out of sugar, or to survive and remain competitive. This
intensive cost-cutting drive didn’t come without its share of pain.
last option is the one we took.” And rightfully so. In spite of its
But while the cuts and closures proved difficult, d’Unienville stands
successful diversification scheme, the company has stayed true to
by what were unavoidable decisions. “What we did was necessary,
30 | Endeavour Magazine
with vision and assistance from the private sector, government,
that were both exported. Now, we have now moved up the value
and workforce, which made it possible to survive and successfully
chain, investing in the cane cluster at La Baraque and moving up
reconvert our business model.” In order to improve efficiency
the value chain by producing direct consumption refined sugar for
and bring down operating expenses, Omnicane began by closing
Europe, bio-ethanol from molasses, bio-fertilisers from vinasse and
seven of the eight factories it was operating ten years ago, in
with the bagasse - the fibres of the sugar cane - we are generating
order to focus operations on one singular unit, the flexi-factory
electricity for the national grid in a substantial way.”
at La Baraque – a cutting edge facility with a crushing capacity of 9,000 metric tonnes of cane per day, and the only one to have adopted energy-saving diffuser technology on the island. It is one
INVESTING IN THE AFRICAN CONTINENT
of the most modern and energy efficient sugar cane mills in the
Mauritius has made remarkable progress on this front, and has
region. Presently, plans are in place to expand the cutting-edge La
already nearly optimised its full biomass energy potential, but the
Baroque facility, which will not only lead to a significantly increased
African continent is a different story. As a resource which remains
production capacity but the construction of a new Carbon Burn-
virtually untapped, African expansion remains at the forefront
out Plant - a new development which will both decrease the carbon
of Omnicane’s agenda, as is demonstrated by Omnicane’s 25%
content output of its power plants, and create ash by-products that
investment in the construction of a US$200 million sugar complex
can be used as an additive for the manufacture of cement, thereby
in Kenya, south of Mombasa, and US$250 million investment into
drastically decreasing its production costs.
sugarcane plantations and refining facilities in northern Ghana.
Additionally, Omnicane’s entry into the thermal energy sector
“Our vision is to be a significant regional sugar and electricity
has quickly borne fruit, and operations at La Baraque and Saint
producer and develop further value-added activities,” d’Unienville
Aubin are now generating nearly a third of the electricity produced
told us. To catalyse its plans for international expansion and export,
to the national grid. “Before, we produced raw sugar and molasses
Omnicane has also forged strategic alliances with companies like
32 | Endeavour Magazine
British-based The Real Good Food Company plc, and its sugar
Airport – which was recently completed. This is but one example of
division Napier Brown - Europe’s leading independent non-refining
the scale of Omnicane’s ambition, and you can be sure that it won’t
sugar distributor. “We want to have more integration into our
be the company’s last.
products and make the most of value-addition.”
There is a lesson for all of us in the recent trials and tribulations of this most impressive Mauritian company – for every threat which
FURTHER PLANS FOR DIVERSIFICATION AND EXPANSION IN THE SHORT TO MEDIUM-TERM Over the short to medium-term, Omnicane intends to continue
presents itself in business there is an opportunity behind it of equal measure. Grit and good strategy go a long way, and through its successes Omnicane has proven itself to be the very embodiment of this idea.
its strategy of aggressive expansion into Africa, along with a strategy of continued diversification. However, that isn’t to say there isn’t an element of risk. The main challenges, says d’Unienville, will be to carefully monitor growth and ensure that is aligned with the pace of expansion and availability of financial resources. “This is why last year we went through a US$100 million US bond issue with a multi-currency facility. So far, we have raised two tranches out of the three and each has been oversubscribed.” At the vanguard of Omnicane’s most radical new market penetration strategy into the hospitality sector is Omnicane’s flagship 140-room business hotel, the Holiday Inn Mauritius Airport - situated close to the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International
Sotramon is a priviledged engineering partner of Omnicane for the past decade in its bold transformation from a sugar to a cane industry. Our involvement dates since the setting of a 2 x 45 MW coal / bagasse firing plant to produce electricity, erection of all associated structural steelwork, equipment and piping for the sugar refinery of capacity 700 t/day and ethanol distillery. Our latest involvement is the setting up of a carbon burn out boiler project and is due for mechanical completion in November 2016. Established in 1983, Sotramon has been offering its services to the major sectors of the Mauritian economy namely the sugarcane, textile, agro, oil and gas sectors. Boasting a wide variety of high quality services from engineering, workshop fabrication, site erection and hiring of cranes, we offer quick response so as to meet tight deadlines and delivery on time to our clients’ satisfaction.
Endeavour Magazine | 33
AMAZING WORLD PEMBA ISLAND: AFRICA’S SECRET SHANGRI-LA
he magical island of Pemba is that rarest of things in our
Further inland, Pemba Island’s gentle hills and deep green valleys
bustling, stressful modern lives – peaceful. The sleepy tropical
are a sensory overload of colour, smell and taste, thanks to the array
island is a place of exquisite beauty that feels undiscovered by
of cloves, mango, coconuts and crops that cover them. However,
the rest of the world; it is truly a place to get lost. Separated from the Tanzanian mainland and nearby Zanzibar by the 50km Pemba Channel, a deep blue strip of ocean famous for its rich sea-fishing waters, Pemba Island hidden away from everything - even its similarly beautiful sister island.
it isn’t just the hills that are thriving - should it take your fancy, the incredible bio-diversity of its coral reefs make Pemba one of the best diving spots in all of Africa. Scattered across the island, ruins dating back to the 17th century remind passers-by of the time when Pemba Island was controlled by
The blue-green hues of its waters lap gently over the clear white
the Omani Sultanate, whom it is said became so enamoured with the
sands of unspoiled coastline. Large stretches of its lush green are
‘Spice Islands’ that he moved his there permanently. Strangely, of
lined with palms and mangroves, and you can explore its hidden
the 300,000 or so people on the islands today, very few – no more
beaches and swim in beautiful, isolated lagoons.
than a few dozen at any given time - are foreign visitors or tourists.
34 | Endeavour Magazine
Should you ever choose to retreat from the noise and pollution of every-day life, you’d do well to visit Pemba Island’s serene Kwanini Manta Resort. What it lacks in five-star luxury, it more than makes up for in its beauty and simplicity. Its beachside villas and garden rooms act as the perfect base from which to explore the islands and neighbouring East
climb your ladder to the upper deck and lie back in the sun, or see the night sky in extraordinary clarity. To find out more about this magical island and the Underwater Room, you can visit the Manta Resort website, or you can go see this secluded Island paradise for yourself – there are so few of them left in the world.
African Savannah. However, the crown jewel of Pemba Island’s Manta Resort is its magical Underwater Room. Just imagine watching great shoals of fish swimming by your window, the colours of the sun or moonlight shining through clear ocean water, or even spotting a passing squid or octopus - all from the comfort of your bed. Alternatively, you can Endeavour Magazine | 35
AUTOMOTIVES MAZDA 626 SKYACTIV-D
hen the fully-loaded Mazda 6 SkyActiv-D first pulled into
display, which allows essential driving information to be projected
our carpark, I have to say the racy little number brightened-
within your eye line. It displays speed, directions, and emergency
up what had up until that point been a stressful day. With
warnings to the driver without the need for moving your head.
its striking soul red colour and city-slicker body shape, all finished
The interior felt luxurious and extremely comfortable -
off with 19-inch bright alloys, the car immediately stood out from
perfect for the 380-mile journey ahead - and was kitted out in
the crowd. With a long journey to Scotland ahead, and a family to
a stone leather trim finish. Much to my son’s delight, the Mazda
keep entertained, I have to say I was looking forward to finding my
6’s separate heated seating system allowed for the activation of
way around Mazda’s latest stylish saloon.
