07 September 2012  -While many commercial and industrial enterprises are feeling the economic pinch, Pontins, a JSE Alt-X listed B&W Instrumentation and Electrical (B&W) company, specialising in earthing and lightning protection, is moving in the opposite direction. MD Trevor Manas says that his company’s order books are filled to overflowing.

Among the company’s projects in 2012 was a contract to supply earthing and lightning protection for a Konkola North copper project, a Vale/ARM joint venture in Zambia. Konnoco is a new copper mine being developed by the Vale/ARM joint venture.

In South Africa, Pontins has contracts at two new power stations currently under construction. One is the Medupi, which is a new dry-cooled coal fired power station being built by Eskom near Lephalale in the Limpopo province. When completed, the power station will have six boilers, each powering an 800 MW turbine, producing 4,800 MW of power. This will be the largest dry-cooled coal fired power station in the world and is expected to cost R125 billion.

The other is the Kusile power station, which is being constructed close to the existing Kendal power station in the Delmas municipal area of the Mpumalanga province. This is the first South African power facility to incorporate flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) technology and, like Medupi, will generate 4,800 MW of power once fully operational.

Another recent Pontins project was the reassessment of the lightning protection provided for the toll gantries that were erected round Johannesburg as part of the Gauteng freeway improvement project. “When we tell people about this, the usual quip is please don’t bother,” Manas says.