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Caterpillar has officially launched a 60 000 m2 distribution facility in Gauteng, South Africa. This will enable them work more efficiently, hence increase its capacity to provide unmatched parts availability to customers across Africa.
The 60 000 m2 facility consolidates two smaller parts distribution sites, one at Linbro Park and the other at Isando. It will serve more than 10 000 customers in 11 countries and will stock more than 110 000 different parts to service machines in the region.
“Caterpillar’s investment in a new and more efficient parts distribution facility demonstrates its deep commitment to customers in Africa,” noted Caterpillar Group president for customer and dealer support Rob Charter.
The distribution facility
He highlighted that the project is the largest parts distribution facility in the company’s industry in Africa. It is also one of 21 of its kind in the world, and the first in the continent.
Moreover, Caterpillar has further negotiated an Equity Equivalent Investment Programme with the South African Department of Trade and Industry. It is the largest programme of this type in South Africa.
Charter pointed out that the facility, to date, is Caterpillar’s largest investment in physical assets in Africa.
“We are looking forward to expanding our partnership with the South African government toward achieving economic transformation,” he said.
A portion of the facility – about 3 500 m2 – will host Barloworld Equipment’s retail parts operation.
About Caterpillar
Barloworld Equipment is the official dealer of Caterpillar products and services in 11 South African regions and seven Southern African countries. The company consolidated its over-the-counter aftermarket parts activities from Linbro Park and Isando at the new location.
Caterpillar builds and supplies construction and mining equipment, as well as diesel and natural gas engines, industrial turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. It also provides financial services such as rental equipment.

Source: construction review

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The Federal Government of Nigeria intends to connect all seaports, airports and inland container depots by rail.
According to Sabiu Zakari, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, the vision is for a farmer in Sokoto to be able to send his goods from his farms through road to the nearest inland container depot. From the depot using the rail, the farm produce are transported to one of the seaports for export to Europe, America, and Asia.
Sustainable economy development
Speaking at the opening session of the 15th National Council on Transportation holding in Sokoto, Zakari stressed that sustainable development of an economy needs to link directly to an efficient transportation system.
According to Zakari the current transport infrastructure and services are inadequate to cope with the country’s huge population. Thus the need to develop and integrate the various modes. At the moment a necessity to enhance the nation’s transportation system.
However, the government has a record of the modest strides in linking Apapa port to rail. Additionally, transportation of the bonded containers is currently underway. The transportation is via rail from Apapa port to Inland Container Nigeria Limited Depot in Kaduna.
Moreover, the optimism of the development of intermodal transportation is to reduce the cost of transportation. The influx of people and trucks to port cities. Reducing the over reliance on single mode in the country helps in easing congestion at the ports. This also creates jobs, develop modern transport infrastructure and extend the life of the already existing ones.
 

Source: construction review


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At least 11 people have died and 24 others have been rescued after a building collapse in Mumbai.
Rescue officials say five to 10 people are still trapped. A six-storey building toppled over in India's financial capital on Thursday.
The building in the densely populated Bhendi Bazaar area was believed to be about 100 years old. Ambulances, fire engines and members of the disaster relief force are still working at the site. Mumbai is recovering from heavy rains and flooding. The residential building gave way around 08:40 India time [03:10 GMT], reports said.
Building accidents are not uncommon in India, particularly during the monsoon season. Poor construction standards and dilapidation are often to blame.
Every year, dozens of people are killed in building collapses across India. There have been three in Mumbai in the past month. In July, 17 people were killed when a four-storey building collapsed in the suburb of Ghatkopar.
 

Source: BBC

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Zimbabwe’s Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) recently met South African potential investors for the Kondo Dam project. The $300m project involves the construction of a concrete-faced rock filled dam. There will also be an earth fill saddle dam as well as a hydro-power generating plant.
According to reports, Kondo Dam will store 3.5Bn cubic meters in water while generating 200 MW. The water will serve for purposes of power generation as well as irrigation development. Presently, the estates set to benefit from the dam’s construction rely on water from Osborne and Rusape dams. The investment is also likely to expand in 40ha from the current 10000ha.
ARDA chairman Mr. Basil Nyabadza expressed optimism that the investment will bring good fortunes to the agricultural sector in general.  He further added that there are expansion projects that will depend heavily on water investment.



