Modern Mining September 2016


sees strong growth ahead

refurbishment of a plastic piping facility and the expansion of a coffee factory. One of ELBCON’s very first contracts was for Eskom’s Medupi Power Station near Lephalale in Limpopo Province, where ELB Engineering Services was awarded a major contract in 2011 to provide coal and ash handling facilities. “This gave us a flying start and we’re still on site today,” says Budd. “We have progressed well with the construction of ELB’s materials handling contract and are also involved with the project by assisting Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, the contractor responsible for the steam generators. Overall, our contribution to Medupi has been – we believe – exemplary and, most importantly, we’ve enjoyed an excel- lent safety record. We’ve won several safety awards and have recently completed one mil- lion LTI-free hours.” Another flagship ELB Engineering contract that ELBCON has been deeply involved with is the materials handling system for Sasol Mining’s new Impumelelo coal mine near Secunda, which – among other things – has involved the construction of one of the longest – at 26,9 km – single-flight conveyors in the world. “We’re very proud of the contribution we’ve made at Impumelelo,” notes Budd. “This has been a huge undertaking for us and our workforce on site peaked at around 250 people. As at Medupi, we’ve enjoyed an outstanding safety record and the project ranks as a huge

Stephen for many years – we had first worked together in the early 1990s – and we discussed the possibility of setting up a construction arm of ELB. This led to the establishment of ELBCON in 2011.” Budd has acted as MD of ELBCON since start-up and is well-qualified for the role. At the beginning of his career he specialised in aviation engineering but – after joining ELB Equipment, part of the then Edward L Bateman group, in the early 1980s – became increas- ingly involved in the construction and mining sectors. In the 1990s he went into the proj- ects division of Edward L Bateman – Bateman Projects – and this new direction in his career eventually resulted in him having senior mana- gerial roles on two of the key African mining projects of the past decade – the Lumwana cop- per mine in Zambia and the Ambatovy nickel project in Madagascar (where he managed the construction of what was then the biggest acid plant in the world). His close knowledge of the mining indus- try has been of huge benefit to ELBCON, as most of the construction contracts it under- takes on behalf of ELB Engineering Services are in either the mining, FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) or power generation sec- tors. The company does not, however, confine itself to these areas and has undertaken work for general industry – with its recent accom- plishments having included, for example, the

The Impumelelo overland conveyer is one of the lon- gest single-flight conveyors in the world.

September 2016  MODERN MINING  29

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