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The VOL 3/NO.01 • AUG-SEPT 2017

ABB opens new office in Namibia and realigns commitment How Megatron engineers became entreprenuers of repute.





Tuhupa Zatjirua: An engineer par excellence

Toll Shadowing Not Toll Gate System, says RA

Rob Mcglees and Eaton Partnership: Bringing Power Management Solutions to Namibia

Board Chairman Penda Ithindi explains

RFA’s N$ 530 million to revive Nam roads infrastructure LIBERALISING ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE: Namibia has a lot on its plate to foot the N$69 billion of NDP5’s N$25 billion committed to roads infrastructure and another N$8 billion for the construction sector, FNB economist Namene Kalili has a better way out.

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The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017

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Engineer The

VOL.2/NO. 7 • NOVEMBER 2016



How Namibian contractors can survive Chinese competition

FNB Namibia financing commercial property purchase

Drilling Windhoek


N$300 million & 12 large diameter boreholes:

Inside the City’s new water plan


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The Engineer | November 2016




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4 Engineer of the Month: Simon Hengua: My Life of Mine Planning

14 Engineering: Inside the EPA’s Scholarship Fund

6 Engineer of the Month: Tuhupa Zatjirua: An engineer par excellence

16 Infrastructure: RFA: Elevating Namibia’s Road Infrastructure Development

7 Profile: Inside Burmeister and Partners Consulting Engineers

18 Infrastructure: Road to infrastructure growth is through liberalisation- FNB Namibia

9 Certification: Knight Piesold Consulting Engineers receive EPA Certification 10 Mining: B2Gold sends 100 Namibians to train Malians on giant Fekola Project 12 Electrical: Rob Mcglees and Eaton Partnership: Bringing Power Management Solutions to Namibia

19 Energy: From Engineers to Entrepreneurs: Inspiration from Megatron 21 Energy: ABB opens new office in Namibia 22 Infrastructure: RA completes Road Transport Sustainability Plan

The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017



Simon Hengua: My Life of Mine Planning • BSc (Hon) in Geology from University of Cape Town (UCT) • Post Graduate Diploma in Mining Engineering from Wits University

“Often you would get calls from vessels with production issues and now you must find solutions. They cannot wait, so sometimes you have to work up to odd hours,” Hengua tells TE. All this, on top of balancing strategic mine planning that must satisfy investment with a focus on job creation and stability. In fact life hasn’t been simple since he left his Okakarara homestead for boarding school. When he graduated from University of Cape Town with a degree in Geology in 2002, he sat with four offers on the table from Kombat mine, Anglo Exploration, Namdeb and Otjihase Mine. “The demand for local geologists was quite high at the time. I chose Otjihase Mine because of its proximity to Windhoek. On my first day at work, they were short of a geologist who could go underground and I had to do that,” he says. He remembers frowny

the faces of geological technicians who had been working at the company before he was born.

“They were against a baby-faced geologist going underground on his first day at work,” he recalls with a chuckle. It was only after his strategies-finishing off the work in half the time-began to reap efficiency, that he gained their respect.

“If I’m having an easy day, then something is going wrong somewhere,” begins Simon Hengua.

When he left in 2004 to join then newly founded Forsys Metals, some tears were shed by the scruffy miners. A lifelong practise of Hengua has been to pick up a vital lesson in whatever situation he is in. Under the mentorship of Forsys Metals founder, Rick Bonner, Hengua learnt the technical knowhow of the business, as he graduated from being an ordinary geologist to being in Geologist-InCharge of the Valencia Uranium project and Ondundu Gold deposit. “I am lucky to have worked with great bosses. I learnt the technical know-how of mining from Bonner, and when I joined Debmarine Namibia in 2008 as a Senior Production Geologist, Fabian Shaanika, then Production Geology Manager at Debmarine Namibia groomed me to where I am today,” says the father of two.

T 4

he mining industry is a dynamic, exciting, and an amazingly diverse sector with more than 120 occupations ranging from skilled trades to high tech professionals.

Ask Hengua, Debmarine Namibia Mine Planning Manager. Overseeing the optimal depletion and planning of a mine 70km long and 30km wide in the Atlantic, off the coast of Oranjemund is no simple task.

If mining is an industry you are considering a career in, have you considered what it would be like to be a Mine Planning Manager?

Between short and long term planning he is finding solutions to long term exploration strategies that will affect mining activities even up 2025.

The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017

His days are long and varied, and as with any management role but managing mine planning also throws up a number of different challenges, such as coordinating teams or responding to a spontaneous emergency.

“Often you would get calls from vessels with production issues and now you must find solutions. They cannot wait, so sometimes you have to work up to odd hours,”

Debmarine Namibia is a joint venture marine diamond prospecting and mining Company, owned in equal shares by the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers. Debmarine Namibia became operation in January 2001 and mines in the off-shore mining licence area off the southern coast of Namibia. One of the main responsibilities of a mine geologist is to ensure that minerals are extracted from mines, pits and quarries in such a way that maximum profit is obtained, with as few problems experienced along the way as possible. Hengua works closely with mining engineers to determine the best way to mine. “In my previous jobs I had to visit the sites occasionally, but here the systems are at the vessels. Debmarine Namibia enables me to be more innovative and be more engaging with the vessel crews in order to attain optimum production. I am grateful to Shaanika who believed in me and despite being the newest recruit at that point in time, he approved me to take over his position in 2012 when he left.� Hengua has been part of the turnaround strategy that implemented the high gradelow grade mining efforts in 2008-2009

which optimised the resources while cutting costs, to which he says practically saved the company. And he was barely a year in the Debmarine Namibia job. Currently, he has been spearheading the building of a new mine planning system which could define how the business is conducted. Once approved and implemented, it will determine even before operations how to optimise the mine within its lifespan. On the social front, Hengua recently partook in the Desert Dash, a 24-hour cycling endurance from Windhoek to Swakopmund, some personal souvenir from his demanding job.v



The Company operates six vessels. Five diamond mining vessels, namely mv Debmar Atlantic, mv Debmar Pacific, mv Gariep, mv Grand Banks, mv Mafuta and the newly acquired sampling and exploration vessel - the mv SS Nujoma. Two mining technologies are deployed, the airliftdrill and the crawler mining technology. The mining vessels mine diamonds off the ocean floor using highly advanced drill technology and supported with sophisticated tracking, positioning and surveying equipment. Debmarine Namibia is ISO 14001, ISM and OHSAS 18001 certified, in line with its commitment to safety and environmental management. Debmarine Namibia is a recognised world leader in marine diamond exploration and mining technology.

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Tuhupa Zatjirua: An engineer par excellence For Tuhupa Zatjirua, her illustrious career of more than 10 years as an engineer has been guided by one word - ‘metamorphosis’. “Each day must be accompanied by an accomplished task and it starts with even making up your bed each day you wake. Each accomplished task is then followed by another, which then gives you a sense of pride. All these small tasks, done right, will result in big tasks being accomplished in your life’s path. How do we link that to metamorphosis? Each task is necessary for transformation, for improvement, for progress. And then, of course, you are allowed to have “nothing days” as well – balance is key,” she advises. Since becoming a team member at Burmeister she has been involved in various notable projects and these are:

• Lafrenz 66kV/11kV 40MVA • • • •

Zatjirua is an electrical engineer for Burmeister and Partners. She completed her Bachelor of Science (Honours) Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cape Town in 2005.


he began her career with Namwater where she worked in the Engineering Services Capital Projects department and role included the design and implementation of various pump stations and borehole installations. The jobs encompassed protection, control, and automation of pump stations, integrating instrumentation equipment for protection, automation, and control via PLC interface and integration with SCADA software for telemetry. In 2009, Zatjirua moved to the City of Windhoek and worked as the Section Head of the Department of Installations and Metering Engineer at the Electricity department. There she rendered management and engineering support on all metering and billing systems at the Electricity Department as well as the


management of quality of supply system. Additionally, she provided support for construction of medium and low voltage installations, including adherence to the wiring code and conformity to specifications. Zatjirua joined Burmeister and Partners in 2011 where she holds the position of Electrical Engineering Consultant. She works on a wide range of engineering services and in particular substation design, township reticulation design, various building electrical design and several pump station electrical designs as well as project and contract management of these projects. Since joining Burmeister she has registered as a Certified Energy Auditor (CEA). Concerning her steady growth as an engineer she says, “I relate well to my surroundings and people and especially being able to look at the “greater scheme of things”. “As an engineer, I have found it is important to fully comprehend the reason why a project is born and its purpose. The project’s role is always in improving Namibia’s quality of life and socio economic impact. Then with that, I apply my teachings in the design.”