3-heat settings at his leisure – an odd move from the lad, seeing as
The smart keyless entrance system allows you to start/stop at
the temperature display was registering 25c outside. Although the
the press of a button (clutch to be depressed), and like the rest of
kids were good as gold, I perhaps wouldn’t recommend this light
the Mazda 6’s gadgets and gizmos, was user friendly and easy to
colour for a family - over time the leather would mark far quicker
use; an important thing, if like me you sometimes find a car full of
than your standard black interior. That said, it really gave a spacious,
gadgets a little overwhelming.
roomy feel in the cabin, even with the entire family in tow. There is
Upon taking to the wheel, meeting the family, and setting off on our Northern adventure, I found that I really took to the car
absolutely masses of space in the rear for passengers, with all USB ports, compartments, and holders within reaching distance.
quite quickly; it’s easy to see how the Mazda 6 has become a fan
After a few miles you really get a sense of enjoyment from this
favourite. I was immediately impressed with the active driving
car. Throughout both legs of the journey, from start to finish, I felt
36 | Endeavour Magazine
little bit easier, and this was demonstrated perfectly by the Mazda 6’s numerous parking assist functions. Thanks to the 7-inch touch screen which is connected to both front and back cameras, it is easy to manoeuvre this hefty city saloon into and out of the tightest of spots; a series of colour coded lines and beeps indicate how close you’re getting to the car in front. I had one gripe about the screen, however – it would have been a nice touch if the screen folded away into the dashboard when the engine is cut, plus I was expecting the wing mirrors to fold in once parked. I understand this can be added on as an extra but I feel that this should come as standard in a top-spec fully-loaded model like the one I was driving. I was hugely impressed with the Mazda 6’s fuel economy, which surprised me; it’s a heavy motor, fully laden with my family and suitcases (on that note the boot is huge), and yet it’s performance was entirely unaffected. We reached nearly 60 mpg, although when the time did finally come to refuel the car, I admit I did come unstuck, and was forced to confer with the Mazda equivalent of the bible to find how to release the tank cap. A word to the wise; spend safe and comfortable in seating that almost seems to hug you (8way adjustable power seats will get you there). The car has power; real power, to ensure danger can be averted at any given time. Admittedly, I found going from first to second gear a little lumpy in comparison to the smoothness you get as you go into the higher gears, but the Mazda 6 definitely came into to its own once you get it into third. Honestly, boy does it go off the line! I had some fun putting its acceleration to the test, especially off roundabout exits, although my wife who was sat in the back definitely didn’t - the
a day reading this through before setting off on your first journey, it’ll help you avoid a little embarrassment at the service station. Within this car there was so much more to explore, and I felt the Mazda 6 offered a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining driving experience. To me, everything within and outside the car is fantastic, to the point where I will seriously consider the Mazda 6 as my next car purchase. However, with my dogs in mind, I might plump for the tourer model as it offers extra boot space. Thank you Mazda, I look forward in reviewing your next model.
amazing BOSE surround system did a great job in drowning out the snipes at my driving that followed, fortunately. Even the most discerning speaker snobs would fail not be impressed with the sound quality provided by the 11 preciselypositioned speakers, which offer maximum listening pleasure with no expense spared. I liked the media system too, which offers a DAB radio, and a plugin for phones and tablets for passengers in the back. The hands free Bluetooth system is easy to work, and with all the controls required on the steering wheel there is minimal distraction. You find yourself at times fixated and in awe almost of the prompt reminder to change gears up to six. I cannot grasp how a car can still pull away quickly in sixth gear at 40-45mph. I put this down to the SKYACTIV technology that’s all about fuel economy, low emissions and making driving more fun. This technology enables the Mazda 6 to deliver a unique mix of driving pleasure, balanced with outstanding environmental and safety performance. Its brilliant. Everything about the car is designed to make driving it that Endeavour Magazine | 37
PEUGEOT 308 GTI
ack in the late 1980’s when I had terrible hair (yes, mullet
few more BHP just doesn’t really warrant the title. The 308, on the
haircuts were once fashionable), shoulder pads, and an
other hand, genuinely does, as it is blisteringly fast, handles like a
insatiable appetite for all things fast, I had the pleasure of
dream and has clearly been designed thoughtfully and with great
owning a Peugeot 206 GTi. Even way back then, the 206 GTi felt
love. No doubt by a fellow petrol-head.
a bit like a standard car which had lots of go faster stuff bolted on,
I love the understated good looks of the 308 GTi. Ours came in
but, that said, I loved that car, and ever since have always had a soft
black with a few bits of red trim; its not your gaudy bright-colours-
spot for a Peugeot.
and-in-your-face look that many cars from this category fall into.
Whereas my old Peugeot 206 produced a paltry 137 BHP,
This was a good call by Peugeot; toning down the aesthetics in this
however, its younger, more muscular younger brother, the Peugeot
way will inevitably endear the car to a far bigger audience than a car
308 GTi, with its 1.6l turbo, nearly 270 BHP engine, is a monster!
that looks like a Hot Wheels toy.
It is a fire-spitting cracker of a hatchback and it truly deserves to
The 1.6 turbocharged lump is so strong and smooth, producing
wear the GTi badge – it really is the real McCoy. This 308 GTi is a
266 BHP, and is all crammed into a small and very light shell. This
beast of a car but it needs to be when it’s up against the likes of the
combination of power and weight means that whilst this car isn’t
Honda Civic Type R, Audi RS3, Mini John Cooper Works, Renault
the most powerful in its group, it can go toe-to-toe with any of its
Clio RS 220 Trophy, and of course the legendary Golf GTi.
rivals. It really does fly off out of the blocks, and the big fat 19-
Hot hatch is a term we have been using for years, and I think
inch wheels dig in deep to keep traction and handling in check. The
it is over-used - bolting on a spoiler, bigger wheels and adding a
6-speed gearbox puts the power down, although my one criticism
38 | Endeavour Magazine
4 cylinders, 1598cc, turbo, petrol
266bhp at 6000rpm
243lb ft at 1900-5000rpm
Kerb weight 1280kg Gearbox
0-60mph 6.0sec Top speed
47.0mpg (combined) and we achieved 42MPG on a 100 mile trip of country blasting and motorway cruising
is that when pumping it hard the gear changes seem a bit long. The engine is more than capable of dealing with this, however; it’s just you have to get used to the fact that you’ll be at a very high MPH when you start changing into your higher gears. A slightly closer ratio would give a better 0-60, however the current 6 seconds should be fast enough for most of us. The Alcon brakes with 380mm front discs, clamped by four-piston calipers, provide immense stopping power too. Standard equipment includes LED headlights and satellite navigation. The Sport button on the centre console is in my opinion the most powerful option, and after pressing it the 308 GTi delivers a racy car soundtrack through the cars speakers. As you drive you can hear the engine growling and burbling, and quite fittingly the clocks turn from innocent white to devil red. The suede and leather seats look first-class and are very comfortable, which is a bonus as the ride can be a little on the hard side. All-in-all the Peugeot 308 GTi is a well-designed and highly capable hot hatch that delivers the most important thing you could want from it: a huge smile every time you fire it up. In case you couldn’t already tell, I absolutely loved this car. Endeavour Magazine | 39
40 | Endeavour Magazine
ASSYSTEM WWW.ASSYSTEM.COM 33 (0)1 55 65 03 00
MANAGING THE FUTURE WRITTEN BY STEVEN WELLER
For 50 years, Assystem has proved its worth as a committed and trusted partner for the worldâ€™s largest industrial groups. With 12,000 employees and a truly global reach, Assystem boasts impressive credentials and offers a diverse range of engineering services to the many markets in which it operates. Undoubtedly, one of its leading markets is the nuclear sector. Endeavour Magazine | 41
Nothing demonstrates Assystem’s involvement within the
nuclear industry better than their recent €174 million contract signing on the ITER project – a vast and demanding project which will see Assystem’s capabilities put to the test. Endeavour Magazine caught up with Assystem’s Vice President of Strategic Operations, Mr. Hubert Labourdette, a long serving member of Assystem’s nuclear division, to find out more.
he nuclear power sector is one which Assystem has long
technical challenges - is telling, and might be considered a reflection
held an association. Since the company’s formation in 1966,
of the company’s operations.
Assystem has specialised in the commissioning of industrial
Nuclear power offers us what many other energy sources
units for the nuclear industry both in France and abroad, but whilst
cannot- sustainability on a mass scale. The only solution we have to
its processes, technologies and techniques might have evolved
carbon-free electricity remains nuclear, wind and solar. However,
over the years, little else has changed for the company in terms
it is no secret that the harnessing of nuclear power has not come
of vision and values: always delivering projects and supporting its
without its implications. The word nuclear is one which can still
customers at best through their most complex projects. Today,
about a chill, following the accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima
Assystem is ranked as the 2nd nuclear engineering company in the world (ENR 250 McGraw Hill)
No project in any industry comes without a certain degree of risk. The problem with nuclear projects, however, is that if
Assystem is dedicated to feeding the need of the customer
something goes wrong, it can go very, very wrong; none of us need
via specific engineering services such as project management,
reminding of the crisis caused by Chernobyl. In this business there
critical control and security systems integration. The world of
is next to no margin for error. Having said that, the industry has
technical engineering remains as rewarding as it does challenging,
come a very long way since the disaster, and it’s largely thanks to
and whether its operating heavy machinery or designing a nuclear
the great work and expertise of companies such as Assystem, who
power plant, there will always be difficulties over the course of a
have tireless sought to improve procedures and process, with a
project’s lifecycle. By sharing expertise and supporting the projects
view to markedly improve both quality and safety. In this respect,
of its partners and customers, Assystem ensures that, through
Assystem has delivered.
