Kvaerner Construction has become the first British contractor to return to Iran, clinching a £10.5 million consultancy services award for a new coalmine in Tabas.
The 51-month contract has been placed with Kvaerner Cementation, the company’s mining and underground construction division, by IRASCO, the Italian-based engineering subsidiary of the Iranian International Engineering Company, IRITEC.
It was awarded to Cementation for its ability to provide wide-ranging specialist mining skills, from engineering design to construction and operational expertise, to create Iran’s first modern mechanised underground mine.
Located in the giant Parvadeh coalfield close to the eastern border with Afghanistan, the Tabas mine project will be designed to produce an annual 1.5 million tonnes of coking coal for steel-making as part of Iran’s drive to boost economic performance. The importance of Kvaerner Cementation’s contract was confirmed in London by the Government’s Export Credits Guarantee Department, which is expected to support financing for the deal.
The contract, the largest consultancy deal won by Cementation, will be undertaken by Resource Management Services (RMS), the company’s Doncaster-based mine consulting and engineering arm.
RMS will provide services both in Iran and the UK, covering design, procurement, construction and commissioning management and training. Preliminary studies are now under way, with basic and detailed engineering expected to begin in May. Underground construction on site starts early next year.
Offshore services embrace:
A six-month preliminary study to confirm mine planning, basic engineering, mining equipment and operating costs; detailed engineering for construction and long-term operational planning, plus underground plant and surface facilities; assistance in overseas plant procurement; and UK training for Iranian personnel.
On site, the contract covers assistance with the supervision of:
Mine construction, involving three parallel drifts, each around 1.2 kilometres long, and development of the first longwall coalface; installation and commissioning of underground equipment, plus operational assistance and on-the-job training for the Iranian management and labour force.
David Smith, head of RMS, estimated that the project will require up to 60 engineers and support staff. “We have been chosen because we are uniquely qualified to carry out the task,” he said. “This applies particularly to underground design and engineering, as well as preparing technical specifications and bid packages. On site, we will become an integral part of the project management and supervisory team from construction through to start-up.”
For further information: