Benguela Gem wins top honors at SAISC Steel Awards

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The overall winner of the 2022 South African Society of Steel Structures (SAISC) competition was the Benguela Integrated Mining Plant aboard the Benguela Gem, the world’s most advanced diamond mining vessel.
Benguela Gem operates off the coast of Namibia and is owned by diamond miner Debmarine Namibia, a 50:50 joint venture between De Beers and the Namibian government. Benguela Gem was also the winner in the mining category.
Benguela gemstones are the product of an international collaboration. It was designed in Norway and Poland, built in Romania and installed by De Beers Marine in South Africa. Debmarine Namibia mines diamonds at depths ranging from 90 to 150 meters below sea level.
During the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, local engineers and manufacturers designed, built and installed a 3,000 ton diamond processing plant on board ahead of schedule.
“This project stands out in many ways and appears for the first time in the history of the Steel Awards: it works at sea and floats rather than at anchor, which is truly the hallmark of the Man awards category. structure, it also has an unusual engineering load in terms of marine engineering,” Gebremeskel said.
Unique in Africa, this vessel, purpose-built for De Beers Marine, is capable of handling the entire process of subsea diamond mining and processing.
When the ship arrived at the end of September last year, the deck was empty, and she set sail again with a fully functional mine on board.
“This project is a special demonstration of the use and application of steel with South African characteristics for design, manufacturing and construction for an international client,” Gebremeskel said.
The treatment plant was nominated by designer PBA Projects and completed in collaboration with De Beers Marine and 3C Metal Belmet, Namibia, as well as local manufacturers Steel Services and Allied Industries.
This year’s awards honor excellence in the use of steel in construction and are the first living steel awards to be given prior to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019.
“Even before the global pandemic, the South African steel industry was already going through a period of major challenges. The theme of the Green Shoot is recognition of the importance of continuing through difficult times,” Gebremeskel said.
Gebremeskel explained that many steel construction projects around the world have stalled during the pandemic, but the South African steel industry has finally managed to bring the projects to completion.
Compared to previous years, more categories have been introduced this year, so the number of winners has also increased.
“The reason for this is to recognize a wider range of award nominees. We want to cater to all possible roles in the diverse environment of the steel structure industry,” explains Denise Sherman, marketing and management consultant at SAISC.
Ford Package E – The vehicle assembly plant was built in Rosslyn, Pretoria as part of a R3 billion investment by carmaker Ford as part of the company’s plan for large-scale exports. The project uses a lot of steel and includes a 12,400 m² warehouse with a height of 14.6 m. The project was completed ahead of schedule despite the Covid-19 pandemic and related supply issues.
Woodridge Packhouse – This project showcases playful form, smart use of natural light and a design that allows for natural ventilation to save energy costs.
Gemstone processing plant in Benguela. Not only did this project win an award in the Mining category, but it also won the Steel Industry Award for 2022.
House Vingos – The innovative use of steel, combined with all other architectural elements, gives the building the status of a family home.
Water Center KES. While preserving the historical part of the former pool complex, the construction of the roof is of particular interest: the top slopes and requires careful attention to ensure tightness.
Eastgate Solar Trees – although their design is beautiful and reflects the focus on renewable energy, it was difficult to get to the site during the construction phase, which made the installation process complex and difficult.
Jubilee Hospital. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, this field hospital in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, was pioneered by LSF using this rapid construction method, allowing a large number of additional beds to be installed to increase existing capacity.
KES Aquatic Center – This project was the winner in the nominations “Metal cladding”, “Roof and sports facilities”.
Babanango Travel Camp is a tourist accommodation located within the Babanango Wildlife Sanctuary in northern KwaZulu-Natal. Some of the technical details include reconciling complex issues regarding the use of various building materials and geometric factors to achieve the project’s architectural goal: a roof that reflects the shapes used in traditional African shields.
Gary Kirsten Khayelitsch Sports Center. This design features simple construction and the use of environmentally friendly materials, and can be expanded if necessary.
Freshmark Polokwane – This project was implemented for the Freshmark distribution center in Polokwane using a particularly innovative cladding that is not typical for warehouse construction and is technically difficult to implement. The result is aesthetically pleasing: design elements from the roof to the cladding have curved, rounded corners.
New biooxidation plant (Biox) in Zimbabwe. Biox is a technology that ensures optimal processing of high sulfur gold ore, thereby increasing achievable gold recovery rates. This technically challenging structural framework project required the detailing, fabrication and construction of the Biox gold refinery. Its main purpose is to provide access to the various areas of the Biox plant and its piping support system.
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Post time: Oct-19-2022