collaboration, no challenge is insurmountable. Assystem’s expertise
As is often the case, much of the fear surrounding nuclear is
within the nuclear sector – one notorious for its complexity and
borne out of lack of knowledge. It is certainly true that very little is
42 | Endeavour Magazine
understood about nuclear energy on the part of the public sector but
So where does Assystem come into all this? Assystem’s
actually the basic principles behind it are fairly simple. For starters,
involvement with ITER actually spans the best part of a decade, and
nuclear energy is divided into two forms- fission and fusion. The
just recently things have really gathered pace in what is an exciting
difference is small, yet substantial. Nuclear fission concerns itself
new era for ITER. In Cadarache, Southern France, the construction
with the splitting of atoms whereas nuclear fusion is the combining.
process on the reactor is well under way. On June 27th 2016, ITER
Hundreds of billions of dollars has been invested into both fission
organization and the Momentum joint venture signed a staggering
and fusion over the years, with the former being the form at the
€174 million for the management of the 10-year ITER assembly
furthest stage of development. However, it is nuclear fusion that
and installation phase. The Momentum venture is a collaboration
everyone is talking about at the moment, and this is largely due to
of three companies- Assystem, AMEC Foster-Wheeler and Kepco,
the ITER project which Assystem is currently engaged in.
who are now trusted with managing the construction process on
ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) is
site. Contracts in complex and demanding projects are somewhat
a fusion mega-project, described as the world’s largest scientific
of a speciality for Assystem and the contracts showcase the key
experiment. Without getting too technical, for a fusion reaction to
skills of the workforce.
occur there needs to be heat, a serious amount of heat. In fact, it
The 2,500 employees within the nuclear division dedicate
is through fusion reactions that the sun gains its energy. Creating
themselves to the design and management in various major
the same conditions as the heart of our solar system requires a very
projects, not just limited to France. Assystem is already involved at
complex (and expensive) machine; a tokamak. In short, the goal of
the Hinkley point project in the UK, with one of their key clients,
the ITER project is to design, construct and operate the world’s
EDF energy, having recently secured a lucrative contract alongside
largest of these machines.
the Chinese. Another important international venture includes
44 | Endeavour Magazine
the involvement of Assystem in all the EPRs construction in the world (China, Finland, France, the UK) or in the Turkish nuclear projects Akkuyu and Sinop. With regards to what’s happening in France, there are fears of a chronic skills shortage in the nuclear sector, which perhaps makes the vast number of highly skilled nuclear technicians within Assystem’s ranks even more astounding. Assystem believe in an emphasis on specialised training; the future of nuclear lies with the younger generation after all. But let’s not forget that Assystem is much more than a company dedicated too nuclear. Assystem operates across 20 countries, and manages operations across a diverse spectrum of industry. These industries range from aerospace to transportation and infrastructures or even life sciences. All in all, the future looks bright and certainly busy for Assystem. As more countries rest their sustainable energy hopes in nuclear power plants, Hubert and his highly skilled team will be there to implement this vision.
Endeavour Magazine | 45
46 | Endeavour Magazine
MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE OF PLASMA PHYSICS WWW.IPP.MPG.DE +49 89 3299-01
THE ENERGY OF THE FUTURE WRITTEN BY AMY TOCKNELL
The Max Planck Institut fÃ¼r Plasmaphysik is an incredible facility that is primarily concerned with investigating the potential that fusion energy offers. With some exciting developments on the horizon, Endeavour magazine spoke to the team to find out more. Endeavour Magazine | 47
MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE OF PLASMA PHYSICS
Getting to grips with why fusion energy is so critical might
seem like a task for lab professionals only, but the Max Planck Institut für Plasmaphysik (IPP), quite helpfully broke its importance down into layman terms, when it stated.
ver ninety per cent of the world’s energy requirements are supplied today by fossil energy sources. The reliability of present supplies readily obscures the fact that the
climate problem, limited fuel resources and political instability call, in the long run, for a new energy system. The amount of economically efficient energy sources capable of replacing coal, oil, and gas is, however, very limited. Besides nuclear fission and solar energy there is the third possibility of fusion.” In their words, fusion can be defined as such, “The sun is the basis of all life on earth: the central star contains 99.8 per cent of the mass of the entire planetary system. This huge plasma ball consists mainly of hydrogen. A constant fusion fire burns in its core, where the hydrogen atomic nuclei merge into helium. The enormous energy produced in this nuclear fusion is what heats and lights the earth.” So, now that we understand what fusion, essentially, is and why we need to master it, the question has to be asked, what is IPP doing to further the case? The answer is, a lot. Connected to the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, it is also a key member of the European Fusion Programme and is committed to a significant amount of participation in seven separate projects, Out of this impressive line-up of current research and development projects, it’s the Wendelstein 7-X that the IPP team are most keen to discuss, and it’s little wonder when you discover that it is the world’s largest fusion device of the stellarator type. To put that into terms that we can all understand, this is a machine
48 | Endeavour Magazine
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ASG Superconductors designs and manufactures resistive and superconducting magnet systems for research in the high-energy physics domain, thermonuclear fusion, energy and medical applications. Managers and technical personnel collaborate every day, in Italy and abroad, with leading companies in industry and with primary scientific research centers and institutions. Research, nuclear fusion, particle physics, energy and medical applications. ASG Superconductors offers its clients expertise in the design, development, production, installation and testing of superconducting and resistive magnetic systems, cryogenic systems, magnets for cyclotrons and components tailored to the customersâ€™ needs.
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Pictures courtesy of: IBA - CERN - ITER
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From research to industrial applications
MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE OF PLASMA PHYSICS that has been built specifically to confine molten plasma within a
Two seconds might not sound seem very impressive to the
strong magnetic field. This will create a controlled nuclear fusion
untrained eye, but it’s the power created that is the important aspect
reaction, which can then be monitored, adapted and manipulated
here. Since that first success, the amount of energy produced has
for research purposes. It all sounds like a plot from a science
increased consistently, and future developments are projected to
fiction film, but this is very real and, according to IPP, the future of
be no less positive. This utterly incredible feat has lead to JET being
sustainable world energy.
the only machine in the entire world that is capable of,
“The main assembly of Wendelstein 7-X was concluded in 2014. Once all technical systems had been checked step-by-step, the first plasma was produced on 10th December 2015.” With less than a year of operation under its belt, it’s too early
“…operating with the deuterium-tritium fuel mixture that will be used in ITER and commercial fusion power stations.” That leads us nicely into a discussion about ITER and how IPP is connected to it.
to ask what this incredible machine is telling the team, which is
“The international ITER experimental reactor is to show that it
why IPP has also become affiliated with other research projects
is physically and technically possible to gain energy from nuclear
including the Joint European Torus (JET) and ITER cooperation.
fusion. IPP is contributing to the preparation of the device through
To call JET a groundbreaking project would be a dramatic
the research programme being conducted on its ASDEX Upgrade
understatement that barely scratched the surface of what is being
fusion device. IPP scientists are also maintaining close contact with
achieved, with vast amounts of research and date having come
the ITER group in all physics-oriented questions and are treating
from the endeavour since the nineties it first went live in the early
special problems for ITER in numerous contract studies.”
nineties. “For the first time in the history of fusion research it was
The real question is, compared to Wendelstein 7-X, how significant can the findings be expected to be?
possible with JET in 1991 to release a substantial amount of energy
“ITER is intended to show that it is physically and technically
through controlled nuclear fusion. For the duration of two seconds
possible to gain energy from nuclear fusion. Its objective is to
the device generated a fusion power of 1.8 megawatt.”
produce a burning, energy-yielding plasma for the first time.
In the framework of thermonuclear fusion research, ASG Superconductors has successfully delivered 30 (out of 50) nonplanar superconducting coils, of three different types, which will generate the magnetic field containment of the plasma in the Wendelstein 7-X reactor at the Institute of Plasma Physics. The contribution of ASG can be considered a success in terms of flexibility to respond promptly to customer needs, to manage the difficulties inherent to such a complex project and to comply to the highest quality standards. ASG, a partner in supporting your research.
