This month, South African industry heavyweights are making their way to the heart of the Zambian mining region to be part of the Copperbelt Mining Trade Expo and Conference (CBM-TEC) – Zambia’s premier networking event for international and regional companies that operate within the country’s highly-lucrative Copperbelt region, being hosted in Kitwe on 28 and 29 April 2014.
Joining over 80 exhibitors at the conference this year is IWC – South African leaders in cooling towers and cooling solutions in Africa offering fully integrated solutions, from cooling towers to glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) manufacturing and plate heat exchangers (PHE) supplied by SONDEX. The company’s range of products are packaged cooling towers, large field erected cooling towers and natural draught cooling towers. The company also provides refurbishment services thereof.
IWC’s keen interest to explore the possibilities of Zambia’s mining industry is not without good reason. The dynamic industrial growth and recent accessibility of the Zambian Copperbelt region means new opportunities for business.
Company MD Roger Rusch says, “Zambia is of strategic importance to the Southern African mining sector. With the steady flow of investments, the copper mining industry is growing at a rapid rate and we are keen to be a part of this emerging market.”
Zambia has a mining history spanning over ninety years. In the late 1960s, the country was ranked as the world’s third largest copper producer, after the United States and the former Soviet Union. Currently, Zambia is the largest copper producer in Africa and the seventh largest copper producer in the world.
After a successive slump in output over the past few years, the Zambian copper mining industry had a marked rebound in 2013. The country managed a strong growth rate of 6.5 % in 2013, supported by a 20% rise in copper output in 2012.
This trend is set to continue and copper output is projected to reach 1.5 million tonnes by 2015, largely due to investment in new mines and the expansion of capacity at existing plants. Robust international copper prices will provide additional stimulus to mining.
The combination of a stable regulatory environment, responsible corporations, and the right technical skills has been the main attraction for investors from across the globe. Zambia now ranks No. 83 out of 189 countries on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index, benchmarked to June 2013.
When asked what IWC can offer to the Zambian mining industry, company MD Roger Rusch explains that IWC specialises in the design and manufacture of cooling towers and fibreglass products e.g. tanks, piping and process vessels that are used extensively in the mining and metals processing industry in Zambia. “We are well prepared to meet Zambia’s mining-industry specific demands,” says Rusch.
IWC has recently launched a fibreglass production facility. This facility is capable of constructing large diameter tanks, pressure vessels, piping and ducting of all vital components in the mining process and has recently supplied large capacity fibreglass filter vessels to FQML (Kansanshi) as well as large diameter dampers to Mopani Copper Mines Plc for the Converter and Acid Plant project.
The dampers that were supplied are in addition to the two large mechanical draft cooling towers IWC provided, one for the gas plant and another for the acid plant. IWC has a proud association with the Zambian copper industry having previously undertaken work for KCM, Mopani and FQML.
IWC also offers a range of heat exchanger solutions covering the easiest to the most challenging applications. Additionally the company operates a state of the art service centre for the servicing and cleaning of plate heat exchangers. IWC are able to provide a comprehensive range of replacement gaskets and plates for most brands and models of plate heat exchanger.
Participating in CBM-TEC 2014 gives IWC the opportunity to make contact with new clients and potential future partners. “We look forward to delivering solutions to ensure optimal efficiency and quality in the mining operations in Zambia,” says Rusch.