Bulk handling and air environmental control specialist, Takraf Africa, part of the global Takraf group, has entered 2018 with considerable momentum, created by the awarding, in recent years, of high-profile projects, as well as the increasing demand across Africa for the company’s expertise.
“We have long been recognised as a leader in our field in Southern Africa, but we are increasingly working across Africa, from supplying conveyors to the Republic of Guinea, to solid/liquid separation equipment in the DRC and Tanzania,” says Richard Späth, General Manager, Engineering for Takraf Africa.
“And, encouragingly, demand from the local markets continues, with two of the largest bulk handling projects received in 2017 both being in South Africa.”
These projects are for a dual rotary wagon tippler for the iron ore export market and a truck loading facility, including associated conveyors, for a new power station.
The tippler will boast a capacity of 8 000 t/h, which offers unloading rates in excess of 100 wagons per hour, and is being supplied complete with a positioner and ancillary equipment; as well as a 98m3/h reverse pulse bag filter type dust extraction system.
Other recent orders include a contract for an in-plant conveyor system for a new milling/crushing facility at a gold mine in Guinea. The conveyors were delivered in 2017 and formed part of an expansion to the plant. The contract comprised the supply of eight new in-plant conveyors and modifications to the existing conveyors.
Also in Guinea, the global Takraf group is currently involved in the turnkey supply and installation of a bauxite handling plant, including a wagon tippler and Takraf sizers.
In South Africa, a recent innovative refurbishment project concerned the redesign and refurbishment of a bucket-wheel reclaimer for an iron-ore mine. The project, carried out by Tenova Client Support Services, the aftermarket support arm of Takraf Africa, required replacing the bucket-wheel and shaft with a new-design bucket wheel.
“The wheel has three bolted segments to enable replacement of only the worn parts,” notes Richard.
The refurbishment was carried out by Takraf Africa’s Northern Cape office, one of its network of satellite offices that bring service support close to its customer base. Other offices are located in Middelburg and the Western Cape, with headquarters based in Kempton Park, Johannesburg.
“We are committed to providing first class backup to all our customers, and we are looking to expand our satellite offices into the neighbouring countries,” says Richard.
Takraf Africa’s continued success in what has been a challenging market in recent years is due to a combination of factors, he adds.
“We draw on a heritage dating back to the early years of the 20th century as part of the Bateman group, before Bateman was acquired by Tenova in 2012,” says Richard.
“While the business comprises a young, energetic team, we also offer the marketplace the expertise of well-known specialists in critical areas such as conveyor design.”
In addition, its comprehensive expertise and wide range of references across the mining and general industrial sectors has meant that Takraf Africa has been able to “ride out” market fluctuations by servicing demand across the various sectors.
“We are currently experiencing demand from the energy and export terminal sectors, and are beginning to see signs of revival from the mining industry.”
The company’s in-house expertise, which covers the mining value chain, is supported by its ongoing innovation and technology acquisitions, as well as being able to rely on expertise and knowledge of the global Takraf group through various technology competence centres.
List of ‘firsts’
“We have seen considerable success with our innovations over the years,” adds Richard. “The list of ‘firsts’ is extensive, including high capacity long distance overland conveyors, extensive modification of the Bradford Coal Breaker to African mining conditions and the first Rapid Rail Load Out Station, covered circular stockpiles and reclaimer transfer cars in Africa.”
Globally, Takraf also boasts notable record breaking references, including the largest cross-pit conveyor bridge and bucket-wheel excavator in the world and, most recently, the Chuquicamata conveyor system in Chile, with the title of the world’s most powerful belt conveyor system.
The conveyor system will boast advanced gearless drive technology, with the uphill tunnel conveyors boasting the highest drive power ever installed on a belt conveyor. In fact, total installed drive power for the entire system will be around 55 MW.
Takraf Africa fully acknowledges its duty to give back to the communities in which it operates and its accreditation, in 2017, as a level 2 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) company, was a reinforcement of its commitment to social and economic transformation.
“The B-BBEE grading is not the end goal for us – it is a way of doing business that we carry through to all our projects beyond the borders of South Africa,” concludes Richard.