20 November 2023

In a celebration of a half-century of dedicated service, Putzmeister South Africa, a prominent equipment supplier in the construction and mining sectors, marked its 50th anniversary with a grand event in Honeydew, Roodepoort. The festivities not only commemorated this impressive milestone but also paid homage to the company’s rich history, numerous accomplishments, and unwavering commitment to excellence.

This is Part 1 of a two-part article.

The celebration commenced with a warm welcome extended by the company’s leadership, signifying not only the passage of time but also a profound appreciation for the dedication and unwavering effort that has shaped Putzmeister South Africa’s journey.

Decades of Excellence:

Putzmeister, an esteemed name synonymous with innovation and achievements, has significantly contributed to the building, construction and mining industries for close to seven decades. Amidst this legacy, Putzmeister South Africa stands out as a pioneering sister company that transcended the borders of Germany.

The South African chapter of Putzmeister’ s story commenced in 1973 in Wynberg, Sandton, on the fringes of the Alexander Township and eventually relocated to Honeydew in 1996, where, armed with a modest 11-member team, Putzmeister South Africa embarked on a new chapter.

Over the decades, the company expanded, confronted new challenges, and successfully navigated various industry-specific storms to emerge as a frontrunner in the sector. Putzmeister South Africa’s portfolio boasts involvement in numerous iconic projects, including the concrete pumping of the Koeberg nuclear plant, Pontie, the Gautrain project, the Leonardo Hotel in Sandton and many other landmark structures that grace South Africa’s major cities.

Expansion and major projects in sub-Saharan Africa:

Putzmeister South Africa expanded its presence and was entrusted with major infrastructure projects across the Sub-Saharan African Region some of these projects include:

Tallest building in East Africa:

In 2015, the construction world witnessed a remarkable feat of engineering and architecture with the completion of the tallest building in East Africa the time. This iconic 40-story structure serves as a testament to the extraordinary capabilities of Estim Construction, underpinned by the innovative utilisation of Putzmeister Equipment. As of 2016, this towering edifice continues to hold the distinction of being the tallest structure in the country, embodying architectural excellence and urban development.

2018 Julius Nyerere dam project on the Rufiji river in Tanzania (Set to finish in 2024)

In 2018, a significant milestone was achieved in the construction of the Julius Nyerere dam project on the Rufiji river in Tanzania. The concrete pouring for this ambitious 2,115MW hydroelectric dam project was successfully completed utilising state-of-the-art Putzmeister equipment, that is six truck mounted concrete boom pumps.

Kamoa copper reservoir:

In 2018, DRA Global, headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, and deeply engaged with the Kamoa-Kakula project from its inception, took on the task of designing a process based on initial metallurgical findings. Their meticulous work involved conducting a comprehensive desktop study to develop a dedicated, standalone processing plant aimed at treating the entire tailings stream generated by the phase 1 and 2 concentrators. The design incorporated conventional technologies such as high intensity grinding mills and Jameson cells (owned by Glencore) for flotation, along with enhanced thickening capacity they used the Putzmeister Underground Technologies which plays a vital role in optimising construction processes.

Msikaba Bridge project:

Currently under construction – the mega bridge dubbed Msikaba Bridge will be the second longest bridge after the Maputo-Catembe Bridge in Mozambique.  The construction of the Msikaba bridge is expected to be completed at the end of 2024. During the initial phase of both tower foundations 2 x BSF36-4 Machines were used to ensure optimal workflow on the ground.  Once the 30-meter mark was reached 2 x BSA1409 Machines were called in to help transport concrete to a height of 125m.

BSA stationary pumps at mining projects in Zimbabwe:

In the next two years several projects are planned at mining projects in Zimbabwe including a 2700m3 access road created with reinforced concrete to a hydroelectric power plant.  Also planned is a group gypsum infrastructure covering a 6000m3 area where 2 x BSA 1005 as well as a RV12 Lift Rotary distributor machine will be used in a Hyson cell system.

Putzmeister SA – answer to low-cost housing projects:

A big part of Putzmeister’ s vision for the future includes a world where housing and infrastructure are affordable and sustainable and with the introduction of a groundbreaking innovation, known as KARLOS, represents a bold answer to the housing challenges faced by many in the region.  This 3D printing system will not only significantly reduce costs and enhances safety on construction sites, but most importantly, KARLOS promises to bring about a remarkable improvement in construction efficiency when compared to conventional methods and will be a viable solution to the low-cost housing projects in the Sub-Saharan African context.

Continued in Part 2…

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