The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017

Substation Otjomuise Extension 10 electrical reticulation Babilon and Havana 11kV Distribution Centres SACU Headquarters Energy audit of Ministry of Mines and Energy Head Office Musese & Etunda Irrigation Scheme pump stations

Burmeister has facilitated for Zatjirua to expand her scope as an engineer by learning: • Subståpotentials to meet requirements for ground grid systems • Power transformers – recapped on the basic theory, core construction, transformer protection, factory acceptance testing • Gained clear understanding of the procedures and practices adopted for safe working • Primary plant specifications. • Protection philosophies and systems • SCADA systems • Metering, Protection and Control Logic and relay selection • Applicable IEC standards • And the associated civil and structural works which must be considered

She further inspires both her male and female counterparts by her wellrounded life as an individual. Her immediate goal is being named associate, which will result in being part of decision-making team while widening Burmeister’s expertise in the field of power distribution systems is her long term goal. At the moment she is training for her first marathon having done plenty half-marathons and endeavoring to step her running up a notch. “I enjoy running and one cannot keep a frown on your face after having done one plus it clears a busy mind and calms a restless heart.” Tuhupa Zatjirua says that success is what it is because it is achieved with challenge and each project she has worked on has had its own share. “The biggest success is completing a challenging project, being an engineer, part of a team working on a project, working together and developing a project from conception through to infancy to its adulthood.” “It is satisfying when the client pushes the start button on a PC and a borehole, kilometres away, starts pumping water to supply a town with water; or a pump station for irrigation; or energises a neighbourhood with electricity.”she concludes.

Burmeister and Partners Consulting Engineers is a multidisciplinary consulting engineering company which provides the full spectrum of engineering services, as well as project management services. The firm started operating in Namibia in 1978 and has since grown to become one of the largest Namibian owned consulting engineering practices in the country.


n addition to its competency, Burmeister offers a range of related services which run from facility management through to environmental impact studies and also provide these services in Southern Africa and internationally in widely differing and difficult cultural, economic and geographic environments. Other sectors benefiting from Burmeister’s services include mining, energy, industry, commerce, health, food and transport sectors.

Milestones The consultancy is a fully Namibian owned and managed and is one of the largest consulting firms in the country comprising a solid team of directors, engineers, technicians, administration and drawing office. Burmeister provides professional advice to both government and the private sector holistically that is, on both the micro and macro project level, from detail design and construction supervision to master planning. Provided also is advice on contracting forms and packages (suitable for African conditions), international best practise designs,

engineering and project management exposure such as taking projects from conception, inception to eventual commissioning. Burmeister has since become a centre of engineering knowledge and expertise and is making an impact within the region hence its broader perspective of bringing African engineering solutions to African problems.


Inside Burmeister and Partners Consulting Engineers

Services and Projects Scope Burmeister and Partners is a multi-disciplinary consulting engineering company, offering the full spectrum of civil, structural, mechanical and electrical services. This includes expertise in water, power, transportation and buildings.

Burmeister provides professional advice to both government and the private sector holistically

Landmark Projects • Epupa Hydropower scheme feasibility • Von Bach water treatment plant • Various State Hospitals & health facilities • Namcor Container Terminal • Rundu & Ongwediva Fresh produce markets • Elizenheim residential development • Finkenstein residential development • Sanlam HQ Building • Aussenkehr Irrigation Scheme • Various Abattoirs and meat processing facilities

These are broad areas and, as a result, Burmeister and Partners has developed subdivisions within these fields with their own teams dedicated to offering services in niche markets. The consulting firm offers a complete suite of services within the construction industry. In practice, our clients, when considering our services, are either interested in a one-stop solution requiring a broad range of skills under one roof, or they may be looking for a specific competency in only one area.

The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017



The firm has been structured to accommodate both approaches, integrating divisions and continually updating our skills by employing staff that can offer clients relevant areas of expertise. Burmeister’s location within Southern Africa and its extensive experience and knowledge of the industry makes our services sought after and competitive. Miscellaneous additional services offered include:

Contracts Advisory Conventional construction contracts as guided by the Government Gazette (more applicable to infrastructure developments)

• Engineer-procure-construct management contracts (EPCM) “Turnkey” contracts

• Design-built-operate-transfer contracts (DBOT) or

• Design-built-operate-own-transfer contracts (DBOOT)

Project Management Advisory • Advisory services on appropriate project contracting strategies • Advisory services on project implementation strategies • Drafting of Project Implementation Charter • Acting as lead consultant, managing a team of other professionals and specialists • Advice on the requirement for and the involvement of other professionals and specialists • Programming and timeline management • Drafting of contract documentation • Management of procurement processes on behalf of

Contributions to Namibia’s Engineering Development Burmeister employs perhaps the largest number of Namibian engineering professionals within the consulting environment and is committed to nurturing individuals in the field. The firm has pledged continuous development and pre-registration training of all under-and post graduate engineers via a rigorous training regime developed in-house and awards a minimum of three tertiary engineering training bursaries per annum and have been doing so since Namibia’s independence. In excess of 39 university graduate engineers have been supported with full bursaries and are currently applying their acquired skills within the Namibian engineering industry.

• Project Promoter • Review of quality assurance plans

The Future

• Budgeting and cost controls

Burmeister endeavours to use its experience, skills and knowledge to give the best possible service we are capable of to clients and in so doing, to become a partner in realisation of clients’ goals.

• Management feedback reporting • Contract administration • Project take-over and closure management • Management of technical training • Dispute resolution and arbitration


The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017

The motto is “African solutions for African problems” meaning not only to understand and have experience of local conditions, but also

putting this expertise to work on behalf of the client to deliver a service and a product that is efficient, cost effective and functional. In the short term plans involve relocation to our newly constructed head office and to continue with the provision of professional engineering services within the Namibian and regional landscape and eventually expanding the long term strategy is to expand our presence into Central and East Africa.

Burmeister’s location within Southern Africa and its extensive experience and knowledge of the industry makes our services sought after and competitive.

Three engineers of Knight Piesold Consulting have received certification as corporate members of the Engineering Professionals Association (EPA) of Namibia and were donned with the honours by the organisation’s president, Frederick Muketi.


Knight Piesold Consulting Engineers receive EPA Certification


he certification enables them as fully fledged members of EPA, ensuring that they benefit from workshops, networking with their engineering counterparts and broader knowledge of the sector, as organised by the body. “EPA is always pleased with engaging Namibian engineers in this manner. The progress and development of the sector and of the country as a whole depends on the unity of purpose of engineers and we strive to continually offer the platform for all stakeholders to work together. The future of the country is with the young minds and we are always open to nurturing and working with them as best we can,” says Muketi. Certification of engineers such as this, is done on a request basis whereby any engineer in Namibia who is academically qualified can be granted membership.

