Three young female engineers from Hatch have set a shining example on the Rosmead project team for Phase 1 of the Transnet Ngqura 16 Mtpa manganese project. On-the-job training also saw one of the female Site Engineers promoted to Construction Manager.
The Rosmead project team consisted of Transnet Group Capital (TGC) as the owner and Hatch as the appointed EPCM. The young project management team included Lindiwe Ngwenya from Hatch as Area Project Manager and Ricki-Lee Meijers as Engineering Manager. On-the-job training resulted in Innocentia Mahlangu transitioning to Construction Manager, with full responsibility for the site, making her the first female on the project with this designation. This is in line with Hatch’s values of mentorship and diversity.
“The Rosmead project team has demonstrated and exhibited an outstanding track record of excellence in construction management in a complex, remote site, with the contractors being on schedule and within budget,” Ngwenya comments. “Excellent stakeholder management was maintained in a diverse environment, ensuring good working relations with the remote rural community.”
Phase 1 aims to upgrade and expand the railway infrastructure along the manganese corridor to enable Transnet Freight Rail to run 208 wagon trains, and to increase manganese export capacity through to the Port of Ngqura. Rosmead station was identified as a strategic location to improve operational capacity along the corridor.
The scope of the Rosmead works included about 3 km of civil and earthworks, plate laying, overhead electrification equipment (OHTE), and the resignalling of Rosmead station with the latest technology. As this is a brownfield site, the existing railway and infrastructure had to remain fully operational during the construction of the loop extension, which required meticulous stage-works planning and execution.
The pressure to remain fully operational also meant that all planning was aimed at minimizing occupation requirements, which necessitated close inter‐contractor planning and coordination. “Stage planning meetings were held to address the complexities due to ongoing train operations, which secured the formal buy‐in of the client’s operating division,” Meijers elaborates. Furthermore, the line also passed through an adjacent community, making external stakeholder management a priority.
The project is especially remarkable considering the milestone of 350 000 LTI-free (Lost-Time Injury free) hours celebrated in December 2016. “All works for this project area have been executed with zero LTI after a year-and-a-half,” Meijers notes. Equitable employment of community members, in terms of Transnet’s development goals as a State-Owned Company, saw the project employ a dedicated Community Liaison Officer.
The project employed around 150 local labourers. Community development initiatives at two local schools were completed in line with the project’s Corporate Social Investment goals. “Stakeholder management, with frequent meetings to address any issues and concerns quickly, so as to increase the trust and rapport between Hatch, TGC, the contractors, and the community, was a key success impacting Transnet’s social licence in the area,” Meijers concludes.
Whatever our clients envision, our engineers can design and build. With over six decades of business and technical experience in the mining, energy, and infrastructure sectors, we know your business and understand that your challenges are changing rapidly. We respond quickly with solutions that are smarter, more efficient and innovative. We draw upon our 9 000 staff with experience in over 150 countries to challenge the status quo and create positive change for our clients, our employees, and the communities we serve.