Glass Industry

Turnkey company Wins Local, International Projects

One of South Africa’s most prominent turnkey refractory and mechanical specialists, The Dickinson Group, has been awarded contracts for several local and international key industrial and mining projects.

The company has secured a number of projects for 2007, including a blast furnace rebuild for Mittal Steel, in Vanderbijlpark, an ACP shutdown for Anglo Platinum, a Mopani copper mines smelter project, in Zambia, and an anode baking furnace rebuild for Dubai Aluminium.

The group, with alliance partner company Lizmontagens, of Portugal, has been awarded two large glass-furnace projects by PFG Building Glass.

Local float-glass manufacturer PFG is currently spending R1-billion on expanding and improving its local production capacity, including the construction of a second float-glass production line, which is scheduled to be commissioned early in 2007. The Springs float line currently produces 140,000 ton of flat glass a year. The new one-kilometre-long production line will double the company’s manufacturing capacity. The two contracts secured by The Dickinson Group and Lizmon-tagens include the mechanical erection and the refractory installation on PFG’s rolled-glass furnace and the refractory installation on its new SP4 float furnace and tin bath.

The contracts involve the erection of 220 ton of steelwork and a combined tonnage of more than 8,000 ton of refractories. The company also recently completed the refactory installation on Consol Glass’s new C3 container glass furnace at its Clayville plant.

The Dickinson Group has executed more than 100 glass-furnace initial-construction and rebuild projects for float- and container-glass producers in South Africa, including PFG, Consol and Nampak Wiegand Glass.

The Dickinson Group has also been awarded a contract by Xstrata Alloys for the installation of refrac- tories to the two 63-MVA ferro-chrome furnaces, rotary kilns and associated feed bins for the com- pany’s Lion Ferrochrome Project.

The contract involves the instal- lation of more than 4 000 t of refrac- tories, as well as the supply and welding of over 31 000 stainless- steel anchors.

With a capacity of more than 1,6-million tons of ferrochrome a year, Xstrata is currently the largest and lowest-cost ferrochrome producer in Southern African. The capital expenditure com- mitted to Project Lion was recently increased to R1,67-billion, and with a production capacity of 360 000 t/y, the project will increase Xstrata’s ferrochrome output by 22%. Xstrata Alloys expects its first ferrochrome production from Pro-ject Lion in the second half of 2006, with full production being scheduled for the first half of 2007. Xstrata further plans to undertake two expansions of Project Lion, with each of the phases bringing additional capacity of 360 000 t/y, resulting in a total ferrochrome production capacity of one-million tons yearly.

In a previous interview with Mining Weekly (August 11, 2006) The Dickinson Group CEO Trevor Dickinson said that the company strives to remain at the forefront of new technology by collaborating with leading engineering and design companies.

"This means that we are able to procure and manufacture cost-effective materials that comply with the most stringent quality specifications," said Dickinson. "The company provides cost- effective, tailor-made solutions and a professional service for the execution of turnkey furnace rebuild projects."

In order to complete projects such as these on time, The Dickinson Group has various divisions, each with its own activities.

One of the bigger divisions of The Dickinson Group is the furnace demolition division, which renders a furnace and industrial demolition service to the metallurgical, industrial processing and mining com- panies. The division uses high-powered crawler excavators fitted with hydraulic breakers as well as state-of-the-art Brokk remote-controlled machines enabling the operator to move freely and work at a distance in cases of hazardous operations, which ensure maximum safety and efficiency. The electrically powered Brokk demolition machines are extremely versatile. With small outer dimensions, low weight and high power-weight efficiency, the machines are able to operate in confined, hot and difficult conditions, result- ing in reduced down time and ensuring cost-effective execution of work.

The refractory trading division represents a wide range of refractory products for all industries consuming these products. The division’s product ranges are sourced globally from prominent refractory manufacturers, which comply and conform to stringent quality standards and are most suitable and cost-effective for an application. The division is not limited to the sourcing of single product groups but sources and supplies refractories to the entire broad-based refractoryproduct-consuming industries.

Along with these divisional activities, The Dickenson Group also has provincial and regional divisions that look after the company’s business interests in South Africa and regionally.

The North West province division came about owing to the rapid and extensive expansion in the North West province, particularly in the nonferrous industry. This division has offices and workshops in Rustenburg to facilitate and provide a quick reaction service to the industry.

Dickinson Refractory Services (Natal) provides a turnkey refractory service to the industries in KwaZulu-Natal and has been awarded a long-term sitewide refractory service contract at Hillside alumi-nium smelter, and also renders a service to the metallurgical and process industries in the KwaZulu-Natal region.

Dickinson Mozambique was established to provide an efficient and cost-effective service for Mozambique’s refractory-consuming industries with specific emphasis on rendering a refractory service to Mozal aluminium smelter.

With the group divisional activities defined and divisional branches put in place locally and regionally, The Dickinson Group is looking forward to a busy year ahead.

Source: Mining Weekly