Kai Langmaak

From left to right: Immanuel Shipombo, Kai Langmaak, Frederick Muketi (EPA President), Cilliers Mostert (Director and Windhoek Office Manager) and Solidarity Kaimu

Immanuel Shipombo

Solidarity Kaimu

• Stellenbosch University- Bachelor of Civil Engineering

• Polytech of Namibia- Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering

• China - Foundation Bachelor of Civil Engineering

• Stellenbosch University- Master of Water Engineering

• Lithon Project Consultants

• Kingston University London

• Starke Air Conditioning and Manufacturing

• Registered with Engineering Council of Namibia

• Neckartal Dam • Knight Piesold “I am delighted with the certification because the EPA represents the profession I am in, and therefore I will be a part of advancing the engineering sector of Namibia, as well to learn from it.”

• Registered with Engineering Council of Namibia • Knight Piesold “I hope to be able to take part in workshops, career guidance and to be exposed to other fields in engineering such as civil and water.”

• Knight Piesold “Being a member of EPA is a sign of growth in my career. Being a corporate member gives me a voice to help where I can and to air my views concerning the industry.”

The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017



B2Gold sends 100 Namibians to train Malians on giant Fekola Project

The Namibia Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT) trained artisans and technicians commendably been involved in the success of the Mali B2Gold Fekola Project. NIMT has since 1991 churned out artisans and technicians in Autotronics, Fitting and Turning, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Instrumentation, Boiler making and Welding, Petrol and Diesel Mechanics, Electrical Millwright, Carpentry and Joinery, Clothing Production, Bricklaying and Plastering and Plumbing Sheet metalwork. 10

The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017

Eckhart Mueller Director of NIMT alluded to the commendable work of the students as well as their lecturers, who have gone on to excel in their different trades locally and abroad. “Recently, B2Gold sent 100 NIMT trained artisans to Mali and their workmanship impressed the other nationals who were work affiliated with the students. They could not believe that they were witnessing the work of the children of Africa,” he revealed.

On 1 October 2017 will celebrate the official production start-up at international gold miner B2Gold Corp.’s (B2Gold) Fekola project in Mali. Not only is this operation destined to be the company’s largest gold producing mine, but will also boast one of the lowest cost margins within the operating mine portfolio, Fekola general manager RANDY REICHERT says. Not only will B2Gold bring its US$395 million Fekola project on stream two months ahead of the original schedule

Eckhart Mueller | Director of NIMT “Recently, B2Gold sent 100 NIMT trained artisans to Mali and their workmanship impressed the other nationals who were work affiliated with the students. They could not believe that they were witnessing the work of the children of Africa,”.

(October as opposed to December 2017), it will further be ready to ramp up towards an expanded production profile of 5 Mpta ROM throughput, as opposed to 4 Mtpa. “In bringing our production forward we also anticipate producing about 50 000 oz of gold in the 2017 year still,” says Reichert, who attributes the successful ramp up in construction to a dedicated Mali workforce and a fine-tuned construction management team, many of whom were responsible for the successful delivery of B2Gold’s Otjikoto project in Namibia. Close to 100 Namibians who were involved with Otjikoto project, have been key to the development of the Fekola project in Mali since civil construction began in 2015.

Eckhart Mueller, Director of NIMT says, “It is very important Namibia to export skilled people so that they can bring back money and skills from different parts of the world. That is why NIMT is committed to churning out skilled artisans who genuinely master their crafts. We are very happy with the fact that all electrical faults, maintenance around the centre and building of any structure is done by the apprentices, showing the competences of our trainees.” At full production, Fekola will contribute between 350 000 oz and 400 000 oz (at $418/oz) to the total B2Gold production profile, in turn making it the company’s largest mine and increasing total gold output from across its mining operations located in various parts of the world, from around 500 000 ozpa to just over 900 000 ozpa. It is also expected to be a low-cost producer and should enable the company to significantly reduce its longer term cash operating costs per ounce and all-insustaining-cost (AISC) per ounce. There are currently 750 nationals employed on Fekola site – largely from villages located in close proximity to the mine. Contractors currently employ another 500 nationals for construction and support services. When the mine is fully operational it will employ 884 employees – 575 at the mine

B2Gold Namibia’s Otjikoto Mine poured its first gold in December 2014, following a fast-tracked construction phase that kicked off barely two years prior in January 2013. Otjikoto had a record year in 2016, producing annual record 166,285 ounces of gold, above the mid-point of its production guidance range (of between 160,000 and 170,000 ounces) and 14% (or 20,562 ounces) higher than 2015 (including 18,815 ounces of pre-commercial production from Otjikoto). Otjikoto’s 2016 production benefitted from higher throughput due to the successful completion of its mill expansion project in September 2015 (which increased plant capacity from 2.5 million tonnes per annum to 3.0 million tonnes per annum) and also due to overall process optimizations. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the Otjikoto Mine produced 46,846 ounces of gold, slightly above budget and 19% (or 7,472 ounces) higher than the fourth quarter of 2015. For the full-year 2016, Otjikoto’s cash operating costs were an annual record low of $368 per ounce, at the low end of its reduced cost guidance range (of between $365 and $405 per ounce) and significantly beating initial guidance (of between $400 and $440 per ounce). Cash operating costs also decreased by $57 per ounce (or 13%) compared to the prioryear (following commercial production on February 28, 2015). This has been borne out with the recruitment drive for the Fekola Project in Mali – B2Gold Corp.’s newest construction project which will become the company’s fifth mine.

A total of 96 Namibians who worked at Otjikoto have been recruited to work in Mali. All of these workers were recruited based on the personal recommendations of expat construction managers who worked at Otjikoto and who now work on the Fekola Project. Once trainees at Otjikoto project, the Namibians have now become the trainers – passing their skills onto the Malian workforce. The trades of these Namibian workers include: batch plant operators, boilermakers, truck operators, carpenters, cement finishers, concrete workers, construction surveyors, crane operators,

and another 115 at the process plant with the balance employed in general administration positions, at the laboratory and power plant. MINING

diesel mechanics, procurers, fitter and turners, health and safety personnel, iron workers, construction camp personnel, masons, inventory analysts, mechanical engineers, multi-skilled operators, trainers, refrigeration technicians, admin/finance personnel.

Randy Reichert | Fekola general manager. Not only is this operation destined to be the company’s largest gold producing mine, but will also boast one of the lowest cost margins within the operating mine portfolio,

ABOUT: The Fekola operation – 90% owned by B2Gold and 10% owned by the Mali government (the government has the option of purchasing a second 10% at fair market value) – will be a largescale open pit mine generating 32 Mtpa of ore and waste material.

The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017



Rob Mcglees and Eaton Partnership: Bringing Power Management Solutions to Namibia Eaton South Africa, a global technology leader in diversified power management solutions, announced an extension to their partnership agreement with Rob Mcglees Engineering, making them an authorized service partner across Namibia. This agreement follows Eaton’s longstanding partnership with Rob Mcglees as an authorized distributor of all Eaton UPS related products in Namibia and builds on Eaton’s regional growth strategy and dedication to invest in its partner ecosystem.


s of July, Rob Mcglees will not only be a distributor of the Eaton UPS product range but will also be equipped to manage product commissioning, maintain ad hoc interventions and provide service under the product warranty agreement. As an additional benefit to Eaton customers in the region, Rob Mcglees are also authorized to negotiate, sign and manage the maintenance contracts on behalf of Eaton. “Rob Mcglees were identified as a trusted partner to enter into this venture with Eaton as a result of their demonstrated efficiency and proficiency in previous projects, making them the leading choice for support in the region,” said Abel Martins, Eaton’s Africa Service Manager. Under this agreement, Eaton customers are afforded a faster turnaround times on; warranty, ad-hoc repairs and maintenance requests, OEM authorized service and local management of maintenance agreements ensuring that there are no delays in bringing the high quality standard that customers have come to expect from Eaton. Further to the agreement, Eaton have trained local representation and will continue to invest in Rob Mcglees as a valued strategic partner by supporting them technically with product “As a leading provider and an authorized service partner and distributor of all Eaton UPS products, we look forward to the prospect of working with Eaton to pilot ways of the group’s iconic products within a strong network,” said Frank Coetzee, Director at Rob Mcglees.