ASG Superconductors has successfully completed one of the largest and most complex magnets ever built in thermonuclear fusion application: the 1st TF Winding Pack of the ITER project. A great history of scientific and industrial cooperation with Research Institutions and different companies that have combined skills and activities to get to build one of the essential components of the ITER nuclear fusion reactor at Cadarache. ASG was awarded the order for manufacturing of 10 (out of 19) toroidal field coils and for “Engineering Integrator” activities of poloidal field coils. For further information please visit our web site www.asgsuperconductors.com
50 | Endeavour Magazine
The Heartbeat of High Power
ITER should release 500 megawatts of fusion power – ten times the heating power coupled in. Furthermore, it is to be used for developing and testing essential technical functions of a fusion reactor. These include superconducting magnetic field coils, tritium technology, exhaust of the thermal energy generated, and development of remotely replaceable components; the safety and environmental aspects of fusion will also be investigated.” It’s all another world isn’t it? Well, it would be, except that you have to remember these experiments are being conducted for the sole purpose of improving and extending the lifespan of our own planet. When you boil nuclear fusion down, it’s a case of find a new way to supply the human race with the essential energy it needs, or face an uncertain future when the fossil fuels, that we have shamelessly depended on for so many years, run out. While the work of IPP still sounds like another language to those of us on the ground, we know one thing for sure: that we are thankful for the men and women that have made this endeavour
Powering the Future of Science Ampegon delivered high voltage power supplies for ECRH/ICRH plasma heating to Max-Planck-Institut (IPP). Ampegon offers RF amplifier systems, high voltage and high current power supplies as well as short and long pulse modulators for world-class research facilities and medical/industrial applications.
their careers. When it comes to tackling the world energy crisis, IPP could just be the last shining ray of hope for a brighter, sustainable and feasible future, so we’ll be following the research findings of Wendelstein 7-X and ITER with a keen and vested interest. Science
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Endeavour Magazine | 51
52 | Endeavour Magazine
TOBAGO COLD STORAGE AND WAREHOUSE FACILITY WWW.TCOSWAF.COM +1 (868) 639-4017
AS COLD AS ICE WRITTEN BY AMY TOCKNELL
Servicing in excess of 80 businesses in Trinidad and Tobago, the Tobago Cold Storage and Warehouse Facility makes giving other storage providers the cold shoulder a matter of course. Endeavour Magazine spoke to General Manager, Sandra Alexander, to find out how the company has become the go-to operation in the region. Endeavour Magazine | 53
TOBAGO COLD STORAGE AND WAREHOUSE FACILITY
The Tobago Cold Storage and Warehouse Facility (TCOSWAF) is celebrating a number of years at the top of its game, thanks to a commitment to consistently diversifying and developing the services on offer, not to mention never losing sight of who really matters; the customer.
andra Alexander, General Manager expanded a little further,
profit margins, so that we could keep the cold storage affordable
“In 2003, the operation was purchased by the Tobago
for local businesses. Areas such as poultry storage and vehicle
House of Assembly (THA) from NIPDEC, who had deemed it
parking were natural choices, as well as storing imported goods.
unprofitable. Tobago is an island in the region and is dependent
These newer areas of interest are literally a means to maintain low
on certain industries, such as fishing and the THA recognised the
prices on the public cold storage side of things.”
value in offering local fisherman a reliable location for storing their
Enjoying a huge 77,000 cubic feet of specialist refrigerated cold
catches. Without TCOSWAF, there would have been nowhere
storage space and 70,000 square feet of dry storage, TCOSWAF
to store the fish and the industry would have suffered, stalled or
looks well equipped to deal with any number of customers who
maybe even failed completely.”
might need their services in the near future but with that potential
While some organisations, regardless of industry, might enjoy
for business comes a need for clear service directives. When you
success and be happy to remain static, others are always on the
consider that the company is one of the biggest ice suppliers on
lookout for what consumers might need next, in a bid to already
the island and also offers commercial space, either for storage or
be in a position to supply it. This is the type of operation that goes
business premises purposes, having a defined customer service
on to enjoy longstanding commercial viability and a reputation
charter becomes vital. Sandra recognised this right from the start
for being customer-centric. All the positive marketing spin in the
of her tenure as General Manager,
world can’t fake a great reputation, such as the one that TCOSWAF
“I’ve been here for four years. When I joined, the Board of
enjoys and one of the key reasons that people keep coming back is
Directors that form the management structure gave me a strict
that the costs are monitored closely, to protect user margins,
mandate to turn the company around. Up until that point, it had
“The public cold storage facility is very costly to operate because
been in a poor position and frequently running at a loss, with
of the large amount of electricity needed, as well as maintenance
nothing working as it should. In order to change that and make it
costs, but our mandate has always been to support certain local
profitable and operational, I needed a plan.”
industries, so we didn’t want to put costs up. Diversification into
Given that TCOSWAF offers such a vast array of storage
areas other than cold storage was necessary to help with our own
services, ranging from commercial/dry storage through to vehicle
54 | Endeavour Magazine
TOBAGO COLD STORAGE AND WAREHOUSE FACILITY
parking and even frozen consumables storage and ice production,
factors that help to set it apart from the others. Sandra agreed,
it makes sense that the staffing body needs to be quick on the ball
“Our competitive advantages are clear to see and all derived
and adept at multitasking. The question is, however, how could
from customer needs. Firstly, not only do we have a large facility,
these people contribute to making the company more profitable?
in a great location in Scarborough, but we also have plenty of
“I recognised the importance of the human element of the
parking here, compared to our competitors. Secondly, our brand
company from day one; they were and remain the most important
recognition is second to none as well, as we stand for reliability,
asset of TCOSWAF. We have a lot of physical assets, but without
punctuality and courtesy. Lastly, we offer special opening times for
a good staff base, these are null and void. Our people are given
our customers, as we know they can’t all work a standard day. If
training and trusted with responsibilities and things to care
products come in on a night ferry, we can ensure staff are available
about. Every one of the 35 employees working alongside me are
to help unload, just like Sunday morning support can be offered
valued and fully understand that how we treat the customer will
too, with just a phone call.”
determine if they come back or not. Given that Tobago is a small
Going the extra mile could be the company strapline at
market, word of mouth is the most important marketing technique
TCOSWAF, as all of these initiatives are well above and beyond
in the community here. We don’t need to commit to extensive or
the regular call of duty, but the commitment to customers doesn’t
expensive advertising and marketing, as we use word of mouth and
end there, as the future looks exciting and filled with commercial
that is successful because of the amazing team that works hard to
please customers every day.”
“At this time we are seeking to expand our commercial space
TCOSWAF is not the only facility of its kind in the region, but
and also want to increase our ice distribution network, as sales
knowing how much business it enjoys, there must be a number of
are increasing significantly. Putting merchandisers directly into
56 | Endeavour Magazine
communities will make ice easier to acquire for all of our customers, so that’s something we are keen to explore. We are extremely excited about continuing to support local business owners as well, especially local meat producers, so that healthy, quality products don’t have to be imported from Trinidad or the USA, which can make them expensive. We see working with local farmers as key to future success, for TCOSWAF and the farmers themselves. They need to see that there is a market for their product and we are happy to help with that.” While profit is important to any business, it takes an exceptional operation to put the needs of the community before monetary gain. TSCOWAF is one such company that seeks to always support local industry and by ploughing every penny of profit back into the running of the business, the future of Tobago’s agricultural, fishing and business sectors looks to be in safe and invested hands.
Endeavour Magazine | 57
AMAZING WORLD LAKE NATRON: NATURE AT ITS MOST EERIE
ith Halloween just around the corner once more, there is no
images were once living animals,
more fitting time to examine the fascinating work of Nick
since petrified by the dangerous
Brandt, who through his award-winning photography has
waters of Lake Natron - a
proven beyond all doubt that the scariest tales are the ones with a
deceptively serene-looking body
bit of truth in them.
of water in the Arusha Region of
Upon first glance, some of the subjects of Brandt’s eerie series,
‘Across the Ravaged Land’, look like a collection of exquisitely
The waters of Lake Natron
detailed stoned carvings. On closer inspection, these unfortunate
are incredibly hostile to most
birds and bats are a little more macabre: the ‘statues’ in these
living things – so much so, in
fact, that only two species can live in them: the alkaline tilapia and blue-green algae. Whilst the glassy, mirror-like surface of the lake may look beautiful, the water is actually a viscous alkaline brine with natron and trona content so high “it would strip the paint off my Kodak boxes,” according to Brandt. The
58 | Endeavour Magazine
water’s caustic alkalinity, which can reach a pH as high as 10.5, will
they no longer inhabit, to convey Brandt’s concern for depleting
quickly burn the eyes and skin of any creatures not adapted to it.
wildlife, juxtaposing these preserved bodies with images of living
That said, all is not as it seems; the water of Lake Natron did not kill Brandt’s subjects, but calcified the bodies of animals that
animals since vanished from their old homes to drive this message home.
perished shortly after entering the water. This real-life tale is as
Even so, nature around the lake itself strives on. Surprisingly,
morbid as it is fascinating; it is easy to see how the people living in
while the waters are inhospitable to nearly all life, the islands that
the area believed that these petrified animals had been cursed and
form in the lake during dry seasons are a primary breeding ground
turned to stone.
for the 2 million Lesser Flamingos.
