Fri, 24/11/2017 - 06:25
Current Issue 59
Your Engineering Partner in Africa
PW Ghana is part of a long established group of companies working to invest in African mining and construction, delivering a safe and respected service in the country and further afield
Writer: Phoebe Calver
Project Manager: Ben Weaver
Like many companies in the industry, PW Ghana’s first foray into open-pit mining remains a cherished memory having driven the Company’s expansion in contract mining at Obotan Gold Mine for Resolute Mining.
As a testament to its longevity and reputation in the market, the Company secured the contract mining work on the same mine when it was reopened almost two decades later.
“This was a very poignant moment in our journey as a company, returning to where our mining work all began,” begins the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Len Comerford. “We have come a long way since our initial projects in mining, carrying out numerous projects in the Ghanaian aviation sector and recently a very substantial project for the Ghana Airports Company at Kotoka International Airport.
“Included within this project, we have repaired the runway, and completely rehabilitated the parallel taxiway as well as the construction of new aprons, airfield ground lighting and airside services.”
This goes to show the versatility found at PW Ghana and is an aspect that has kept the Company relevant for more than two decades.
Now as the driving force behind the development of Africa’s roads, bridges and numerous other civil infrastructures, PW Ghana is becoming a widely recognised name.
“We have been lucky to work in partnership with government and multinational companies that are active in construction; subsequently opening up a broad platform of sectors to branch into while also enabling us to make use of the continent’s natural resources,” affirms Comerford. “After more than 20 years in Ghana we are recognised as a responsible Company to work with, as well as incredibly dynamic and innovative.”
Developing brand awareness
PW Ghana is one of a selection of companies operating within the PW Mining brand, a Company that started out as a privately owned entity originally incorporated in 1948. Less than 20 years later the PW brand had expanded massively, allowing for the development of new branches that would eventually lead to the creation of PW Ghana in 1995.
“When PW Ghana was borne, the strategy was to apply and promote the prior 40 years of PW’s experience into the open-cast mining sector of the gold mines located in Ghana,” adds Comerford. “Now we are providing civil engineering and contract mining services in an array of sectors, including airports, highways, oil & gas, water supply and specialising in asphalt and concrete surfacing, heavy duty pavement construction, open-pit mining, property development and quarry services. We have particular expertise in tailings and water dam construction and raise projects, and we have assisted many mining clients with their concrete infrastructure requirements. ”
The Company works tirelessly to adhere to environmental requirements in all of the aforementioned sectors, while also contributing to social objectives through its work in corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Comerford continues: “We are completely devoted to the principles of CSR and it is an aspect of the Company that we hope will become embedded in our DNA, providing advantages for our staff as well as the broader community that we operate in.”
Continuous improvement process
Over the years PW Ghana has been able to achieve maintainable and steady growth, a factor that it attributes to continuous investments in new equipment, modern techniques and the engagement and training of quality personnel.
“We have ensured that the delivery of every project to our clients is safely executed, completed on budget and always on time,” Comerford describes.
“Currently we are back working with a former client named Tullow Oil, Takoradi, where we will provide improvements to aircraft aprons at Takoradi Airport; the location from which Tullow service their offshore operations.”
Alongside its aviation-based work which is ever-increasing at present, Newmont Mining Corporation continues to be a valued client that PW Ghana is embarking on a major new project with at the Akyem Gold Mine.
“We see exciting further opportunities in the aviation and mining sectors and we are confident that with the continued successful execution of our projects, we will continue to grow in those markets,” states Comerford. “At present we are constructing a centralised equipment maintenance workshop in Tema, set to replace the premises in Accra that our operations have outgrown.”
This facility will be an amalgamation of maintenance operations used for heavy equipment and transportation, while also catering for component rebuild activities and creating generous storage options for parts and equipment.
“In recent years we have demonstrated a dedication to the renewal of our equipment, a prime example being the new fleet of Volvo articulated dump-trucks that arrived in the country earlier in the year,” explains Comerford. “We have imported numerous fleets of new equipment into Ghana, maintaining and expanding our current equipment asset list.”
Specialist service portfolio
The Company has utilised its longstanding relationships with partner companies to PW, many of whom specialise in the processes of sourcing, inspecting, shipping and clearing goods for the West African region.
“As we are working in Africa, more often than not it means we are working in countries that are still developing both their telecommunication and transport infrastructure,” Comerford describes. “Therefore it has become of paramount importance to ensure a first-class communication system, utilising modern communication systems and technology to enable us to work in even the most remote of locations.”
PW Ghana is in charge of directly handling the logistics of purchasing and transporting all machinery, spares and materials that emanate from sources all over the globe.
“We are only able to do this thanks to the experience we have gained in the industry over the years,” continues Comerford. “We are able to easily handle the custom clearance, paperwork, pre-inspection and many other difficulties in getting machinery, spares and materials from bases worldwide.”
Innovation and initiative
As previously mentioned the employees working at PW Ghana are a pivotal part of the Company’s success within the industry, and subsequently it provides them with generous compensation and associated benefits.
“Innovation and initiative are two aspects that we value greatly at PW Ghana, working tirelessly to encourage it within our employees,” affirms Comerford. “Many of our staff recognise that we will encourage them towards levels of performance that they may not have previously been able to attain, and we have found that this has built up a loyal team of employees.”
It is incredibly important to the Company both for its values and to its success that it delivers top-class value and service to clients, providing them with value for money, quality workmanship which is safely executed and the completion of contracts in good time.
“We remain committed to building solid and integrity-based client relationships, all of which are founded through dedication to our staff and attention to detail,” concludes Comerford. “Our vision is to become the best mining and civil engineering company operating in Africa, known for our integrity, excellence, quality, growth and employee satisfaction, and as an entity that customers look forward to partnering on a repeat basis.”