Tenova Takraf emerging as third force
Tenova Takraf has increased its standing in the Australian market for large mobile materials handling equipment and is now on the cusp of joining ThyssenKrupp and Sandvik in the top tier of suppliers. ABHR spoke to managing director Ron Vittorio about the company’s progress.
“Our market in Australia is essentially split into three areas: mining, ports work and materials handling. We have been operating in those areas for well over twenty years,” explained Vittorio.
“Most of our work has been on the east coast in materials handling in stockyards with stackers, reclaimers and stacker reclaimers, and ports work with shiploaders.”
Going back in time, it was a predecessor company to Takraf that kick-started the organisation’s sales in Australia, supplying stackers and shiploaders to Port Kembla in 1983.
Tenova Takraf is currently talking with Port Kembla about replacing the facility’s original machines. “They have come to the end of their life and we are now talking with them about their options,” said Vittorio.
“They are looking to the future of that port and asking ‘what do we need to do with the shiploaders and stackers from 30 years ago?’”
Vittorio added that Tenova Takraf has secured “a significant amount of work in the west by now. We have supplied shiploaders and stackers and we have recently won a significant contract in crushers as well.”
Equipment is usually custom-designed for each application. But the drive for increased production in today’s supercharged mining industry is pushing producers to order standard, off-the-shelf equipment to reduce the lead time for equipment supply.
“Each customer has its own requirements in terms of rail gauge, boom length or you name it. We have reference machines that we put on the table, but clients usually have their own mark of what they need,’ said Vittorio.
“Generally, equipment tends to be customised unless there is a short lead time, which is increasingly becoming the case these days.”
Tenova Takraf has been contracted to supply large bulk handling equipment to the stockyard of a greenfield hard coking coal mine south east of Moranbah. Vittorio said the equipment on order is the traditional suite of stockyard kit: stackers, reclaimers and stacker reclaimers.
Takraf has been developing the design with the project’s proponents so that the equipment supplied is a template for future purchases.
“Design has been finalised and is under fabrication overseas in three workshops, one of which is ours,” said Vittorio.
“The market place is looking to replication in order to reduce project delivery times and deliver cost savings. We envisage that the stockyard configuration work developed for the project will become a standard that will be replicated through the customer’s other sites as well as other customer sites.”
Vittorio said an in-pit crushing system the company produced for Rio Tinto’s Clermont site is being considered as a reference model for an Indian miner that wants a speedy entry to production.
“We supplied Rio Tinto a crusher, shiftable conveyor and spreader, which were commissioned in 2009. An Indian client is considering an in-pit crushing system for its new greenfield site.
“Rio Tinto is obviously very happy with the job. We use it as a reference and we are getting a lot of interest from greenfield sites like the Indian client in particular, and companies like Peabody, which is also looking at what we have done.”
Tenova Takraf tends to supply equipment under two main contract models.
“We can supply and design the equipment and deliver it free on board (FOB). In other words, we design and build the machines in China, make them available at the port and that is where we stop. But we still have an ongoing role in warranty, in terms of commissioning,” explained Vittorio.
“FOB is becoming quite common, where the client wants an EPC contractor that will do this work (the large equipment) and maybe a coal washing plant and other work on the site. In other words, our machines form part of the bigger contract on the site.
“The other type of supply we carry out is when we do the erection and the whole turnkey operation. We design it, supply it and we will erect it, commission it and hand it over.
“We are starting to see more of the former, where we are supplying the equipment and someone else is the EPC contractor.”
Vittorio said that clients almost always get third party auditors to review the design of large bulk handling equipment, but the practice becomes less ubiquitous for smaller scale machines.
“It is pretty well the norm for any large piece of equipment. When you start getting to a medium or small piece of equipment, say 3,500t and less, some discretion is used by the client.
“Auditors provide a second pair of eyes to the design process. If they make recommendations you would be foolish to ignore them. They will say ‘have you looked at this?’ and ‘have you considered that?”
Contact: Ron Vittorio, email: Ron.Vittorio@takraf.com