Photographs from Lake Natron are used amongst images of
Isn’t nature something?
elephant tusks, and panels placing photographs of animals in areas
Endeavour Magazine | 59
60 | Endeavour Magazine
QDVC WWW.QDVC.COM (974) 4453 84 00
BUILDING A NATION WRITTEN BY DJAMIL BENMEHIDI
So prolific has activity in the construction sector been in Qatar over the past decade that the extraordinary completion of mega-project after multi-billion dollar mega-project appears seemingly ordinary; isnâ€™t it telling when the world grows accustomed and complacent in the face of the incredible? Endeavour Magazine | 61
Colossal, highly complex feats of engineering,
which has included massive road, rail, port, and stadium builds, in addition to the erection of a forest of glittering skyscrapers in Qatar’s majestic futuristic cities, have been the bread-and-butter of Qatar’s big-ticket construction companies. QDVC is no exception. Endeavour Magazine investigated to find out the secret to QDVC’s success.
ell, what a great few years for business it’s been for QDVC. Since its beginning to life in 2007, the product of a joint venture between Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment
Company and VINCI Construction, the company has fast carved out an enviable reputation as one of the biggest and best construction contractors, not only in Qatar but across the Middle East. You need only glance at the list of big-ticket design-build mega-projects that QDVC has taken on for the public and private sector over the past 9-years to get an idea of the sheer scale and capabilities of this quite remarkable construction outfit, not to mention the expertise
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that its in-house engineering and construction arms can clearly call upon.
QATARI CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY HAS SURGED Of course, it’s to be expected that construction giants of the size and strength of QDVC will have had their hands busy in recent years. Whilst the country’s golden goose has historically been its petroleum and liquefied natural gas (LNG) which, quite rightfully, is recognised as the cornerstone of Qatar’s fabulously
P.O.BOX 13986, DOHA-QATAR Phone +974 44340430 firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: +974 44340431 www.copyworld.com.qa 62 | Endeavour Magazine
rich economy, the construction sector has of late been the Qatari economy’s fastest-growing segment by some margin. Thanks to strong economic growth, which has only tapered off over the
past 18-months as a result of the present global oil crisis, and a
then keep it there. In a country so buoyant and full of opportunity,
government-funded US$200 billion infrastructure investment
where huge riches are there to be reaped by the companies capable
venture, the Qatar National Vision 2030 scheme, Qatar is booming.
of driving Qatar’s transformation into a multi-faceted developed
Within its host nation’s national borders alone, QDVC is
nation with a diversified economy, competition is fierce for those
currently working on the US$1.16 billion New Orbital Highway –
lucrative contracts. This is especially the case in the construction
Contract 2, south-west of Doha, the Doha Metro Red Line South –
sector. QDVC is a case study for how to run a company that is
a vast undertaking which has seen the company design, tunnel, and
one of the industry leaders, and the reason for this is that it has
build five underground metro stations and their adjoining tunnels
achieved everything it has and captured significant market share off
below the streets of Doha, and the new city of Lusail’s US$3.8
the back of good old-fashioned hard work. Over the past 2-years
billion Light Railway Transit System, along with four accompanying
alone, QDVC has taken on US$5.65 billion worth of projects, but
underground car parks. And then there’s the international work
the company will be the first to admit it has lost as many tenders
QDVC is currently engaged in, which includes the construction of
as it has won.
the Dahlak Island Resort in Eritrea, and the Golf & Racquet Club in Al Houara, on the outskirts of Tangiers, Morocco.
Innovation, as always, is another key attribute required for commercial success, and in this respect QDVC also has good form. In a bid to improve processes and cut costs, it has sought to import
HARD WORK AND INNOVATION
the latest cutting edge technologies, equipment, and expertise as
Granted, as the product of a joint venture between two huge,
it strives to stay ahead of the curve. It is no coincidence that many
well-financed entities, QDVC enjoyed a privileged start to life, but
projects it has taken on, even those amongst the most complex and
it takes more than early advantage to build a top-tier company and
demanding, have been completed under budget.
64 | Endeavour Magazine
INVESTING IN QATAR’S FUTURE BY NURTURING THE TOP LOCAL TALENT It would be unjust not to name QDVC’s extensive and highlyskilled workforce as another key component behind the company’s rise to prominence, of course. QDVC has a policy aimed at reaching out to and recruiting the best Qatari talent, via a dedicated Qatarisation Department created early 2013. The Qatarisation team, which is in charge of the recruitment, training, motivation, retention, and career development of Qataris within the company, is committed to encouraging the development of Qataris to
heavyweights will end anytime soon. And most importantly, QDVC will continue to do this through innovation, and through remaining a trend-setter, with regards to know-how, quality, and efficiency. QDVC’s reputation precedes it, and clients know that it will always strive to find ways to do things better by designing buildings that are structurally lighter and cost less; that can be heated and cooled better through the use of more effective design.
A BOOM THAT SIGNALS THE BEGINNING OF THINGS TO COME
become the future generation of leaders, engineers and skilled
In spite of Qatar’s present economic discomfort, the present
professionals. For this scheme to bear fruit, QDVC has worked
nation building drive doesn’t represent a high water mark for the
tirelessly to develop the rigorous training and initiatives necessary
country; this is the beginning, rather than the onset of a decline.
to transform the most promising talent into the best in the business.
There is plenty more to do, and even one or two further construction
Today, there are currently several initiatives in place to help QDVC
mega-projects on the horizon – as you’d expect, QDVC is going to
identify, recruit, and train Qatari nationals with this goal in mind.
have its hands full a few years longer.
With the top talent at its disposal, along with the most modern techniques, technology and insight, there is no reason to believe that QDVC’s leading role as one of Qatar’s construction
Endeavour Magazine | 65
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CONSTRUCTIONAL ENGINEERING ASSOCIATION (SOUTH AFRICA) WWW.CEA.ORG.ZA +27 11 298 â€“ 9400
THE FOUNDATION ON WHICH TO BUILD AN EMPIRE WRITTEN BY AMY TOCKNELL
The construction sector is all about solid underpinnings that will remain steadfast and strong for years to come, so it makes perfect sense that there would be an organisation setup to offer comparable support to industry employers. Endeavour Magazine was delighted to get up close and personal with the Constructional Engineering Association (South Africa) to find out what they offer construction market leaders. Endeavour Magazine | 67
CONSTRUCTIONAL ENGINEERING ASSOCIATION (SOUTH AFRICA)
It’s no secret that the construction industry is a fast-paced,
competitive sector the world over, but with initiatives in place to push commercial progress in South Africa, it’s even more vital that professional organisations have an association to rely on for continued support.
aturally, there are many construction-related unions and
and the free movement of information, as that’s the only way to
advocates, but none offer the level of specialist employer
guarantee that members are getting what they need. It shouldn’t
support that the Constructional Engineering Association
be a shock to encounter an operation that is so genuinely geared
(South Africa) (CEA) does. It describes its role in simplistic terms,
towards the best interests of its members, but unfortunately it is.
“The CEA represents employers engaged in the construction
Perhaps one day such dedication will be the norm, but until then,
engineering industry, operating in the structural, mechanical,
it remains as just one of the reasons why the CEA is so unique
electrical, instrumentation, piping and project management fields.
and respected. Another is the clear distinction between the two
In addition to its own activities, the CEA has two active divisions:
divisions that make up the association, as it means focus does not
the Labour Broking Division and the Temporary Employment
need to be split between them.
Services Division. The association also has close ties to the SA Institute of Steel Construction and the SA Institute of Welding.” With an active connection to what seems to be every facet of the construction industry within South Africa, it comes as no surprise that this is an association that has been in operation for a considerable amount of time. In fact, it can boast 80 years of groundbreaking employer advocacy, “It was founded in 1936 as the Transvaal Structural Engineering Association, changed its name subsequently to the Constructional
“The Labour Broking Division (LBD) of the CEA was established in 1994, by members who recognised the need to form a body in order to have a platform where this sector of industry has a voice, be part of a representative body which will have credibility in the eyes of clients, contractors, bargaining councils, trade unions etc and improve the image of this sector of industry, which admittedly at that time was very poor and was perceived to operate on the fringes of the law.”
Engineering Association and finally, to the Constructional
Showing a willingness to be reactive to industry needs is key to
Engineering Association (South Africa) in 1986. The CEA(SA) is
the on-going success of the CEA and it’s worth adding here that part
1 of 27 independent employer associations, each representing a
of the organisation’s mission is to always be helping construction
different sector of the industry, which together form the Steel and
industry employers to operate fully within the confines of the law.
Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA).”