The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017

Rob Mcglees will distribute and service the complete range of Eaton UPS solutions including; the entire ranges of: 9130, 5P/X, 9SX/PX, 93PS, MP Series,9X55, 9390, 93E 15-400kVA, 93PM 20-200kVA and 9PHD for Marine. About Eaton in Africa A global power management company with 2016 sales of $19.7 billion, Eaton has been in Africa since 1927 with offices in South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Algeria and Nigeria. With 200k ft².of manufacturing space located in South Africa and Morocco, Eaton offers a broad portfolio supplemented by “made for Africa” products and services. Eaton has 900 employees and numerous distributors across the region, allowing us the opportunity to help our customers grow and provide sustainable economic benefits to the communities in which we operate. www.eaton.com About Rob Mcglees Engineering Rob Mcglees Engineering cc has established a strong foothold in the niche UPS technology market complimented by Eaton’s UPS range. With Namibia’s economic growth increasingly dependent on the energy and technology sectors, and the growing concerns regarding grid power quality and availability, Rob Mcglees Engineering is geared to provide these requirements in the local market along with quality Eaton products.

Eaton UPS Systems Rob Mcglees Engineering is an approved Eaton UPS reseller and power consultant. The Eaton UPS power protection ranges supplied include: uninterruptible power supplies (from 350VA to 1100kVA) and intelligent power distribution units (PDUs), complete with remote monitoring solutions.

Eaton’s Energy Efficiency Calculator Eaton UPS systems cover applications from large data centres requiring MVA UPS solutions to server rooms, Blade file servers and work stations. Eaton UPS include standby, line interactive and on-line UPSwith Energy System Saver operation (ECO Mode) which can deliver up to 99% operational efficiency. Connectivity solutions include adapter cards for SNMP, voltfree contacts, Modbus and JBUS. Eaton supply high efficiency UPS and include Eco Mode operation known as the Energy Saving System (ESS). The Eaton Efficiency Calculator (opens in a separate window) is a useful tool for comparing the savings (energy and cooling costs) that can result from installing an Eaton UPS compared to a traditional model. Eaton UPS have Energy Star certification and are a feature on the Energy technology list of the Carbon Trust.

A short UPS Q & A Here is a summary of the most frequent questions we at Rob Mcglees Engineering cc have received: What does UPS stands for? UPS is a shorten word for Uninterruptible Power supply or power source / or battery/flywheel backup What is the use of a UPS system? It is an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power to a load when the input power source or mains power fails. Simplified, a UPS is a device that: 1. Provides backup power when utility power fails, either long enough for critical equipment to shut down gracefully so that no data is lost, or long enough to keep required loads operational until a generator comes online. 2. Conditions incoming power so that all-too-common sags and surges don’t damage sensitive electronic gear. How does a UPS system work? Uninterruptible power supplies correct a variety of poor power quality problems. A sag in power can occur when an air conditioning unit turns on, while power spikes -- brief, highenergy bursts -- are typically caused by lightning or malfunctions in the power supply. Line noise -- usually caused by nearby equipment or frequency variations -- and brownouts -- extended periods of under voltage -- are all smoothed out and corrected by an uninterruptible power supply. A UPS system can be a helpful tool for ensuring proper power supply performance. UPS systems differs from an auxiliary or emergency power system or standby generator in that it will provide instantaneous or near-instantaneous protection from input power interruptions by means of one or more attached batteries and associated electronic circuitry for low power users, and or by means of diesel generators and flywheels for high power users. The on-battery runtime of most uninterruptible power sources is relatively short—5–15 minutes being typical for smaller units—but sufficient to allow time to bring an auxiliary power source on line, or to properly shut down the protected equipment.

Firstly let's start with the basics and everything you ever wanted to know about Eaton Uninterruptible Power Systems (UPS) but were afraid to ask

While not limited to protecting any particular type of equipment, a UPS is typically used to protect computers, data centers, telecommunication equipment or other electrical equipment where an unexpected power disruption could cause injuries, fatalities, serious business disruption and/or data loss. Are there different types of UPS systems? Yes indeed Eaton consist of a range of UPS systems to suit every client/s need. Once must always keep in mind that electrical power supply interference can come in a range of forms, such as voltage dips and surges, harmonics, or voltage spikes. These disruptions can cause serious harm to sensitive electrical equipment, particularly during the critical processing or production stages of an operation. To reduce the risk of power supply distortion, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems are then incorporated in electrical networks.

High Temperature As the name implies these systems are specially suited for high temperature situation. Why is having a UPS system so important? A UPS system/s are crucial and necessary in situations where power fluctuations or outages frequently occur because they can provide backup power circuitry that keeps vital systems operational in case the power supply is cut off. Under conditions involving short fluctuations or voltage disruption, the UPS can maintain constant power to keep loads running, and if electrical failure occurs, it activates reserve power to keep systems operating until they can be safely shut down. In addition, these UPS systems can often also reduce the risk posed by harmonic disruptions and line transients. In truth, however, power sags, surges and outages are not only unavoidable but more than capable of damaging valuable IT equipment and bringing productivity to a halt.

High-quality power flow for sensitive electrical load equipment and are commonly found in Industrial processing applications, Medical facilities, Emergency equipment, Telecommunications, Computerized data systems, Banking/Financial services, Building management, Government, Security systems, Network Communication equipment, IT and networking environments, Diagnostics and medical screening facilities and even your home system equipment.

That’s why planning and deploying a robust power protection solution is absolutely vital.

Industrial UPS

• An input current with reduced harmonic distortion

For use in industrial/manufacturing situations, such as plant facilities and factories. Medical UPS Used in hospitals and medical centers, Medical UPS systems are incredibly important, as they support life-support systems and other critical equipment.

An uninterruptible power system (UPS) is the central component of any well-designed power protection architecture An effective UPS includes several of the following features: • Regulated output voltage with low harmonic distortion unaffected by input voltage or load changes

• A low degree of electromagnetic interference and acoustic noise • Minimal transition times between normal and backup operations

• High levels of reliability and efficiency • Relatively low cost, weight, and size requirements The larger computer manufacturers now recommend the use of a UPS as part of their warranty stipulations. Can you afford not to be protected? What are the general categories of a modern UPS system? A standby (off-line) UPS system the load is powered directly by the input power and the backup power circuitry is only invoked when the utility power fails. Most UPS below 1 kVA are of the line-interactive or standby variety which are usually less expensive. A line-interactive UPS maintains the inverter in line and redirects the battery’s DC current path from the normal charging mode to supplying current when power is lost. A on-line UPS uses a “double conversion” method of accepting AC input, rectifying to DC for passing through the rechargeable battery (or battery strings), then inverting back to 120V/240V AC for powering the protected equipment. For large power units, dynamic uninterruptible power supplies are sometimes used. A synchronous motor/alternator is connected on the mains via a choke. Energy is stored in a flywheel. When the mains power fails, an Eddycurrent regulation maintains the power on the load. DUPS are sometimes combined or integrated with a diesel-generator[clarification needed], forming a diesel rotary uninterruptible power supply, or DRUPS. Now you know what an Eaton UPS does and why it is crucial to have one of these systems in either your Company and Household

Contact details: Frank Coetzee, Cell: +264 (0) 81 144 3310

Computer and Communication System Found in server farms and web hosting sites, along with phone companies, computer/communication UPS is probably the most commonly known to the average person. Military Specification (MIL-SPEC)Military grade UPS systems are certified for quality under the MIL-SPEC certification. They are used in military operations throughout the world.

