Mining and underground construction specialist, Cementation Skanska, has been given the go-ahead on a £10.85 million contract to provide specialist mining services on a major new coal mine in Tabas, Iran, for main contractor IRITEC/IRASCO. This follows conclusion of an agreement by the UK Government’s Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) to provide reinsurance.
This is the first project to be supported by the ECGD following the resumption of medium term cover for Iran in October 2000 and has been welcomed by Cementation Skanska’s managing director, Stewart Keeble.
“This project has been a target for Cementation Skanska for over ten years and the re-introduction by ECGD of medium-term cover for Iran has been fundamental to the company securing this contract,” he said.
Tabas mine, located in the Parvadeh coalfield close to Afghanistan, will be Iran’s first mechanised underground mine and is expected to produce 1.5 million tonnes of coking coal for steel production each year.
Cementation has already been providing assistance for over a year with reviews on the work of other project consultants and monitoring boreholes at the mine site.
Engineers from IRITEC are currently working with Cementation at its Doncaster headquarters in an integrated team to finalise the detailed design.
Cementation will also provide assistance to IRITEC/IRASCO on the purchasing of equipment needed to build and operate the mine. This includes advising on the correct technical specification of the equipment required and evaluating bids from potential suppliers.
During this initial period, Cementation will arrange and coordinate UK-based training for staff from NISCO, the owner/operator of Tabas Mine.
This will be followed by a three year period on site when up to 20 Cementation engineers will assist the main contractor in the project management of the underground development of three parallel drifts, each around 1.2 km long, and the development and equipping of the first long-wall coal face. They will also be responsible for on-the-job training of the Iranian workforce and management.
Overall coordination of the construction work carried out in Iran will be provided by IRITEC, who are also responsible for the detailed design and procurement of locally sourced equipment.