Green Fuel Program
Additionally, as far as water availability is concerned ARDA will open an additional 5000Ha on an annual basis. This, in turn, will most likely trigger additional horticultural activities. The design stage of the dam is complete.
The dam is located approximately 3.6km south of the Save River and Tsungwizi River confluence. In the meantime, the Green Fuel expansion program also involves the construction of two additional plants with a combined capacity of 40m litres of ethanol per month at a cost of $540m.
 

Source: construction review

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Recent technological advancements have made it easier to operate compact equipment. However, that does not mean that they make it any easier for untrained workers. As such, it is advisable to ensure operators follow proper operation and maintenance tips.
Learn basic operating procedures.
Compact equipment operators should learn general understanding of basic compact equipment operations. Reviewing the manufacturers’ operation and maintenance manual is an important first step. The manual serves as a primary guide for proper compact equipment operation and maintenance.
Some manufacturing companies even go the extra mile and provide training services to machine operators. This helps not only in having the knowledge as written in the manual, but also in application of the same. The operators also get to learn how to improvise to prevent accidents at the site.
Assess the job site and equipment
Operators should look around the jobsite to make sure there are no bystanders as well as keep other individuals and equipment out of the work area. All underground utilities should be clearly marked before excavating. All operators should take a few minutes to walk around their machine to look for potential problems.
Practice safe starting procedures.
Once inside the machine, operators should ensure all parts are in good working condition. This also entails, familiarizing themselves with the controls. The seat should be adjusted at a favorable position to facilitate this. All controls should be in neutral when not in use. While in neutral, the operator could test the engine speed as well as control levers.
Maintain the machine.
Safety features are only effective when equipment operators know about them. That is why all compact equipment owners and operators should consult the operation and maintenance manual, the operator handbook, operator training courses and service training courses before operating any equipment on the jobsite.

Source: construction review

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Kansai Paints Co., a Japanese paint and coating manufacturer has acquired 90% stake in Sadolin Group for US$100mn. However, the regional acquisition leaves local shareholders holding the balance of shares.
subsidiary operations
The Japanese paint and coating maker says its subsidiary Kansai Plascon Africa Limited will now run the Sadolin operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.
“We have retained the current management, the leadership in business for a two-year period. We will work closely with the local leadership and after the two years, we’ll then decide whether to acquire the balance or the local shareholder will retain the 10 per cent in the Sadolin business,” said Gary Van Der Merwe, president-Kansai Plascon East Africa Ltd, at a press briefing in Nairobi.



Footprint across Africa
Kansai Paints has 14 manufacturing sites across Africa and with the new acquisition the number now rise to 18. According to 2016 Kansai paints financial year report; Sadolin Group recorded a US$85.5m. In 2015 report the group recorded an operating profit of US$13.7mn.
However, according to Kansai Paints, Africa is one market that is expected to expand. The expansion is in respect to long-term demand for coating materials. Contrary, in May this year the Kenya’s Competition Authority authorised the takeover. Furthermore, Kansai is hoping to tap into Sadolin’s market networks in order to expand its global footprints.
Additionaly, Kansai Paints believes that Africa is one of the fastest growing regions on the continent, with a rapidly emerging middle class. Africa is also described to have high speed spending power and growing urbanization.
According to Gary van der Merwe, President of Kansai Plascon East Africa; “this is, therefore, a good time to launch into the market. The market is in need of our wide range of products to enhance their lifestyle.
Moreover, a decade long construction boom in Kenya has led to a rapid expansion of the local paint industry. According to global growth strategy analyst Frost and Sullivan, the burgeoning of commercial and residential developments in various parts of the country has increased the need for high quality paints.