The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017



Inside the Engineering Professionals Association Scholarship Fund

The Engineering Professionals Association (EPA) Scholarship Fund Trust was established in 1997 under the name EPA Bursary Fund Trust, was founded as an umbrella trust, under which several scholarship funds sponsored by various donors may be managed by a Board of Trustees appointed by EPA and, where applicable, the sponsors of the scholarship funds concerned. The Trust was reconstituted on 27 March 2007 under a new Trust Deed and Board of Trustees. The original sponsor of this scholarship programme was Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and Frederick Muketi, President of EPA takes us through the scholarship fund.

Typically, a sponsor wishing to provide funds for this purpose would donate money to a Fund specifically set up under the Trust in accordance with the sponsor's specific requirements. The appointed trustees would manage the sponsor's Fund in accordance with an agreement concluded with the sponsor at the establishment of the Fund, with EPA administratively handling the budgeting, receipts, investments and disbursements of the Fund. Q: What are some of the unique features of this scholarship that makes it possible to enable the achievement of the broader goals? A: As we look back on the strides and successes of the EPA scholarship programme, we have managed to contribute successfully to the engineering fraternity of Namibia by providing the tertiary education of quite a number of engineers, and we still hope to do more and empower more of them in the coming years The programme currently has the capacity to sponsor 10 students but currently, only five are sponsored by the programme. We have also decided to spread the scope of the EPA and also offer sponsorship to artisans and technicians. This move came about when we realised that engineers in the field were currently all the variations of work, some of which should be done by artisans and technicians.

Frederick Muketi, President of EPA

Q: What does the EPA Scholarship aim to achieve? A: It was originally meant to contribute to solving the need created by the brain drain of qualified engineers, had who left the country just after independence. The long term plan was to capacitate the Namibian government to have home-grown engineers. Because most ordinarily aspiring students were from previously disadvantaged ScienceTechnology-Engineering-Mathematics (STEM) academic backgrounds, this scholarship was meant to inspire as well as to enable aspiring students to venture in the engineering field. The mission of the Trust is to provide financial assistance to deserving students wishing to study at a Namibian or South African university or other tertiary technical institution towards a recognised degree or diploma in engineering or an engineering related discipline.


The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017

Namibian citizenship, compliance with specified minimum academic results, financial need, and academic merit. Further information and an application form may be downloaded from the links in the sidebar. The application form for scholarships in 2010 should be regarded as indicative only. The latest application form for scholarships is available from the EPA Administrator. Q: What are some of the challenges that EPA is encountering as an organisation? A: Many engineers are not really involved in many processes that affect them in the sector. The engineers who are qualified and have fast experience in the field do not contribute much to the betterment of the sector but they are motivated by money. The young and budding ones are still in cocoon and their impact is yet to be felt. This isolation and lack of drive of engineers has resulted in a situation whereby there is not even a single one appointed as Minister. We have also lately experienced administrative faults which have resulted in Roads Authority divorcing us as an engineering partner. Although we are currently is the process of rekindling the relationship, it is faults like these that set back the goals of EPA.

This is essentially, is killing two birds with one stone as the skills and capacity building in the field are spread while at the same time empowering the workforce of the country.

Within the engineering sector, we are also experiencing friction and division because of a similar engineering council that has emerged. We believe that we should all work in unity and not have factions or alternative groups working on the same agenda.

Q: What are some of the challenges that you encounter in running this scholarship programme?

Q: What are the future plans of EPA?

A: Our observation is that many potential beneficiaries do not know of this programme which is meant to empower them. We do not get many responses to the scholarship fund. At this juncture, I would like to inform all potential applicants that the Fund will only provide scholarships for studies at a Namibian or other university towards a Bachelor's degree in engineering (e.g. B. Eng.), but not in technology (e.g. B. Tech.). All first, second and third year students are encouraged to apply. Scholarships are granted in the form of interest free loans for one study year at a time, but scholarship recipients may re-apply for subsequent years, depending on academic merit. Conditions apply, and specific conditions are:

A: In order to boost involvement of engineers in sector processes that affect them, we are planning to invite graduands of the EPA scholarship programme to the next Annual General Meeting. We are also in the process of getting together the Engineering Act of Namibia with all engineers and stakeholders. This will be a compass to guide all engineers in their operations. Our organisations has in the past visited major projects like the dam construction in the South last year. We are planning to do the same this year as these visits help in addressing many challenges within the projects and operations in engineering. The EPA also plans to operate in 100% synchrony will all engineers and stakeholders to make the sector more conducive to efficiency and maximum production.


Scholarships Criteria

At this stage and until further notice, the Fund will only provide scholarships for studies at a Namibian or other university towards a Bachelor’s degree in engineering (e.g. B. Eng.), but not in technology (e.g. B. Tech.). Scholarships are granted in the form of interest free loans for one study year at a time, but scholarship recipients may reapply for subsequent years, depending on academic merit. Conditions apply, and specific conditions are: Namibian citizenship, compliance with specified minimum academic results, financial need, and academic merit. The application form for scholarships in 2010 should be regarded as indicative only. The latest application form for scholarships is available from the EPA Administrator


The Engineering Professions Association of Namibia (EPA) is a non-profit, voluntary membership association of engineering and related professionals in Namibia. EPA has since September 1992 been a full member of the Commonwealth Engineers’ Council, London, UK. Contact EPA: EPA Administrator and NAL Registrar: Mrs. Rica Blaauw Tel: +264 61 223009 | Fax: +264 886555493 | PO Box 21885, Windhoek, Namibia Email: epa@africaonline.com.na | Web: www. http://www.engineers-namibia.org The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017



RFA: Elevating Namibia’s Road Infrastructure Development One of the issues that remains a perpetual bugbear in Africa, is slow infrastructure spending to unlock the continent’s economic growth potential, research shows, but for Namibia, the Road Fund Administration (RFA) has succeeded in being the stopgap where the government faces funding gaps that limit investment in the road sector.


wo-thirds of Africans lack access to power and the road access rate is 34% compared with 50% elsewhere. Yet in Namibia the challenges that remain are vast and deeply ingrained where the construction sector has been on its knees for close to year due to limited funds from central government.

Enter RFA In June 2017, the (State-Owned) Road Fund released N$250 million as a bridging facility to fast-track settlement of outstanding invoices from Government funded road capital projects. “This was on the back of the N$280 million of the Road Fund surpluses utilised in December 2016 for the same purpose. So, we are talking about over half a billion,” says Penda Ithindi, Board Chairman of the RFA. “For certain, such an injection in the economy represents short-term shocks to the Fund’s financial position, but strategies are in place to rebuild the buffer stocks going forward.” Closing the infrastructure quantity and quality gaps relative to the best performers in the world could increase the growth of GDP per capita by 2.6% per year, according to the World Bank. Apart from sustaining the administrative operations of the RFA and Roads Authority (RA), a total of N$1.8 billion worth of expenditure directly funded through Road Fund resources most of which was spent on


The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017

Penda Ithindi | RFA Board Chairperson

capital projects in the sector, thus contributing to domestic economic activity, infrastructure development and its upkeep. One such prime example is the funding of Section 1 of the Windhoek-Okahandja dual carriage way, from Brackwater to Dobra river. The RFA’s contributions to the infrastructure sector of Namibia coincide with the 2015/16 Annual Report of the RFA as concretized in the audited Financial Statements that give an account of the Fund financial position, the business operations of the RFA and strategic outcomes in line with the institutional mandate and vision.

the business plan proposition to build reasonable fiscal buffers for the Fund as room for manoeuvre during rainy days. It is on the basis of this buffer position that the RFA was able to defray costs arising from Government funded projects during 2016 to the tune of N$280 million. The RFA also expanded its footprint to strategic border entry and exit locations across the country and, as a result, plugged some of the tax planning opportunities in respect of collection of road user charges, thus strengthening revenue collection objectives.

