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Company now fully South African-owned

POWER UP Thos Begbie plans to minimise the impact of loadshedding on its manufacturing process by ordering electrical equipment to tie into a power generation

GOING LOCAL Thos Begbie’s top four senior management, together with four other South African individuals, acquired the company from its existing shareholders last year

SCOTT PATERSON With its new ownership, Thos Begbie will focus on the platinum group metal and ferrochrome processing and smelting industries, as well as the cement, glass and power generation sectors

10th February 2023

By: Sabrina Jardim

Creamer Media Online Writer

     

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Foundry and engineering company Thos Begbie is now wholly South African-owned after 15 years of offshore ownership.

Thos Begbie’s top four senior management, together with four other South African individuals, acquired the company from its existing shareholders in August last year.

In honour of its founder, Sir Thomas Begbie, the group’s holding company has been named Thomas Begbie Investment Holdings.

MD Joubert Groenewald is looking forward to taking the Thomas Begbie Group to new heights as a diversified foundry and engineering group.

“The strategy is to provide the marketplace with a more diversified service offering that includes component manufacture, the installation of graphite and refractory components, steel fabrication, general engineering and a diverse range of construction-related services that include maintenance and wear parts supply.”

The company will focus on the platinum group metal (PGM) and ferrochrome processing and smelting industries, as well as the cement, glass and power generation sectors.

Moreover, Thomas Begbie Investment Holdings acquired 100% of Thos Begbie & Co, Elite Refractories and GripSteel Engineering.

Elite Refractory Solutions specialises in the manufacture and installation of refractory materials and products, while GripSteel Engineering offers steel fabrication, general engineering and a diverse range of construction-related services.

Thos Begbie & Co manufactures water-cooled copper components for the smelting industry and, with the additional expertise of Elite and Gripsteel, the group will diversify its services and product offerings for the marketplace.

“We have brought those two companies under our banner to try to expand our capability in the PGMs market to provide our clients with a turnkey solution. The copper industry is very volatile, and so we are looking at broadening the company's capabilities,” adds Thos Begbie project manager Scott Paterson.

Thos Begbie will supply copper components for diversified miner Anglo American’s Waterval smelter in Rustenburg, in the North West.

The project, titled Waterval Project CB13035 – WVS FCE Ring Repair, involves the casting of 64 t of copper coolers and 101 t of plate-rolled copper coolers, excluding the graphite installation.

Paterson tells Mining Weekly that the company is expected to supply all the components by the end of June this year, with the company also supplying critical spares for other Anglo American furnaces.

The furnaces include the Waterval and Mortimer smelters in Rustenburg in the North West, as well as for the Polokwane smelter in Limpopo.

Thos Begbie completed manufacture of components for the Mortimer smelter in December last year, which involved the manufacture, supply and delivery of 51 t of cast copper coolers, and 127 t of rolled-plate copper coolers.

Additionally, the company completed an order for the manufacture, supply and delivery of 343 t of copper cooling elements for Anglo American’s Polokwane smelter in July last year.

The company also manufactured, supplied and delivered 40 t of copper for Canadian metals and mining company Teck Metal’s furnace and completed a furnace rebuild for precious metals miner Sibanye-Stillwater in July with additional works and commissioning assistance completed in August respectively.

Paterson noted that during the rebuild for Sibanye-Stillwater, the complete 80 t furnace shell had to be moved into the correct position, which proved challenging.

“Despite this challenge, our three biggest milestones were that we were able to deliver the project on time, within budget and without any safety incidents,” notes Paterson.

Further, Thos Begbie has appointed a nondestructive testing specialist consultant to help with continuous improvement of its processes with the aim to continue supplying high- quality products to its customer base.

The company has also secured a plan to minimise the “severe” impact loadshedding has had on its manufacturing process by ordering electrical equipment to tie into a power generation plant for additional electrical supply to its manufacturing plant.

This will enable Thos Begbie to continue manufacturing during blackouts.

“We aim to continue our growth in the installation and construction site industries with furnace installations and site repairs,” concludes Paterson.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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