Since being initiated, the Labour Broking Division (LBD) has
Where some associations might seek to be in competition
brought about significant developments, including a code of
with others, the CEA recognises the inherent need for cooperation
ethics and easy access to tax legislation information, all of which
68 | Endeavour Magazine
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in the management of the fabrication, maintenance & upgrading of Tanks, Structural steel & piping for large corporate companies in the Petro chemical, Agro chemical & Engineering industry as well as servicing & assisting principle & sub contractors within industry as a Project support company due to work over flow. Formed in 2008, the company is 100% Black Owned of which 50% is black woman owned
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High standard of quality Cost & time efficiency Care for the local community WWW.DSES.CO.ZA • INFO@DSES.CO.ZA • 031 466 6227 Endeavour Magazine | 69
CONSTRUCTIONAL ENGINEERING ASSOCIATION (SOUTH AFRICA)
is essential and works perfectly alongside the directive of the
could have lead to a frightening propensity for certain companies
Temporary Employment Services Division (TESD).
to be operating outside of the law, without realising, but with the
“The Temporary Employment Services Division (TESD) was
CEA in place, that isn’t something that will be a problem.
founded in 2003 and provides temporary employment service
No association can ever be considered a success if industry
providers with a forum to regulate this specialised industry, to
giants don’t actively seek to take up membership and it’s by this
serve the needs of their clients and to protect the rights of their
measure that we can say with total confidence that the CEA is a
candidates in a legally compliant environment. TESD members
giant in its field. The members listing, as found on the CEA website,
supply ‘white collar’ professionals such as draughtsmen, engineers,
is a veritable A-Z who’s who of the South African construction
project managers and technicians to the Engineering, Procurement
sector and if a company isn’t in there, it is probably either about to
and Construction Management (EPCM) industries, mining houses
be, or not worth discussing. With a strict covenant in place as to
and the manufacturing industry.”
who can join, having your company name associated with the CEA
When you see what each individual division actually looks to achieve, it is impossible to underestimate the importance if the
is clearly a badge of honour, as simply being eligible to join does not guarantee a membership.
association as a whole. On the one hand, there is a tangible need
Looking to uphold the highest of employment standards within
for everyone within the South African construction industry to
the South African construction industry, the CEA is providing key
be singing from the same hymn sheet, so to speak, but alongside
employers with all the tools they need to make better, safer and
that, individual employers need to know that they can easily access
more responsible choices. Ignorance will no longer be accepted as
a reliable and trusted forum to seek advice. With construction
an excuse for legal non-compliance, not when there is such a strong
employment contracts now being exclusively temporary, as apposed
association acting as the foundations for a more proactive future.
to organisations being able to take on permanent team members, there will naturally be a shift in perception and understanding. This
70 | Endeavour Magazine
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STEINMULLER AFRICA WWW.STEINMULLER.BILFINGER.COM +27 11 806 3000
POWER TO THE PEOPLE WRITTEN BY STEVEN WELLER
With a presence spanning over 50-years in the African market, Steinmüller Africa’s expertise within the steam generation industry is second to none. Whilst offering a full-range of services to the power industry, Steinmüller Africa recognises that one of the keys to success lies in staff training. Endeavour Magazine | 73
To find out more about the secrets to the success of this industrial
powerhouse, Endeavour Magazine spoke with the Managing Director of Steinmüller Africa, Mr. Andreas Michalke.
teinmüller Africa, a subsidiary of Bilfinger Power Africa (Pty)
company’s largest investment to date and allows the company to
Ltd is a 1,000 employee-strong company and is well-known
serve a broader range of industries. In addition to power generation,
in the power generation market particularly within Southern
Steinmüller Africa is a trusted partner to the petrochemical, process
and other steam consuming industries. The company has fostered strong and enduring relationships
A CHANGING WORLD The power and energy market is undergoing significant changes, not just in regions of Africa but worldwide. There’s currently an emphasis on clean, sustainable energy as we look towards the earth’s long-term future. Solar, wind and nuclear energy are all the rage currently, but let’s not forget what has, and what for, the foreseeable future will continue to power our homes and businesses- fossil fuels. Andreas remains convinced that fossil fuels will continue to power the way. He told us: “Renewable and nuclear energy will have a place in the energy mix, but our projection is that coal will continue to dominate power generation for the foreseeable future”. Andreas has every reason to be confident. The business has
with all of their clients, and regard them as a key factor in their success story. Steinmüller Africa enjoys a particularly strong relationship with the South African energy giant, Eskom. Back in 1962, Steinmüller Africa started operating in South Africa and has been involved in providing turn-key solutions for the boiler island of many of South Africa’s power stations and also became active in the industrial boiler market from 1991. Engen and Samancor were among the earliest industrial clients. Today, nearly 50-years on, that partnership continues to flourish as negotiations toward a new long-term service agreement for the maintenance of a portion of Eskom’s fleet of boilers and high pressure piping, are under way.
EMPHASIS ON STAFF
grown from strength to strength over the years, forming key
It’s not just clients in which Steinmüller Africa invest their time
relationships with big name players throughout the steam power
and resources, but the company’s workforce too – the company’s
industry within Southern Africa. Steinmüller Africa is based in
internal training programs are up to the highest standards. In an
Gauteng and Mpumalanga but Andreas informs us that the
industry where skilled individuals are becoming more difficult to
company, with its broad reach stretching across all of Southern
find, Steinmüller Africa has devoted themselves to training from
Africa, is able to serve in every corner of the region.
within as opposed to seeking out employees from overseas. This will not only benefit Steinmüller Africa going forward, but also
COMMITMENT TO INDUSTRY As already mentioned, Steinmüller Africa is chiefly focused on the power sector. The company concerns itself with the maintenance and fabrication of utility boilers and piping. When asked to elaborate on the company’s core business activities, Andreas told us: “Steinmüller Africa is a utility boiler and piping business. We are quite focused on the power sector and have developed the expertise to serve the technical complexities of this sector very well. Our services range from design and engineering of utility-
be hugely beneficial for the South African economy, furthermore inspiring an entire generation of young people to take an interest in the trade. Andreas speaks very highly of the program: “A significant portion of our operating budget is dedicated to staff training and development, especially artisanal skills which are extremely scarce. We do not develop artisans at the expense of our professionals though, we certainly drive continuous development and promote from within as far as possible.
scale boilers fired by pulverised coal, and fabrication of the entire
Steinmüller Africa’s commitment to internal training was
range of boiler and piping pressure parts at our facility in Pretoria
really cemented in 2012 when the Steinmüller Africa Technical
West as well as assembly/construction”.
Training Academy (SATTA) was established. The academy has
Steinmüller Africa’s workshop in Pretoria West remains the 74 | Endeavour Magazine
been operational for a fairly short time, yet it is certainly held in
High Pressure large bore pipe SMAW Welding
AfriCostEngineering understands the need to combine in-depth industry knowledge and experience with strong contractual and commercial skills to effectively manage projects from inception through to handover. We have provided final account support to major clients such as Steinmüller / Bilfinger at Medupi and Kusile Power Stations projects in South Africa. Partnering with AfriCostEngineering allows our clients to manage their projects whilst we look after their profits.
x 3. COMPANY BACKGROUND AfriCostEngineering (Pty) Ltd Established as CES Mining (Pty) Ltd in 2007 and re-named AfricostEngineering during 2013. CES Namibia (Pty) Ltd and CES Mozambique Lda were established as companies in 2009. QPC Consulting CC was brought into being in 2011. During late 2015, the latest addition to our Group AfriCostEngineering (Northern Cape) (Pty) Ltd was established. The establishment of the “regional” companies has enabled us to beter serve our Clients in these regions, with staffing recruited locally as far as is possible. Back-up resources are shared amongst all the associated companies.
The Core Business being:
We have been active in: South Africa Namibia Mozambique Nigeria Zambia Botswana Angola Tanzania Democratic Republic of Congo
Quantity Surveying Contract Administration Contract Supervision
Client Base ARM Anglo American Goldfields Paterson and Cooke Xstrata Coal ESKOM Golder Associates DRA Vale WorleyParsons Murray & Roberts Mopani Copper Mine PLC Aurecon Various Private Clients ABB SA Fence and Gate Bilfinger De Beers JWE
AfriCostEngineering has the ability to manage your project anywhere on the African continent.”
“AfriCostEngineering has the ability to manage your project anywhere on the African continent.” We are affiliated to the following institutions:
» Quantity Surveying » Contract Administration » Contract Supervision
Association of SA Quantity Surveyors
The South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Africa Association of Quantity Surveyors
Tel: +27 12 644 0683/4, Fax: +27 12 644 1188, Email: email@example.com, Web: www.africost.com Endeavour Magazine | 75
high regard and its achievements speak for themselves. To date,
ensured the longevity of the company. As well as an emphasis on
162 apprentices have been trained to artisan level. The facility has
people, there’s an impetus on technology. Andreas elaborates on
been formally recognised by the South African Institute of Welding
advances in technology:
(SAIW) as a training provider, and is even authorised to present the
“We believe that global advances in technology management,
International Welder course. Welding is a highly skilled profession
e.g. ‘Industry 4.0’, require rapid progress within our own
and integral to the power generation industry. The SATTA’s
organisation and investment in intellectual property. Our approach
achievements within the welding profession remain nothing short
is to invest significantly in technology and people so as to have
of remarkable. Mr. Michalke is rightly very proud of the training
in-house capability to advanced engineering techniques. We are
academy’s achievements and told Endeavour magazine of one
developing proprietary designs for low NOx burners for pulverised
particular success story:
coal and are able to fabricate and supply locally. We have invested
“Steinmüller Africa’s Jaco van Deventer, the 2015 winner of
in the hardware and software for Computational Fluid Dynamics
the local welding industry’s Young Welder of the Year competition,
(CFD) analysis and are currently conducting analyses of in-house
hosted by the South African Institute of Welding (SAIW), has been
placed second in the Youth Group for the Finished Product Welding
Over the coming months Steinmüller Africa will be in a position
category at the Arc Cup hosted by the Chinese Welding Society
to offer these services to plant operators who are looking to
(CWS) and supported by the International Institute of Welding
optimise their existing process, power and/or petrochemical plant.