Adds Ithindi, “Looking at the Road Fund performance during 2015/16, the results mirror our organisational strategic intent to achieve operational efficiency and strengthen the Fund’s financial position, while giving greater impetus to developmental outcomes in the road sector.”

As a result of a combination of measures, including increases on Road User Charges granted by the Government, the year-on-year revenue performance recorded represented an increase of no less than 17 percent during the reporting period.

Thanks to a package of strategic initiatives: • RFA improved the Fund financial position to realize a surplus of some N$277 million. This is on the back of expenditure outlay of N$1.8 billion.

In addition, the RFA is one of the few Public entities which has a proven record of leveraging its asset and cashflow base to access funding from the market to complement its revenue base and increasingly fund the needs in the road sector.

• The financial outcomes are in line with


Thus Ithindi, “During the reporting period, we successfully redeemed our RFA2016 loan stock and we have further successfully took up about N$447m loan. I am also pleased that we have devoted due attention to improving the conditions of service for our staff in a holistic manner and inculcated a performance-based work culture centred on our corporate values, while enlisting effective engagement with stakeholders.” Below Ithindi, an Economist and Senior Technical Economic Advisor to the Minister of Finance takes us through the elevation of Namibia’s road infrastructure sector, in a nutshell.

“This was on the back of the N$280 million of the Road Fund surpluses utilised in December 2016 for the same purpose. So, we are talking about over half a billion,” says Penda Ithindi.

From a deficit of N$124m in FY 2014/15 to a surplus of N$277m. What has been the recipe and secret to your success as Board Chair? First, vision and strategy matter and these find a concrete expression in the design and implementation of a credible Business Plan. Secondly and most important, there are critical success factors which underpin strategy design and operation. Having the right people at the right time, robust internal systems and harnessing the power of technology and innovation are such critical factors. For the RFA business proposition, financial management skills is a necessary condition, ICT systems are a must and business foresight is key to strategy setting and implementation. Another critical success factor for the RFA has been the ushering in of better conditions of service for staff, building effective teamwork, performance-based work culture and chasing operational efficiency at every opportunity. Critically, the Board of Directors, Senior Management and all staff share in this enthusiasm and collective responsibility. Unlike in some public enterprises environment in which boards of directors and management are at dissonance and have a go at each other at the expense of developmental outcomes, we at the RFA do not avail ourselves to such posturing, which is not only anathema to organisational growth, but also subtracts a lot from business strategy implementation. Last, stakeholder relationship is key for RFA strategy implementation and we believe that the synergies of integrated development are best optimized through collaborative efforts.

We have to limit cash transactions to the minimum to eliminate unethical conducts by harnessing technological advances in our banking services. Last, we need predictability in terms of the revenue flows as regards timely adjustments of the road user charges. The cost for road projects increase by inflation or, worse still, by more than inflation. If we do not catch up on the revenue side, maintenance backlog will seriously catch up with us one day.

For the RFA, external risks arise from demand for spending beyond the Fund financial capacity. We cannot spend like there is no tomorrow. We have to plan better and prioritize our needs. Concurrent large expenditure undertakings tear budgetary frameworks apart. If I have to advise, prudent management of the Road Fund requires that spending is well kept in line with predictable means of implementation. We must not comprise the financial management of the Fund as we embark upon road sector institutional reforms.

Are your challenges unique from that of RCC and RA in this sector? Broadly not, but in details yes. The three institutions were created at the same time to meet clearly defined objectives and contribute to a common goal. All three institutions thrive, or better said, supposed to thrive, on prime underlying assets.

Secondly and equally important, the RFA manages over N$2.3 billion budget. This is road users’ money and it has to be utilized prudently and for intended purposes. A seamless system of internal control has to be preserved, financial skills are core to prudent management of the Fund because we cannot afford to mismanage road users’ money and we need a sound financial system to do just that.

Item Road Type (By Surface)

The RCC benefits from lucrative, multi-billiondollar construction projects, RA operations are fully funded through the Road User Charges (RUCs) by the RFA. The RFA revenue base is supported by the RUCs not least to mention the fuel levy. Thus, the basis for sustainability and growth is provided for these institutions. What is needed is credible operational plans and business models, a critical mass of requisite skills and effective leadership.

1990 (Network 0)

2005 (Network 4)

2014 (Network 8)

2017 (Network 10)

Distance (KM)

Distance (KM)

Distance (KM)

Distance (KM)










Bitumen surfaced (paved)


Low Volume Surfaced (paved)

Where is risk in RFA’s line of business? The effective means to manage and mitigate risks is to have a forward-looking risk management plan and strategies which encompass risk mitigation.


Gravel (unpaved)






Earth Graded (unpaved)






Earth Sand (unpaved)






Earth Track (unpaved)

Such a framework must, of necessity, be underpinned by an effective and dynamic monitoring framework because risks are not passive, they tilt and rotate.


Salt Road TOTAL













The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017



Road to infrastructure growth is through liberalisation- FNB Namibia The Namibian government has a lot on its plate to foot the N$69 billion required to meet the National Development Plan 5 (NDP5) where N$25 billion is committed to roads infrastructure and another N$9 billion set for the rail infrastructure. This was shared by economist Namene Kalili, FNB Senior Research and Development Manager during the International Road Federation Congress (IRF) held in July, in Windhoek. He opined that the model of partnering with the private sector in road management and construction works accelerates world class infrastructure delivery, because if world class infrastructure goals are to be met then a world class budget is needed, which government cannot finance, hence the valid role of the private sector.

Namene Kalili | FNB Senior Research and Development Manager


or Kalili, the success of NDP5 now rests on the laurels of the private sector participation and a government eager to liberalise, considering the country’s massive infrastructure backlog. “In spite of the funds allocated for the NDP5, there is currently a huge backlog of N$255 billion in infrastructure development and a lot of work needs to be done if the NDP5 goals are to be met... ...That is why we are urging for more public-sector participation and opening up of investment channels to icrease infrastructure spend while relieving government to concentrate on social services and governance, as extra hands will be on deck. To expect government to do it singlehandedly at the current tax rates is far-fetched, and this is where private sector comes in in various ways,” he added. In his presentation, Kalili stated that the Road Infrastructure Development Plan gives priority to good transport infrastructure relative to SSA, revamping of old roads, upgrading of 978 kilometers of gravel roads, revamping of 1 850 kilo meters of tarred roads, rehabilitation of 1 242 kilometers, which would make Namibia a world class logistics hub. Kalili`s presentation titled `Financing Namibia`s Infrastructure Backlog` covered infrastructure funding solutions and advocated for greater private sector involvement in road management and participation in progressing the sector. In 2014, the Bank of Namibia broke down the infrastructure backlog into N$17.9 billion for roads, N$60.9 billion for railways, N$34.9 billion for ports, N$9.7 billion for airports, N$50.8 billion for energy and N$45 billion for housing.


