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									COVER STORY

ELB EnhancEs
its Bulk Materials Handling reputation
             ELB Engineering Services, which is focused on the supply of engineered materials
             handling solutions to the natural resources, power and ports industries, has successfully
             undertaken projects over the past year to bolster its reputation in this field.

 Before                                                        After

The original machine prior to refurbishment.                  The refurbished stacker reclaimer at Matola coal terminal, rebuilt
                                                              by ELB.

        LB CEO Stephen Meijers says that the past year        ELB Engineering Services has undertaken refurbishment
        has been one of different challenges compared with    of ship-loaders, stackers and reclaimers to prove its
        those seen in the past decade. “From struggling       engineering capabilities at great benefit to its clients. ELB
to boost our expertise base due to the global boom, the       has been involved in the upgrade of such equipment
challenge became one of being fit for the global economic     at the Transnet Port Elizabeth manganese terminal,
crisis.”                                                      included the upgrade of two ship loaders, three stackers,
                                                              two bucket wheel reclaimers and the provision of a new
The company has positioned itself well, and its order book    bucket wheel reclaimer. An example is a bucket wheel
remains robust. While the global recession has impacted       reclaimer that dates back to 1964, and is now operating
the commodities sector in general, the areas where ELB        as new with a 67% higher capacity and modern electronic
is active have remained vibrant. Attention is starting to     control systems. The Port Elizabeth manganese terminal
be paid to Africa’s infrastructural needs, with a number of   is one of three major refurbishment projects ELB has
ports and other facilities being developed and upgraded.      undertaken over the past 18 months.
These are focus areas that include bulk materials handling,
pneumatic conveying systems, and life extension services      Another is Grindrod’s Matola upgrade project in
incorporating after sales service – ELB’s focal points.       Mozambique, which involves upgrading the terminal
                                                              facilities to a capacity of six million tonnes a year. The
                                                              project entails a combination of retrofitting existing
                                                              conveyors, a new bucket wheel stacker reclaimer and a new
                                                              ship loader. The plant infrastructure, security systems and
                                                              electrical control systems will also be upgraded. The project
                                                              is expected to be completed by the end of August 2010.

                                                              It follows upon the recently completed Phase 2 project at
                                                              the terminal, which encompassed the refurbishment of
                                                              two tipplers, replacement of one indexer and the rebuild
                                                              of a bucket wheel stacker reclaimer. It is notable that the
                                                              condition of the stacker reclaimer prior to refurbishment
                                                              was such that some engineers thought that refurbishment
                                                              was impossible and assumed that a full replacement was
                                                              necessary. This was further complicated by the presence
                                                              of minimal drawings for the machine. ELB used laser
ThOr mobile stacker supplied by ELB being used as a           scanning technology to generate drawings, dismantled the
shiploader, the first such application in this region.        whole machine, undertook Finite Element Analysis and

                                                                                                                 COVER STORY

                                                                     was involved in three such projects. These are the raw
                                                                     material feed conveyors for Tata ferrochrome, the front-
                                                                     end feed for the ASA Metals expansion projects, and final
                                                                     product crushing and screening for ASA Metals.

