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The HQ is expected to be completed and handed over by February 2025. (Image source: ECOWAS)

The ECOWAS Ad-Hoc Ministerial Committee on the Construction of Headquarters of Community Institutions met at the site of the new ECOWAS Headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria, to assess progress

The new building – known as ‘The Eye of West Africa’ – is located along the Airport Road in the Nigerian city and is being constructed from a grant from the People’s Republic of China through the China International Development Cooperation Agency (China Aid). Work began at the site in November 2022 and, according to ECOWAS, substantial progress has been achieved; hitting 33% physical and 45% financial completion. As a result, the construction is expected to be completed and handed over by February 2025.

On the occasion of the committee’s visit, Damtien L. Tchintchibidja, the vice president of the ECOWAS Commission, expressed the appreciation of ECOWAS Institutions to the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the land provided, the duty waivers granted, development permits facilitated and all the other supports towards the commencement of the construction. The vice president also took the opportunity to pay thanks and respect to the People’s Republic of China, stating, “This gesture represents a beacon in the ongoing cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and ECOWAS Member States.”

Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and chairman of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, thanked his colleague Ministers for their continued commitment to advancing regional integration and socio-economic development of the region.

“The new ECOWAS Headquarters is poised to become a beacon of hope, embodying our shared values and heritage,” he added. “The structure symbolises a promising future for our people – a base from which we will continue to make important strides in regional integration, economic growth, and security.”

The Linnhoff TSD1500 Asphalt Mixing Plant is undertaking crucial work on two rural road projects in Kenya. (Image source: Lintec & Linnhoff)

Power China Group is utilising a Linnhoff TSD1500 Asphalt Mixing Plant for two rural road projects in Kenya, aimed at enhancing local economies and transportation networks 

The first project commenced in Embu City, located 125 km northeast of Nairobi, Kenya, focusing on a 5 km rural road. Activities included road repair to mitigate dust in local neighborhoods, involving soil removal, material replacement, and pothole compaction to improve accessibility for communities.

Following completion, the plant was swiftly disassembled and transported over 400 km to Voi, near Kenya’s southeastern border. At this new site, the plant embarked on constructing a 12 km road section, contributing to a significant transportation initiative by producing high-quality asphalt.

“Since 2010, we’ve been successfully working with the Lintec CSM and CSD Containerised Asphalt Mixing Plants, so we have full confidence in their capabilities, as well as how economical they are to transport from one location to another,” said a spokesperson from Power China Group. “The Linnhoff TSD1500 MobileMix asphalt mixing plant takes portability to a whole new level and has enabled us to react quickly to unexpected situations, while also delivering a healthy revenue stream.”

The Linnhoff TSD1500’s high productivity is impressive given the speed with which the plant can be dismantled, transported, and reassembled. It offers an output of 100-120 tph enabled by its 1,500 kg batch size and 45-55 second batch times,

The Linnhoff TSD range has been designed to maximise plug-and-play convenience while minimising the time spent to assemble and disassemble. There are four modules, and the easily transportable sections are mounted on a chassis which conforms to most international land transportation requirements. In addition, only prime movers are required for quick mobilisation as heavy cranes or concrete foundations are not needed for setup. This further enhances the suitability of these hot-mix asphalt mixing plants for short-term projects in remote locations. The plants also feature Linnhoff’s popular double screen drum technology.

These useful features make the range ideal for the rugged and complex terrain of Kenya's rural roads. The country has plenty of old roads with poor foundations so renovation and upgrading work demand high-performance, cost-efficient, and reliable equipment. Working conditions are further complicated by frequent rainfall which often hinder progress at construction sites.

“The tough conditions make it essential to choose a safe, reliable, accurate, and energy-efficient plant,” concluded the spokesperson. “We were looking for a cost-effective, high-quality asphalt mixing plant with strong relocation capacity to support highway renovation work on a variety of small- and medium-sized projects – and the Linnhoff TSD1500 MobileMix Asphalt Mixing Plant has surpassed all our expectations.”

The Liebherr LTM 1400-6.1 is characterised by its high lifting capacities and 70 m telescopic boom. (Image source: Liebherr)

Liebherr has launched the new LTM 1400-6.1, described by the leading manufacturer as “the world’s most powerful 6-axle crane”

The new machine presents an upgrade to its predecessor, the LTM 1350-6.1, with major differences particularly around the assembly process for the Y-guying system. With one self-assembly lift, the LTM 1400-6.1 places the guying system on the chassis, where it is then pinned in place. The hydraulic quick coupling closes automatically when the boom is luffed down between the two Y-frames. The electrical connection is established with one final movement and the telescopic boom with Y-guying is ready for use in just a few minutes.

Various lattice jibs enable the new crane to work efficiently in a wide range of applications. The fixed lattice jib extends the telescopic boom by up to 45.5 m and can be mounted at an angle of 0°, 10°, 20° and 40°. As an option, the fixed jib can be adjusted between 0° and 40°. The luffing lattice jib, with a length ranging from 14 m to 80.5 m, delivers maximum height, radius and performance.