The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017

“Private sector has a much bigger role to play than simply the provider of capital. The dynamics in road usage have changed because neighbouring countries such as Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe and Botswana have become regular users of Namibia roads for their international trade. And as such have a vested interest in the construction and maintenance of these roads... ...Therefore it should be permissible for these foreign stakeholders to participate and contribute towards the construction and maintenance of the roads provided the right investment vehicles are available to facilitate broader participation. In the absence of such investment opportunities, vehicle numbers and trade volumes have increased massively with SADC countries, but infrastructure is struggling to keep up with the demand and hence the roads have become very congested.” He called for the liberalisation in the infrastructure sector, so that there can be less regulation on stakeholders for what has traditionally been viewed as public goods and services. “In the case of road management, legislation may not allow road management to be implemented for a fee, a scenario which challenges discussions for a huge policy shift towards tolling new roads, which increases the transport network, at little to no cost to the tax payer, and placing the costs squarly on the shoulders of those who choose to use such roads.”

Kalili further expounded that this would create new road management companies, which could eventually list domestically to broaden equity participation, while reducing the road infrastructure backlog and increasing the quality of the national road network. The resulting Initial Public Offerings (IPO’s) will improve operational efficiencies on these entities given the eagle eye scrutiny from investors, analysts and ratings agencies, along with increased reporting requirements from the local stock exchange. “Listed entities tend to be more transparent because the stringent public disclosure requirements from the stock exchange, which tends to increases operational efficiencies. Such entities are bench marked against peers in other jurisdictions as alaysts search for value within the infrastructure sector.” he said. But first, we need to increase savings levels in the country through higher interest rates to reward savings and lowering consumption demand and discouraging debt. Over the past 6 years, the trend shifted from saving culture to spending culture, which culminated in negative net savings rate last year. Thus Kalili, “Furthermore, we need to mobilise the N$160bn in institutional savings to fund infrastructure development. Infrastructure is emerging as an attractive asset class, which offers competitive risk adjusted returns, with stable cash flows, fair returns, diversification benefits and the adequate inflation protection from annual tariff adjustments. Therefore institutional investors have developed appetite for listed infrastructure assets, just not in Namibia.’’

NDP5 Infrastructure N$69,963m

Energy N$21,182m

Water N$2,685m

Roads N$25,863m

Rail N$8,700m

•Generation N$20,800m •Electrification N$382m

•Resource management N$161m •Supply N$2,524m

•Construction N$8,299m •Maintenance N$17,564m

•Rehabilitation N$1,600 •Construction N$7,100m

Logistics centers N$4,000m •5 Centers •Sungate

Ports N$2,340m

Airports N$2,874m

ICT N$2,319m

•Container terminal N$1,933m •Port automation N$274m •Admin reform N$133m

•Upgrades N$2,874m

•Broadcast coverage N$580m •Studio facilities N$340m •ICT expansion N$1,399m


From Engineers to Entrepreneurs: Inspiration from Megatron Like most engineers, E.Z Jansen Van Vuuren and Roual Spangenberg studied their environment well before successfully executing their plans. Those are some of the qualities that primed them for entrepreneurship and enabled them to be laudable players in the industry. But despite their penchant for planning and persistence in business, they attribute their progress to God and His grace. “Our company is a unique organisation, our business principles are faith based, we know that our staff are vital to our success and their wellbeing is important to us. Our aim is to make sure that every employee, should they ever leave our organisation, leaves as a better individual, not just with skills, but also as a person... ...When we started our company in 2013 we received a lot of resistance from the industry but we stuck to our principles and beliefs. It is very important to surround yourself with good business partners and keep being consistent in business when you receive a lot of resistance, because that only means you are on to something great... ...Now, a few years into business, we look back at the successes of the projects we have completed and are very proud. The journey to our successes can be very helpful to younger, budding engineers who have an interest in pursuing business in various fields,” says Spangenberg.

Background of Megatron Megatron Engineering Namibia (Pty) Ltd opened its doors in November 2013, with the aim to offer a full local supply, installation and commissioning service of Medium Voltage equipment and solutions. Megatron Engineering Namibia (MEN) surrounded itself with leading global brands and can offer a full local warranty on all the products that it represents. We also ensure that our team is comprised of the best up and coming local Namibians. The outcome was extremely positive and we have successfully completed a number of projects. “We have managed to successfully supply the market because we fulfill all our project goals and never leave a job half-finished or unsatisfactory. I have always believed that anyone can win a tender but if they lack

the commitment and genuine sentiment towards the job itself, then an unsatisfactory job will attest to that. We have, however, been successful when we stick to our goals and our completed jobs speak for our work ethic,” says Spangenberg. MEN have successfully to date been involved in a number of Renewable Energy Projects most notably, the recent completion of the Ombepo WindPark in Lüderitz. We feel that we have gained unrivalled experience and this opportunity to work on such a prestigious project has hopefully opened up doors for us in similar projects beyond the borders of Namibia.

Services Being a multi-disciplinary engineering company, the company offers a wide range of engineering services. These include: • Protection, Integration and Automation for Solar Projects. • Substation and Protection Commissioning • Sales, supply, delivery and installation of Medium Voltage Switchgear, distribution and Power Transformers

The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017


• MV Switchgear routine maintenance and refurbishments


• Protection and ARC flash refurbishments on MV Switchgear • Protection refurbishments on conventional Substations • Routine maintenance on conventional Substations • Complete turn-key solutions on MV Switchgear and conventional Substations • Protection and automation solutions on MV Switchgear and Substations • Protections audits

Megatron’s Completed Projects to Date since 2013 Project

11KV Feld Street and Swakopmund intake Substations upgrade New 11KV Distribution Substation at Babilon 5MW Wind Farm integration at Lüderitz 22KV Omburu-Innosun Solar (PV) integration New Ondangwa Airport 11KV supply and reticulation 5MW Hopsol Otjiwarongo Solar Integration Oshakati State Hospital Intermediate 11KV Substation 5MW Otjizondjupa Solar Integration 22KV Bay Extension for 5MW Solar Integration at Grootfontein

• Assembly of Mini Substations

Arandis 3MW PV Solar Integration

• Manufacturing of Containerized Substations

NAMPOWER Supply, delivery and installation of 2 x 160MVA and 2 x 80MVA Transformers

Experience of Megatron Megatron has a combined professional experience of some 40 years amongst its directors and employees. “We do however, have a very unique approach in our employee selection criteria because when we take someone on board, they do not necessarily have the right qualifications. We look for someone that has the willingness to learn and improve. The company believes in the value of practical experience and fully supports its employees in their desire to create a better life for themselves and their families... ...Megatron is, for all extents and purposes, like a family. That, I think, is what Megatron is all about - being actively involved in creating a better future for Namibia and Namibians. In that light, we currently offer practical learning experience to a student from the Namibia University of Technology - after every placement job he returns to the classroom with a wealth of practical experience. Megatron believes in a hands-on approach on all projects. That is why the director of the firm will always be in control of the key functions of all projects. MEN is equipped with the latest technology and has the necessary staff and resources to ensure the best professional service is provided at all times.

Support and Specialist Services Input Megatron sees teamwork, quality and unrivalled service on every project as the key


The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017

success factor that distinguishes the company from others. The overall project manager is duty-bound in ensuring effective communication to all stakeholders and at all levels, and also within the company. Teams are built by combining the strengths of the individual members and refining skills to meet and exceed the client’s expectations. “Megatron has been in existence for four years – we have been blessed and are satisfied with our progress so far. It has not been an easy road but our team’s passion, collaboration with customers, persistence, never-saydie attitude and faith in God has taken us where we are... ...That is what we hope our engineering counterparts coming up in entrepreneurship will emulate, so we can all collectively grow the engineering industry and country’s economy,” concludes Spangenberg.

