Hauling hydro power
Heavy Hauliers Zambia, a subsidiary of Cargo Carriers, has been awarded a five-year contract to provide bulk cement transport to the new Kafue Dam project south of Lusaka in Zambia.
Only 25 percent of Zambians have access to electricity and just five percent of rural areas are electrified. Therefore, Zambia has embarked on infrastructure upgrades to increase its current generating capacity of 1 948 MW.
The Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro-Power Project (KGL), on Zambia’s Kafue River, a tributary of the Zambezi, is scheduled to start delivering another 750 MW of electricity to the country’s expanding power grid by 2020.
The dam that will power the new turbines (which has been under construction since late 2015) is located about 17 km downstream from the Kafue Gorge Upper Hydro-Power Project, which was completed in 1973 and generates 900 MW.
The new Kafue Dam project, financed by EXIM Bank of China, is being designed and constructed by the Chinese Sinohydro Corporation.
The new dam, about 90 km south of Lusaka, will be 140 m high and 387 m long at the crest, and its outflow will power five 150 MW turbines, making it Zambia’s third-largest hydro-power facility. It requires massive amounts of materials, particularly cement, which is where South Africa’s JSE-listed supply chain specialist, Cargo Carriers, comes in.
While keen to expand into neighbouring Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, Cargo Carriers has been careful to do so in a way that protects the company’s brand values, which have been crafted over years of experience in the South African logistics industry.
Cargo Carriers does this by acquiring wholly owned subsidiaries in the relevant countries and combining local knowledge of business regulations and practice with the company’s expertise in reliable, cost-effective supply chain management.
The reputation Cargo Carriers has achieved on big projects may also have helped its Zambian subsidiary win the five-year contract. “We have gained experience in large construction projects in southern Africa,” says Bennie Barnard, general manager for business development at Cargo Carriers.
“The company was involved in the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, and, in particular, the construction of the Katse and Mohale Dams – so it is well versed in big construction projects and can transfer that expertise to its subsidiaries,” he adds.
In keeping with the parent company’s policy, Heavy Hauliers Zambia has access to strict driver training, patented software-based pickup-to-delivery load monitoring, and a strict vehicle-replacement regime. With regard to the last benefit, Cargo Carriers has just added six bulk tankers to the Heavy Hauliers Zambia fleet.
“The six trucks can carry 33,5 t of cementitious product per load,” says Barnard. “In the initial phase, we were hauling 180 t of cement per day from the supplier in Lusaka to the construction site, but the daily tonnage grows as the demands of the project increase, and at peak we will be delivering 800 t per day.”
With growth still booming in many sub-Saharan countries, the future promises plenty more projects like KGL in Africa’s burgeoning infrastructure development.