Ageing plants are a reality of the South African industrial and power
MOVING WITH THE TIMES Looking toward the future is certainly a theme which has
76 | Endeavour Magazine
landscape but Andreas has a clear vision in place to assist clients: “On the opportunities being presented by aged and ageing plant and equipment, we are the local licensees for the application
of explosive welding technology to high pressure feedwater heat exchangers. We have also developed complete design packages for replacement heaters which will be fabricated at our workshop in Pretoria West. Further to this, we have investigated the operate and maintain model for our client’s non-core plant operations and believe that opportunities are growing for competent organisations such as Steinmüller Africa”. Whilst Steinmüller Africa’s short-term target remains further consolidation within the local market, the company has clear medium- and long-term growth objectives. We predict a company which holds such a high regard for its employees and the development of its home region to gain momentum over the next few years. Mr. Michalke closes with the statement: “An organisation is its people, and we emphasise continuous development of our talent”.
High Pressure pipe TIG welding root run
Article Cover Image: High Pressure Feedwater Heater Assembly
Endeavour Magazine | 77
THE ARCTIC CIRCLE: A FROZEN LAND ATOP THE EARTH
polar wilderness of grinding ice and frozen seas, the Arctic –
teeming with life. Granted, the very heart of the Arctic where the
defined by scientists as the area which falls within the line of
North Pole is to be found is by all intents and purposes a frozen
latitude 66.5 degrees north of the Equator – is the furthermost
desert; a wilderness where nature can barely take root in the face
northern tip of the planet.
of piercing sub-zero winds so cold we couldn’t imagine, but a little
Unfathomably cold and hostile, and yet a place of outstanding
further south in the lands of northern Scandinavia, Greenland,
haunting beauty, the Arctic is one of the few remaining frontiers
Iceland, Russia, Canada and the US can be found ancient frozen
that remains virtually uninhabited and untouched by the hand of
forests, and the mosses and lichens that live on the icy tundra.
man. Make no mistake about it; the Arctic is a hardy frozen land of
Polar bears, seals, walrus, caribou, arctic foxes, and reindeer, live
ice and snow that is by turns beautiful and terrifying, serene and
hunt, and breed in the Arctic snow, while the seas that lie below the
then furious; as capricious as it is unforgiving. Many an intrepid
Arctic’s icy crust are no less rich in life. The cold water is home to
adventurer has heeded the call of the Arctic and never returned.
a number of whale species, seals, fish, shrimp and crabs, as well as
Whilst it might be difficult to believe, this frigid region is in fact 78 | Endeavour Magazine
the plankton and algae that nourish and give life to this remarkable
icebergs and towering white cliffs of the huge glaciers that scientists believe hold 20% of the Earth’s fresh water; their splendour and majesty speaks for itself.
ICEBREAKER JOURNEYS TO THE NORTH POLE Sadly, like much of the natural world, the Arctic is under threat by the rising temperatures caused by climate change. At the current pace of warming, many climatologists now believe that, come the year 2100, virtually all of the Arctic sea ice will melt each summer – quite aside from the impact this will have on sea levels
marine eco-system. And then, of course, there are the mountainous
and, subsequently, coastal-lying cities, this will cause catastrophic damage to Arctic habitats and undoubtedly cause the extinction of
many species who live in the area.
If ever there is a time to see these wonderful lands and feel the crisp Arctic wind on your face, the next decade or so would be the time to do it. By taking the bold decision to board a mighty ice-breaker vessel and embark on a truly unique journey to the very tip of the planet, you’ll set-off on an adventure few others ever will. How many people have you invited to dinner who can say they’ve stood on the single earthly spot where every direction that they look is south? To find out more about such a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you can visit the Quark Expeditions website to find out more: www.quarkexpeditions.com/gb/arctic
Endeavour Magazine | 79
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SAPVIA WWW.SAPVIA.CO.ZA +27 (0)21 200 5856
HARNESSING THE POWER WRITTEN BY AMY TOCKNELL
Itâ€™s no secret that the future looks set to be powered by green initiatives and with that in mind, the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association has been set up to guarantee that authorities at every level are committing to the cause. Endeavour Magazine took a closer look at this dedicated group of industry experts to find out exactly how they plan to drive South Africa forward now and in the future. Endeavour Magazine | 81
Talk about photovoltaics and you might find that many people take
on a perplexed look, but for the sake of simplicity, they can be explained as any technology that collects the sun’s energy and converts it into usable electricity. It sounds fairly straightforward when you put it like that, but to become an expert in this field takes time, experience and passion; things that every member of the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) has in abundance.
APVIA has been initiated with a strict mandate in mind and none of the members seek to digress from the goals of the organisation. When you learn what the covenant is, it comes
as no surprise that everyone is equally committed to upholding it, “The association aims to represent the PV industry before provincial and national authorities, as well as government, to promote a higher penetration of the technology, and to advise key decision makers on the most adequate policies to develop a sustainable PV market.” The key word there is ‘sustainable’, as with any new or relatively modern endeavour, there is always a heavy price tag attached, at least for the first few years. While other countries may have been dabbling with photovoltaics and investing in them as a future-proof technology for a while now, South Africa is still a fairly new player in the game and as such, needs funding and support. So why is this technology considered to be so vital? “Photovoltaic energy is clean, cost effective and distributed. Photovoltaics have a wide range of applications and are extremely versatile and modular. The same technology can be used as an individual panel for supplementing consumption in a residential home or as a vast collection of panels, making up a utility scale power generation facility, mega-watts in size.” You don’t need to read between the lines to see what a groundbreaking innovation this is, nor why an Association that takes on the responsibility of pressing the issue is so critical.
82 | Endeavour Magazine
Clean, sustainable energy for all. Reduced household running
policy department is responsible for organising and collaborating
costs for all. Even more impressive is the commercial potential
technical information to be used in supporting the objectives and
ready to be exploited, if the industry can be properly regulated,
messages of the association.”
funded and promoted. Enter SAPVIA and the team of longstanding
As with any new initiative, the key to garnering much needed
dedicated industry savants that are ready to take on a gargantuan
support is education and that’s exactly what SAPVIA is all about.
amount of legislative, administrative and promotional duties, all
Ready and willing to preach about the virtues of photovoltaics and
in the name of progress. Disclosing what the Association does,
what they represent in terms of green potential, the Association is
SAPVIA really does make it clear that this is no mere hobby for
helping South Africa to take great strides forward, into the future.
So how does it describe its ultimate end goal?
“SAPVIA is governed by a board of seven commissioners and
“SAPVIA is a not-for-profit body that consists of active players
a Chairperson elected democratically on an annual basis by its
in South Africa’s photovoltaic market who have a genuine, invested
members at the Annual General Meeting. From within its ranks
presence in the country. The association is devoted to promoting
the management board elects the Vice-Chairperson, Treasurer
the growth of the country’s solar photovoltaic electricity market
and Spokesperson. SAPVIA also has a secretariat, which is the
and aims to contribute to the country’s renewable energy roll-out.”
Executive Manager and an office administrator. They handle the day-to-day workings of the association. “The secretariat has two main departments: communication and policy work. The communications department deals with all matters relating to the collection and transfer of information between members and target audiences, such as public or government institutions. The
84 | Endeavour Magazine
In addition to the eco credentials of South Africa looking set to be improved, there is also a more ground-up benefit to be felt, something that everyday citizens will be affected and excited by, right from the start. While it might take some time for energy costs to be reduced, there is huge potential for the green energy sector to create thousands of economy-supporting jobs, “SAPVIA was a signatory to The Green Economy Accord, which
was launched at COP17 at the end of last year. The Green Economy Accord is an agreement between government, business and labour, committing each to tangible targets in achieving low carbon based economic development growth through renewable energy. SAPVIA gave input specifically relating to the job creation potential of the Renewable Energy Industry.” It’s at this point that you can really begin to understand exactly how vital the Association is. Left to fend for itself in a sea of other new directives and ideas, photovoltaics would simply drown. The team at SAPVIA are the all-important lifebelt, helping the industry to rise above and be seen as the potential saviour of the South African energy sector and it’s not a task that they take lightly. Constantly challenging the Government to get on board, asking for commercial support and seeking to facilitate connections between influential potential partners all takes time, but every member of the Association is glad to donate their expertise. The power of the sun might look set to change the face of the South African energy market forever, but it’s the powerhouse of passionate industry experts that constitute SAPVIA that are the
DEHN Africa focuses on the
reliable protection of buildings, electrical and electronic systems and human life. Our pioneering spirit and innovative ideas have been defining our company for more than 100 years and made us a global market leader for surge protection, lightning protection/ earthing as well as safety equipment.
real shining grace here and their future looks bright.