Contact Details Tel: +264 61 239 203 P.O. Box 81792, Olympia, Windhoek, Namibia Physical Address Unit 4, Palnik Square, Nickel Street Prosperita Industrial, Windhoek, Namibia

ABB opens new office in Namibia ABB reaffirms commitment to Namibia with its new 2 200sqm facility. ENERGY

ABB entrenches its commitment in Southern Africa by opening a new 2 200 m² facility in Windhoek, Namibia, which increases the company’s capacity to supply, maintain and service products to the local market and neighbouring countries such as Zambia and Angola. This expanded facility will also start servicing the market needs for medium voltage products, low and high voltage switchgear, and is soon to introduce distribution transformers into the local market.


he new facility is a consolidation of the two offices ABB previously had in Windhoek and the company has realigned its organisational structure to reflect its growth focus and position ABB Ability™ which represents its complete portfolio of digital solutions with a set of common enabling technologies that are used to build devices, systems, and applications. “Namibia is an important market for ABB, as it is the second largest contributor in the region to our revenue after South Africa. We have been in the country since the early 90‘s, and this investment is part of our commitment to the region to enable the offering of more services and products,” said ABB Southern Africa MD, Leon Viljoen. “The new facility will also help us to better service the neighbouring markets of Angola and Zambia from here, further improving our penetration into those countries.” ABB has been operating in Namibia since 1990, after acquiring a small local contracting

business and converting it into a full service business focusing on the local mining, utilities and industrial sectors. In the past decade, ABB’s operations in the country have grown in parallel to the country’s GDP growth, resulting in more business from the public sector. Viljoen said the new Windhoek facility will also ensure that the company is prepared for anticipated continued public capital spend in the next few years. With a reasonable operation in Zambia, but very small in Angola, Viljoen envisions Namibia becoming the main centre for delivering services across the border in Angola. “One advantage for our team in Namibia is that they can speedily service customers in Angola.” said Viljoen. ABB has spent the last 12 months realigning and restructuring the Namibian operation, including ensuring that local employees are adequately developed through upskilling in order for them to positively respond to the growing

service demand. The new facility currently employs about 70 people.

Leon Viljoen | Managing Director, ABB South and Southern Africa

“In order for the Namibian office to deliver the service they envision, skills development will be a priority to ensure that our employees cover the full range of their products and services needed...

About ABB

...Depending on the skills required, our people have been, and will continue to receive training from the colleagues and trainers from training facilities in South Africa, Europe or India,” said Victoria Pieters, Head of Human Resources, ABB in Namibia. ABB has operations in 23 African countries and employs about 5,000 people across the continent. As a pioneering technology leader serving utilities, industry and transport and infrastructure customers globally, ABB supports Africa’s growth with innovative solutions designed to address local challenges, from access to electricity, to industrial development, to sustainable transport.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a more than 125year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 132,000 employees. www.abb.com

As part of its commitment to Africa, ABB provides scholarships and internships for talented engineers who need financial support to complete their studies. ABB has annual sales in Africa of around $1.5 billion, and manufacturing operations in Egypt and South Africa.

The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017



Roads Authority completes Road Transport Sustainability Plan Key Highlights: • Hints on shadow tolling instead of toll gates • Moves to curtail borrow pits along the main highways • Say southern roads are far developed compared to the northern parts

As part of the process of developing the Sustainability Plan one of the tasks was to identify the transport sector issues and needs.

A Roads Authority report titled ‘Development of a Road Transport Sustainability Plan for Namibia’ delivered at the International Roads Federation (IRF) Congress held in Namibia recently, aims at concerted efforts towards road infrastructure development in the country. The sustainability plan will help the Roads Authority effectively and efficiently incorporate sustainability goals into the agency’s overall goals and objectives of managing a sustainable transport system. “The Road Authority strives to achieve sustainability by providing a safe and efficient national road network, which supports economic growth and ensures access for all while preserving the environment for current and future generations,” reads the sustainability statement. Namibia’s Fourth National Development Plan stipulates that the country’s infrastructure is in good condition including the national transportation infrastructure, electricity distribution lines, dams, telecommunications, and mobile communication infrastructure. However, Namibia faces challenges in maintaining and improving infrastructure as its infrastructure revenue levels are not


The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017

at the level of finance needed for growth and maintenance needs and the transport sector faces other hurdles such as a growing population, high accident numbers and limited transportation planning.

Among them was the improvement of accessibility in rural areas so that communities have access to basic services such as schools, clinics, and jobs. Namibia is faced with the development of rural communities along roads, which sometimes hinder mobility. The roadway network needs to be preserved for mobility, insists the plan. Equity was another need that was identified and thus the improvement of resource distribution between the northern and southern regions of Namibia.

Transport Sector Needs As part of the process of developing the Sustainability Plan one of the tasks was to identify the transport sector issues and needs. Among them was the improvement of accessibility in rural areas so that communities have access to basic services such as schools, clinics, and jobs. Namibia is faced with the development of rural communities along roads, which sometimes hinder mobility. The roadway network needs to be preserved for mobility, insists the plan.

“The Road Authority strives to achieve sustainability by providing a safe and efficient national road network, which supports economic growth and ensures access for all while preserving the environment for current and future generations,”

There is an interest to understand how to use, test, and verify them and a large market to make use of these products in Namibia. Improving of safety for pedestrians and on the roadways was noted. Gravel roads can be treacherous and some drivers are unaware how to drive on these types of roads. The RA has appointed a consultant to carry out the rehabilitation of borrow pits near the roadways left after construction which have become hazardous. Another issue is of effectively using existing data and or improve data collecting methods on roadway accidents through continuous road safety studies. The current data does not show locations of accidents and more quality data are needed. Namibia needs to focus on multimodal needs specifically on railways and roadways. There is the need to ensure that heavy loads on roadways (such as from mines) pay adequate mass distance charges when they impose loads on roadways in exceedance of design criteria, thereby lessening the roads burden, for instance, if mines shift to rail-based transport systems. While this is currently being addressed through a draft bill containing a provisional clause to this effect, adequate mass distance charges would also solve the challenge, says the new plan.

This issue also ties into the broader issue of funding road maintenance, rehabilitation and upgrades without going through political channels that is government funding.


The northern region has not received as much development resources compared to the southern trading hubs, says the plan.

It also emerged that railways are inefficient, slow, and not well-connected. According to the plan, with regards to funding opportunities, toll roads may be difficult to enforce and are not feasible while ‘shadow tolling’ or other concepts may be more applicable. Shadow toll is a payment structure where the road user does not pay any toll; instead the concessionaire collects revenue from the government in proportion to the number of vehicles using the road. While private operators have only the pricing tools to collect revenue, government additionally has the taxation tool as well which it can use to charge a higher road tax to its citizens. One way of doing this is imposing a cess on fuel. The shadow tolling system effectively, makes the road services ‘free’ for the user. At the same time, the government need not bear the extra burden of paying the toll, because it collects the money through the cess on petrol or diesel. The proposed cess would be minimal (less than a rupee) as it will be spread over a huge base and hence the citizens would not feel the pinch of the increase.

The highway road traffic would not be hampered by high toll prices, and thus be closer to their capacity utilization, ensuring maximum economic and social benefit. Public-Private Partnerships could also provide an opportunity for improvement of weigh bridge operations. Currently, weigh stations close at night and trucks can avoid paying by traveling at night. Also, the weigh bridges are often out of the way of major corridors.

The Engineer | AUG-SEPT 2017


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