Source: construction review

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The US$ 1.3m Zungeru hydroelectric power plant in Nigeria is now 47% complete; this is according to China National Electric Engineering Co., Ltd. (CNEEC)
The Deputy Project Manager, Mr. Xiao Nie, confirmed the reports and said that the project, made up of four units of 175mw each, will be complete in 2020.
“We will release the first unit of the power plant which is 700MW in December 2019. and the remaining after every three months,” he said.
The project which was inaugurated in 2013 consists of a dam for storage reservoir. It has a maximum operation water level of 230m and total storage capacity of 11.4×109m3.

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Prices of building materials in Nigeria continue to rise to levels that are unaffordable to a large number of people. This is more so the case especially to middle and low income earners aspiring to build their own homes.
Nigeria has a housing deficit estimated at 17m. According to chief investment officer at Natanel Florens Oguche Aguda, home penetration in the country is just 10%. This means that 90% of the population is renting or living in rented accommodation. The housing stock in the country is estimated at 13m units, 5% of which is in formal mortgage. The remaining 95% is considered ‘dead assets.’
Increased costs
The price of cement is now peaking at 87% to $7.84 per 50 kg bag, as at June this year. This is a significant price jump for a product that was sold for $4.2 per bag in October 2016. Virtually all the materials have seen price increases, differing only in degree. The prices of cables and Harvey roof tiles have gone up 138% and 93% respectively to $164.2 per ton and $30.8 per length. This is an increase from last year’s $44.8 and $15.96.
The price of Aluminum roofing sheets (0.55mm) has gone up from $4.34 per length to $4 per length. This represents a 61% increase in just 12 months. The price of colored emulsion paint has risen by 41% to $33.6 per bucket.
Until May 2017 when inflation rate came down to 16.25% annually, it had peaked at 18.72%. This impacted negatively on commodity prices. This figure represents the fourth consecutive decline in the rate of inflation since January this year. Though economists say inflation is currently moderating on a year-on-year basis, it is yet to reflect on commodity prices.


Source: construction review

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The Liberia Electricity Corporation has decided to remove the upfront service connection fee  to increase electricity access in the country.
New customers were paying $55 as service connection fee, a requirement for electricity connection. This was until the recent official announcement.
The service connection fee will be deducted after connection over a period of time during the purchase of recharge tokens.This decision was made after a careful review of the connection procedures.
Electricity connection fee
This shift in policies will afford all Liberians, access to electricity services at an accelerated pace, regardless of their status.

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According to the National Housing and Construction Company (NHCC), Uganda’s housing deficit that currently stands at 2m units continues to grow by 300,000 units per year. The company’s managing director, Mr Parity Twinomujuni, said demand for housing keeps increasing. This is due to the growing population and rural-urban migration of which the real estate players can hardly meet.
He said that theirs is but a small scratch on the surface of housing shortage. He further added that with the increase in population, it will be hard to completely solve the problem. According to him, the problem is likely to persist in the next 50 year. He further added that even a triple in production might not make much of a difference.

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The Federal Government of Nigeria recently commenced construction of houses in 33 states for workers under its National Housing Scheme. This is according to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola.
Fashola made this known at the sixth meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development. The ministry was in charge of organizing the meeting held last week in Abuja. The pilot scheme engaged 653 contractors to deliver 2,736 units as far as the housing program is concerned.
Availability of land in the 33 states facilitated further the construction of the houses. Fashola also noted that during the 2016 council meeting, the council resolved to facilitate the use of exchange of letters. These serve as use for the Transfer of Title to land when states were transferring land to the Federal Government.
Employment Opportunities
Fashola further advised on the importance of looking at short, medium and intermediate streams of opportunities for employment and productivity. This is all the while in commitment towards the national policy of delivering affordable housing. Job opportunities are created as a total of 54,680 people got employed in the process. He said this was consistent with one of the pillars of the Economic Theory and Growth.
On procurement, Fashola said he directed the ministry’s staff to review the procurement requirements and guidelines. This is in consultation with its legal department with a view to ensure opened opportunities for participation.
According to him, this is in fulfillment of the objectives of the Council’s theme. It is to build for inclusion, for growth and for prosperity. FCT Minister Mallam Muhammad Bello said in order to tackle housing challenges the FCT Administration initiated Housing and Urban Management Policy and Programs.
 

Source: construction review

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