Endeavour Magazine | 85
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TOSL WWW.TOSL.COM +1 (868) 299-0360
33 YEARS OF LEADING FROM THE FRONT WRITTEN BY DJAMIL BENMEHIDI
TOSL Engineering has rapidly expanded over its 33-year history to become one of Trinidad & Tobagoâ€™s leading suppliers of process and mechanical engineering services to the oil and gas industry, as well as the utilities, steel, aluminium, cement and manufacturing sectors. Endeavour Magazine | 87
With an unblemished reputation for excellence, thanks to its
to international standards on quality assurance and control, safety, and environmental protection, TOSL has also positioned itself as a versatile one-stop shop for a portfolio of global brands. Endeavour Magazine investigated to find out the key to TOSL Engineering’s longevity and success.
he painstaking matter of rising to the top is the easy bit; staying there is the real challenge. This is a saying which, in some form or another, is often used by any business leader worth
their salt, and one which we have often cited here in Endeavour Magazine. When, like TOSL Engineering, your business operations centre primarily around the oil and gas sector; an industry notorious for its cyclical nature, achieving longevity and continued success over the course of decades becomes doubly difficult. However, such longevity is exactly what TOSL Engineering has achieved. The company has witnessed bust after bust, and over the course of its 33-year lifetime seen more than a few of its industry rivals crumble in the face of adverse market conditions. There are many reasons as to why TOSL Engineering has avoided the same
Specialist Mechanical Services and Equipment Upstream and Downstream Consultancy and Equipment/Material Supply Cathodic Protection • Internal Corrosion Monitoring • Positive Pressure Welding Habitats • Specialty Mechanical Services • Water Treating Equipment • Dry Ice Cleaning • Hydro-testing • Chemical Injection Services • Heat Exchanger Bullet Cleaning • Hot Tapping
firstname.lastname@example.org (868) 636-6213, (868) 636-2983 88 | Endeavour Magazine
fate, but perhaps the key reason is down to a key trait which any business with long-term aspirations must demonstrate to survive – versatility and the ability to adapt.
AN ENGINEERING LEADER WITH CROSS-INDUSTRY CAPABILITIES Originally founded as Trinidad Oilfield Supplies Ltd - a productdriven company dedicated to supplying equipment, materials and spares to the Trinidad & Tobago oil and gas sector – in 1982, TOSL Engineering evolved over the 1990’s to become the multifaceted company that it is today. Based in Marabella, Trinidad, TOSL Engineering is now not only a specialist service provider to Trinidad & Tobago’s world-class oil & gas sector, but a leader in
providing integrated engineering services and products to a range
to customer satisfaction, accountability, value creation, and good
of sectors, including the renewable energy, utilities, construction,
corporate governance are the foundations upon which TOSL’s
food & beverage, mining & metals, and logistics and transportation
success has been built. The company is a first-stop partner for the
many clients with whom it has built relationships that have lasted a
The company’s service offerings are no less diverse. Operating
generation, for good reason.
out of 91,000 sq. ft of commercial space, which includes warehouses, workshops, and specialist engineering facilities, TOSL Engineering’s mechanical engineering, electrical, instrumentation & automation, and industrial divisions offer a wealth of products
DECADES OF EXPERIENCE SERVING TRINIDAD & TOBAGO’S WORLD-CLASS OIL & GAS SECTOR
and services to meet all client needs, in addition to wire rope
It would be a mistake to think that, in spite of its metamorphosis
and rigging, welding, fabrication and machining capabilities, and
into a cross-industry, multi-disciplinary regional giant, the company
chemicals process technologies. With such a broad spectrum of
has strayed too far from its roots; far from it. To this day, TOSL
capabilities, it is easy to see how TOSL has grown to become the
Engineering continues to do the lion’s share of its business with
regional engineering industry leader.
Trinidad & Tobago’s multi-billion dollar oil and gas sector.
However, whilst it’s facilities are cutting-edge and its capabilities
With clients on its roster of the stature of Petrotrin, and a
broad, TOSL’s rise to the top can be attributed more to the can-
number of the energy multi-nationals with operations on the
do culture of professionalism and great service delivery that runs
islands, TOSL remains a specialist partner to the industry, offering
through the business, from top to bottom. At the heart of TOSL
upstream and downstream process technologies, equipment, and
Engineering can be found an unbending and tireless dedication to
construction, engineering, and back-end support & maintenance
finding innovative solutions to meeting customer demands and
anticipating their future needs. This, coupled with its commitment
Another key ingredient to TOSL’s success comes is its unrivalled
Endeavour Magazine | 89
in-house expertise, and ability to tackle multi-disciplinary projects
Supporting a broad spectrum of customers across numerous
which would otherwise require several separate contractors to
industries is to say the least demanding, and it is common knowledge
complete. If a client needs a plate heat exchanger, why stop there?
that in business you are only as good as your last job; reputations
Why not go above and beyond the expectations of the client and
are hard won but easily lost. Clients want to know that, should an
offer a fully integrated service whereby you also assess their needs
emergency occur, a trained technician can be dispatched quickly
so as to ensure the product is the best fit, provide the installation
from the local area, rather than from the US, and fix a problem
service, and then offer to take care of after-sale maintenance too?
quickly with no mistakes – on this front, TOSL Engineering delivers.
Operating a one stop shop where you deliver a versatile, integrated
With its reputation for excellence, highly-trained, versatile
service for the client is the logical course of action because, in
workforce, and multi-disciplinary capabilities, TOSL has been able
addition to streamlining and simplifying the process for a client,
to throw its hat into the ring and take on some of the region’s very
it just makes good business sense for both parties – why pass
biggest projects. The Trinmar gas compression platform – a TT$40
on projects to any number of industry rivals, and cost your client
million project taken on by TOSL in the late 2000’s – would fall
three-times as much for the pleasure?
into this category, as would its work upgrading an entire package of oil and gas separators for RepSol; a challenging endeavour which
HIGHLY-TRAINED STAFF CAPABLE OF TAKING ON THE REGION’S BIGGEST PROJECTS
required TOSL to overhaul the compressor and engine, valve work and repairs, piping and mechanical work, before conducting final tests and inspection.
The price for such versatility, however, is that TOSL has had
More recently, however, TOSL Engineering put the finishing to
to invest heavily in training its 300-strong workforce in order to
arguably its largest project in recent years, with the March 2015
ensure that they can offer the best service to clients, whatever the
completion of Petrotrin’s ambitious Mobile Oil and Gas Production
Facility – a cutting edge facility, constructed on a former Jack-Up
90 | Endeavour Magazine
Drilling Rig, capable of processing up to 21 million cubic ft. per day
Caribbean economy that its seemingly endless sunshine and hot
of compressed gas, and 12,500 barrels of oil. A collaborative effort
weather makes the development of a lucrative solar energy sector
between TOSL Engineering and Well Services Petroleum Company
a sensible and seemingly inevitable course of action, although the
Ltd, the owner of the rig, the success of this project truly showcased
erection of land and sea-based wind farms and installation of tidal
not only TOSL Engineering’s industry-leading capabilities, but the
generators are also on the table.
engineering excellence of the region on the whole.
For now, however, the company is happy to put up its sails and follow the market wherever it goes; TOSL Engineering has
RECOGNISING THE WINDS OF CHANGE IN THE GLOBAL ENERGY SECTOR – TOSL TO SHIFT ITS FOCUS TOWARDS RENEWABLES OVER THE YEARS TO COME Having been in the business as long as it has, it is testament to TOSL Engineering’s vision that the company has noticed early the winds of change that buffet the global energy sector. The end of the Petroleum Age has been much talked about over the past 30-years, but the rapid growth of, and increased effectiveness, efficiency, and affordability of renewable energy technologies and
a reactive business model, and is customer-driven rather than company-driven. If and when the day comes when its services to the oil & gas sector are no longer required, TOSL Engineering will do what it has always done and adapt to the changing marketplace. The one thing which won’t change, however, is the company’s reputation for finding solutions to the most challenging demands of its clients. After having led the engineering industry for over 30-years, it would be a safe bet that TOSL Engineering will still be leading the pack for years to come.
sources mean that now, at the very least, the sector has reached the Autumn season of its lifecycle. Although the future of the region’s energy sector remains uncertain, it is not lost on TOSL Engineering, nor the rest of the
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