Motheo Construction Group has been appointed civil engineering and earthworks contractor for a new fuel-terminal project for Lesedi Local Municipality in Heidelberg, Mpumalanga.
The contract was awarded to Motheo Construction Group by Chemie Tech, an EPCM contractor in the oil-and-gas industry, for main client Vopak, a Netherlands multinational that has built many similar fuel-storage facilities in South Africa.
Junithan Moodley, Operations Director of Motheo Construction Group’s Civils Division, says it is undertaking the project in conjunction with JV partner M3. “We are also pursuing potential road contracts in Lesedi,” he adds.
The 18-month contract is currently in phase one of three, with Motheo Construction Group in negotiation for additional work. It now also has a foot in the door with Chemie Tech itself, which has currently completed a similar fuel-storage terminal in Cape Town, has been awarded another contract in Swaziland, and is on the cards to be awarded additional work in Durban.
“Chemie Tech has expressed an interest in us undertaking all of the civil engineering and earthworks components of these contracts,” Moodley confirms. A particular advantage for Motheo Construction Group with the Lesedi project is the requirement for extensive local-community involvement.
“From our recent engagement with the Lesedi Black Business Forum, and directly with the local community, we are assured that there are sufficient skills in the region to take on any work that may arise from the municipality,” Moodley confirms. The current requirement is that 70% of the workforce be derived from the local community for any projects undertaken.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of June. The scope of work includes constructing eight tank foundations, a foundation berm wall, and a 35 m x 35 m x 7m concrete manifold structure.
“The construction method of the tanks walls is new in a local context,” Moodley reveals. “We are using earth materials to construct a foundation for a 30 million litre tank. This is intricate and specialised work, consisting of layers of bitumen and HDPE interspersed with fine sand.”
While the specialised nature of the project has complicated the procurement of materials, services, and skills from the local community, Moodley highlights that the main goal is to “assist black-owned businesses wherever we can.”
Additional training opportunities will also be provided once the contract has been completed, and the local workforce is demobilised.