Lesedi Nuclear Services’ - Lesedi, wearing its Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) process engineering contractor cap - has not lost any time to injury since 2008. This translates into a massive three million LTI (Lost Time Injury) free man-hours.
Carruthers said, “We’re once again proud to announce a significant milestone in Lesedi Nuclear Services’ safety culture. We have, over the past six years, managed to reach an all-time record of three million LTI free man-hours. This outstanding achievement is a true testament of the company’s commitment to safety; a commitment that is effectively translated into action when it comes to safe working practices.”
Underpinning this safety culture and Lesedi’s success are the following precepts:
A “Rigorous and Prudent Approach”
Attention to detail characterised by everything that is done at Lesedi.
A Questioning attitude
People can challenge and question decision-making within the Lesedi organisation; this is accepted and, in fact, insisted upon across all operational levels.
Communication within the Lesedi organisation is optimal. All employees are valued members of the organisation, contributing collectively and individually to the quality of information exchange within the company.
“With safety always having been at the core of our business, and thus informing our corporate values and culture, our investments in this area of our operations over the years can be said to have been very sound. We have all intentions to maintain and to keep improving our performance, striving for excellence in health and safety at all times,” he concludes.
In order to expand its offering beyond the conventional market, Lesedi successfully presented a joint bid with Group Five for a 16.5MW Mkuze Biomass project, in northern KZN. The consortium is aiming to reach financial close for the project within the next few months, after the project received preferred bidder status in October 2013 for round three of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP.)
The planned plant will feature technology from Lesedi’s Brazilian sister company - AREVA Renewables
Francis Carruthers, Lesedi’s CEO comments, “This project is an exciting development in that it will require the use of the ‘tops and trash’ sugar cane field remains as fuel to fire a steam boiler and generate electricity for the grid. Previously, these field remains were considered waste products and discarded. Now they will be put to good use as fuel and provide a really sustainable energy source.”
Carruthers further explained that in addition to the construction agenda, they also expect to be part of the project’s ongoing operations and maintenance programme, as this enabled continuity quality maintenance and a reliable income stream for the business.
Leveraging the group’s energy expertise allows Lesedi to pursue opportunities in the renewables market in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent. Carruthers also stated that the company has recently bid on a 15MW gasification plant in Mauritius and hopes to know its status after the financial closure date of February 2015.
Having established itself as a leading EPC company in power generation over the years, Lesedi Nuclear Services is expanding its services into the renewables market. It has its eyes set on a potentially lucrative biomass project in
Established in 2001 and part of French nuclear giant, AREVA, the company is no stranger to the local energy market. It already boasts numerous projects with both nuclear and conventional environments under its belt. In the nuclear arena, its major involvement has been in the supply of technical personnel for plant upgrades, engineering, project management, procurement and maintenance. To date, over 150 different modifications have been completed by Lesedi at the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station. Similar work is being carried out at South Africa’s other nuclear facility at Pelindaba.
In 2013 it formed a strategic consortium with Group Five to work on a design and manufacture project to replace the 1,800m3 re-fuelling water storage tanks (PTR tanks) at the Koeberg Power station. Ongoing project work at Koeberg involves the replacement of the Steam Generators (six units) over the next few years where the contract has been awarded to AREVA and aimed to boost the station’s output. Lesedi looks forward to participating in this mega project at Koeberg in conjunction with AREVA.
As a Level Four B-BBEE rated company, Lesedi Nuclear Services endeavours to build on local talent to supplement its core workforce of around 125 highly skilled engineers and technicians. Depending on projects, this number can balloon to over 600, allowing identification of appropriate talents to secure and nurture through the company's skills development programmes. Lesedi offers learnerships for engineers-in-training (EIT) and apprenticeships through training programmes designed to further upskill employees’ expertise on complex engineering projects.
“The good news for us, as one of the leaders in localised EPC projects for the power industry,” concluded Carruthers “is the government’s intension to accelerate the procurement of nuclear energy solutions. This means greater opportunities to extend our expertise on the continent and in the country.
He is confident that having an excellent track record with Eskom and that as a South African company with an exceptionally talented pool of local talent with international experience, Lesedi’s localised engineering know-how will come in good stead
for the business.