Dolphin Bay recently helped Merensky Timber to successfully relocate their Cape Town plant in a process that incorporated the design work, moving, installing, and finally commissioning the CCA timber treatment plant.
Through the whole team’s careful planning and quick reactions − and despite the complication of unseasonal rainfall – Merensky was able to complete the move with a relatively low impact on business productivity.
“If you compare the two sites, the old felt like a roadside motel while the new one is a five-star hotel. We’re very happy.”
“The move went well. It’s all in the planning,” said Pieter Spies, Merensky’s Regional Sales and Marketing Manager. “You can never prepare for everything, but as problems came up, Dolphin Bay stepped in and solved them.”
Merensky Timber’s Cape Town plant had been based at Transnet Park in Bellville since 2004, so moving to the new facility in nearby Blackheath felt a lot like moving the old family home.
The move, which concluded in October, came after Merensky Timber’s previous lease agreement expired and presented an opportune time to relocate to the new site in Blackheath to further expand its product range. And despite the effort, the relocation was well worth it, said Dolphin Bay’s Braam Rust. “The new site looks great,” he said. “It’s a very professional setup. Dolphin Bay is happy to have played its part by helping to manage the project.”
Pieter agrees. “Let me put it to you this way,” he said. “If you compare the two sites, the old one feels like a roadside motel and the new one like a five-star hotel. We’re very happy.”
The Merensky Timber team is also delighted with the support they received from Dolphin Bay, who assisted in − as Braam phrased it − “the dismantling, the picking up, the moving, and the putting down again”. Before any of this could take place, Dolphin Bay’s Darren Marillier provided the design for the new site’s bunded area, working carefully within the parameters of an environmental impact assessment provided by the EIA consultant, Ross Holland.
“It all worked out to the millimetre. Some of our contracting engineers said they were amazed!”
“We had to pick up the whole plant − every tank, pump and pipe − and set it up precisely to Darren’s designs and sketches,” said Braam. “The external rail line, too, had to be in place before production could commence at the new location. But it all worked out to the millimetre.”
Dolphin Bay previously helped Merensky relocate its Singisi Sawmill treating plant in KwaZulu-Natal to its Langeni Sawmill treatment site near Umtata in the Eastern Cape.
One thing nobody could have prepared for was the Western Cape’s unseasonably heavy rainfall. “That hampered the process,” Braam said, with some understatement.
The rain meant that the relocation took slightly longer than planned, but by putting in extra work beforehand and afterwards, Merensky was able to get back on schedule. “We stood for about a month and a bit, but we’d planned for that and now that we’re at the new site, we’re back to full production,” Pieter said.
Meanwhile, Dolphin Bay is reflecting on a job well done and a valued customer well supported − come rain or shine. “We’re very happy with how the Merensky Timber relocation went,” Braam concluded. “We were able to show our normal way of working: delivering neatly, correctly and on time.”