                                                                     ELB is one of the region’s leading pneumatic conveying
                                                                     companies, and it has the engineering depth provided by
Part of the refurbishment at Matola involved the reinstallation of   a number of individuals whose experience stretches back
a 540 metre long 1,500 tph, 3.5 m/s, 1,200 mm wide belt for coal     20 years. This experience, supported by the company’s
handling.                                                            pneumatic technology partners. Claudius Peters and
                                                                     Cyclonaire, enable ELB to undertake almost any type or
rebuilt the machine, replacing some 50% of the steel. The            complexity of conveying and fine particle handling project.
result was a stacker reclaimer commissioned in two thirds
of the time that a new machine could have been procured              ELB has provided systems handling magnesium oxide, fly
in, even taking into account the lack of drawings. More              ash, cement, diamonds, diamond ore, soap powder, and
importantly, the machine was refurbished at about 50% of             soda ash. The largest system being installed at present
the price of a new one, and it demonstrates that ELB is at           is a 200 tonne an hour cement handling plant using the
the technological edge when it comes to such projects.               patented Fluidcon system from Claudius Peters. This new
                                                                     technique of conveying reduces power by up to 30% and
Supported by FAM and ThOr technologies, ELB has the                  hence dramatically reduces wear of components. ELB is
capability to design and supply any materials handling               currently installing four such systems for PPC.
system from run-of-mine to ship loading. Since introducing
the FAM range of technologies to Southern Africa a year              In addition, ELB’s revolutionary Drycon system was
ago, ELB has received new orders for a manganese                     installed on a diamond recovery vessel in October last
bucket wheel reclaimer, coal and magnetite bucket wheel              year. This system has the ability to simultaneously convey
stacker reclaimers and ship loaders.                                 and dry granular material. The introduction of the FB2
                                                                     product separation device allowed for the system to be
With the increase of smaller and more flexible mining                installed in a much smaller area compared with traditional
operations, ELB has also been successful in introducing              knock out bins.
three Thor telescopic radial luffing stackers with full
transportability. It is the first such line in South Africa and      Taking its evolution further, ELB has established two new
one of these mobile stackers is being used as a ship                 partnerships, one of which enables it to provide a total
loader, enabling a large reduction of loading time. Such             mine-to-ship logistics management as well as a technical
a unit was provided in four months and its capital cost is           solution. This partnership, Ports of Africa (POA), is a joint
lower by a factor of 10.                                             venture between ELB and A Cubed of Durban. The latter
                                                                     is a world leader in providing logistical solutions from the
To add to ELB’s offerings it has a strategic partnership             mine to the final user. The formation of Ports of Africa
with Specialised handling and Engineering (ShE), and                 combines this with ELB’s engineering skills to offer a
is installing a train tippler and indexer at the Lafarge             total solution ranging from consulting to turnkey projects
Lichtenburg cement plant. Over the years ShE has                     regarding the logistics of bulk materials exiting a port.
modified and upgraded its tippler design, making it a world
leading provider of tipplers.                                        The other joint venture, between ELB and PBA called
                                                                     EPE, ensures the ability to deliver modular plants
Among the projects ELB has undertaken recently was the               requiring world leading capabilities in Dense Media
design and supply of the materials handling from run-of-             Separation (DMS), flotation, comminution and solids
mine tip up to waste dump stacking at Voorspoed, the                 - liquid separation. For many years, PBA has been the
newest DeBeers mine. This project consisted of a number              leading supplier to DeBeers Marine for its ship based
of innovations allowing for a cost effective layout and              plants. This has required a very high level of modular
minimised the number of conveyors.                                   plant design and ELB and PBA are supplying Coal of
                                                                     Africa with modular coal handling and washing plant for
The ferrochrome industry has been a focus for ELB                    that company’s Vele project. ELB recently completed the
over many years, and over the past year the company                  coal handling plant for Coal of Africa’s Mooiplaats project.

                                                                     ELB Engineering Services, together with its partners,
                                                                     continues to build a good track record, in the fields of
                                                                     bulk materials handling. Meijers says the company will
                                                                     continue to serve the South African and African market
                                                                     by providing innovative solutions based on world class
                                                                     technologies. “In a time when the world is in turmoil we
                                                                     believe there remains excitement and challenge in the
                                                                     materials handling environment and we are proud to be
                                                                     part of that space.” MRA

                                                                       ELB ENGINEErING SErVICES (Pty) Ltd
                                                                       Direct: +27 (0) 11 772 1433
Forty- five year old shiploader at Port Elizabeth refurbished by        Web:
ELB for Transnet.

                                                 Email:                      ISSUE 6 2009 MINING REVIEW AFRICA 13

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