Johan Gerber, Managing Director at Dekra Industrial
Notwithstanding recent unfortunate conflict in Northern Mozambique, Dekra Industrial remains fully committed to Southern Mozambique, the sub-Saharan region and the rest of the African continent, with its many projects and possibilities.
Headquartered in South Africa’s Mpumalanga town of Middelburg, Dekra Industrial RSA is active in the provision of NDT, inspections, advanced NDT technologies – as well as safety and other training through its Institute of Learning (IOL) – to a wide variety of clients, from power generation and petrochemical to steel processing, automotive manufacturing and many others.
“The business has been in South Africa for the past 38 years, utilising our local footprint not only to service our in-country South African clients; but as a vital gateway into the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. As such, we have a great base from which to strategically target the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), power generation and many other pivotal infrastructure projects in the region, including those in Southern Mozambique,” says Johan Gerber, Managing Director at Dekra Industrial RSA.
While Dekra Industrial in line with this stated intention has registered on several approved suppliers’ forums and is authorised to provide accredited NDT services to organisations in the region, the company has also cultivated a clear understanding of the cultures and procedures throughout Africa over the last 20 years.
In addition to achieving successes in countries such as Uganda and Tanzania and additional project successes in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Botswana, Dekra Industrial – with a registered company in Mozambique – is fully committed to pursuing new opportunities in the country’s Southern region and in “driving general awareness of NDT and compliance where it is needed most,” Gerber points out.
Mozambique, with several ports and key logistics corridors, is a principal gateway into the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). Host to various minerals and resources and among the top 5 countries worldwide in new natural gas findings, coking coal, rubies and graphite, the country offers a wealth of significant opportunities.
In Southern Mozambique, the Maputo province alone is pivotal in providing growth opportunities for the industrial sector, owing to multimillion dollar LNG projects near the capital; as well as the establishment and ongoing development of various industrial parks hosting companies active in manufacturing, maintenance and machinery, metals, downstream aluminium, construction, civil engineering, oil and gas and more.
Dekra Industrial is no stranger to this region, having successfully completed various projects in Mozambique. These include the provision of services on a gas project in Temane; as well as on a South African petrochemical company’s gas pipelines.
“As we expand our footprint into Africa, Dekra Industrial aims to become the preferred supplier on the continent. We offer the widest range of non-destructive testing (NDT), inspection and Advanced Technologies solutions and expertise.
As such, we are ideally positioned to become the top non-destructive testing provider in the region. In pursuing pan-African growth opportunities, we will also be tapping into local communities and will provide training and jobs where possible, in the interests of skills development,” Gerber states.
“It is important to us that wherever we go, we add value to the communities we serve, and job creation – in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic – is needed now more than ever throughout Africa,” he emphasises.
In a reflection on the company’s strength in terms of its NDT and inspection offerings, Gerber adds that Dekra – as the fourth largest inspection company in the world – has a dedicated research and development department which actively develops advanced technologies and specialised techniques, ensuring that the company is always at the forefront of innovation in NDT.
“Having established ourselves as a leader in paper and pulp, mining, power generation, tank, railway and petrochemical inspections in Africa – and with these sectors developing at a rapid rate across the continent – we will pursue several opportunities of these vertical industry opportunities in the future,” Business Development Manager for Dekra Industrial Georg Beyl advises.
“Furthermore, with fast-growing areas in NDT throughout Africa, one of the biggest opportunities for us, for example, is drone inspections. Dekra globally has a department dedicated to developing software specifically for drone inspections, which find wide application on the continent. These include for example inspecting wind farm turbines, mines or power generation facilities via drone.
While transportation of radiography testing equipment presents several legislative or logistical challenges in Africa, we have replaced radiography with micro-phased array technology. This advanced technology has seen significant uptake and it allows for testing on much smaller components,” Beyl explains.
With an unwavering dedication to the highest safety and quality standards, Dekra Industrial aims to widely spread awareness of NDT and the importance of safety and quality throughout the continent, through the implementation of its NDT, inspection services, Advanced Technologies and ongoing condition monitoring, he advises.
“When NDT is not conducted properly and in compliance with the prevailing industry safety and legislative requirements, the results can potentially be catastrophic.
To mitigate the effects of widespread improper testing in Africa, Dekra Industrial will apply advanced technologies and ongoing condition monitoring to ensure that safety is guaranteed. In this way, we are committed to playing our role in ensuring that safety is always the top pan-African priority – whatever the sector – from mining to renewable energy, power generation, construction, rail and many more,” Gerber concludes.