Hatch has established a new office in the Gaborone CBD on the back of a significant contract win from Debswana, aimed at consolidating its presence in Botswana and the Southern African region.
The consulting engineering company has clinched a five-year contract at Debswana’s Jwaneng Diamond Mine in south-central Botswana, about 120 km west of the city of Gaborone, reveals Stephen Stacey, Managing Director, Botswana, Project Delivery Group.
Although the Debswana portfolio is the catalyst for the Botswana office, it will also be the springboard for pursuing new work, not just in the mining sector, but also in the energy and infrastructure sectors, where Hatch can contribute significant experience.
“We are very excited about the Botswana government’s economic stimulus programme, designed to create employment and expand the private sector. Hatch would like to support this effort by sharing its programme management experience, training capabilities, sustainability development methodologies and project management tools developed over many years of programme management assignments,” Stacey comments.
“Most importantly, Hatch has a long history of localisation in all of the countries where we operate, and Botswana will be no exception. We look forward to a long history in Botswana, working with all of our clients, partners, and stakeholders ensuring sustainable outcomes.”
Hatch’s current involvement in Botswana includes work on the North-South Carrier (NSC) pipeline, which conveys raw water south for 360 km to Gaborone. The company is currently tendering on Phase 2 of this project. It is also looking to access the thermal power generation market in Botswana, including the Botswana Power Corporation’s Morupule coal-fired power station near Palapye.
“It is our intention to grow the Botswana office to about ten people by the end of 2017, and to 50 people with five years,” Stacey highlights. The aim is to establish a significant local presence, with local shareholding and local employees.
Commenting on the opportunities that Hatch hopes to leverage, Stacey explains that there is ample scope to enter into joint ventures with local companies in order to secure work. “It is a fairly competitive environment, with much of the government work dedicated to ‘100% citizen-owned’ companies. This gives us the scope to share our expertise as sub-consultants.”
Stacey points out that, while a small country, Botswana has a stable government, with a good track record and cash flow. “Our main advantage in working closely with the government is that we have done similar work with municipalities in South Africa.”
Stacey joined Hatch in 2008 as a Structural Engineer on a three-year project, progressing to Structural Lead and ultimately Engineering Director. “This is a different role for me, from being involved in engineering management to business development in a new country, and I find that challenging and exciting.”
The Hatch office in Gaborone was launched officially at a function on the evening of Thursday 27 October 2016. The keynote address at the opening was delivered by Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development Nonofo Molefhi.
Hatch supplies process and business consulting, information technology, engineering, procurement and project and construction management and operational services to the mining, metallurgical, energy and infrastructure industries.