The total available ballast for the new LTM 1400-6.1 consists of 100 tonnes of basic ballast and 40 tonnes of additional ballast. The hydraulic ballasting device is integrated in the counterweight frame – ballast assembly is simple, quick and does not require an auxiliary crane. The VarioBallast system is fundamentally different to the one found on the predecessor model. The 140 tonnes of total ballast can now be set to a radius of 7.7 m to achieve the higher lifting capacity. In confined spaces, the ballast radius can be reduced to 5.6 m. The counterweight plates are compatible with those found on other large Liebherr cranes.

The variable VarioBase supporting system ensures additional versatility. In addition to the option of flexibly using the predefined support positions with pinning options of 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%, the sliding beams can now also be freely extended between 0% and 50%. Until now, this was only possible on mobile cranes with up to five axles.

The 400-tonne crane is powered by the Liebherr single-engine concept and a mechanical drive for the superstructure. An eight-cylinder Liebherr diesel engine with 455 kW / 619 h.p. and 3,067 Nm of torque ensures a powerful travel drive.

Liebherr has developed different driving conditions to ensure worldwide, economical mobility. With an axle load of 12 tonnes, the LTM 1400-6.1 with telescopic boom and detachable hook block has an overall length of 17.8 m. On the construction site, the 400-tonne machine can be driven with 10 tonnes of ballast, a three-line hook block and Y-guying with an axle load of less than 16.5 tonnes. Equipment can be removed for road journeys requiring lower axle loads.

Liebherr has also taken pains to ensure safety in ensured at all times when the machinery is being operated. This includes the installation of various driver assistance systems to increase road safety, especially for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. For example, the Blind Spot Information System warns the crane driver when someone is in the vehicle's blind spot, particularly when the crane is turning. The moving off information system also provides a visual and acoustic warning if someone is in front of the crane.

The Carmix Academy 2024 event confirmed the company’s commitment to constant training and the support to its partners. (Image source: Carmix)

From 27 May to 1 of June 2024, Carmix Academy event, a recurring meeting with this year's theme ‘I’m a Carmix Lover', was held in Peru

The initiative reunited clients, sellers, and dealers in an educational and convivial experience, strengthening the relationship between the company and its partners.

Carmix Academy started in Lima, with a first training day dedicated to sellers. During this session, the participants had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of Carmix products, improving their technical and commercial skills to offer a service increasingly qualified.

The second day was characterised by a convivial barbecue with clients. This informal moment favoured the dialogue and exchange of ideas among the participants, creating an atmosphere of collaboration and friendship.

The participants moved to Cusco on the third day, where the land for the technical and commercial activities was prepared. On the fourth day, the dealers arrived, marking the beginning of the Academy. After a combined session between technicians and sales managers, the group was divided into two sectors to deepen specific aspects.

The fifth day represented the peak of the event, with a practical test of Carmix’ machines. The participants had the opportunity to test directly the products, verifying their performances and learning the best techniques for their use. The day came to an end with a final party, an occasion to celebrate the success of the event and to strengthen the relationships between the participants.

The Carmix Academy 2024 event confirmed once again the company’s commitment to constant training and the support to its partners, reinforcing the Carmix brand name as the leader in the concrete mixers sector.

This article was sponsored by Carmix Metalgalante. Learn more about the company and its solutions at:

The opening demonstration closed with the message 'Change starts with us'. (Image source: ACP)

Volvo Construction Equipment has unveiled an ambitious product line-up in a bid to drive the construction and mining industry forward, empowering it to take a leading role in meeting the societal challenges of the future

This impressive launch was revealed at the company’s major showcase, Volvo Days, which is being held in Eskilstuna, Sweden. As the first event held here since the company officially moved its headquarters to the location outside Stockholm, the leading manufacturer of equipment in construction and related industries invited members of the international press to kick-off its flagship customer event.

Before the official press event and demonstrations on 29 May, the reporters in attendance – including African Review’s Robert Daniels – were treated to dinner at the birthplace of Volvo CE, the Munktell Museum. This presented the opportunity to learn about the landmark innovations that have been in its journey since its conception in 1832, before a lively dinner presided over by live music and introductory comments by members of the Volvo CE family.

The next morning, the showcase at Volvo CE headquarters began in earnest with a remarkable spectacle of operational excellence. On the field, drivers pirouetted a range of the latest company machinery in front of the on-looking crowd, performing tricks from synchronised excavations to an articulated hauler driving on its side. It was a display that demonstrated both the incredible skillset of the operators, and the versatility of the machinery in a bid to convey the message that was pushed at the presentations finale: ‘change starts with us’.

A Volvo CE articulated hauler riding on its side wheels with help from an excavator.

A new line-up launched

After heart rates returned to normal, the visitors were invited to a press conference hosted by senior company executives who outlined the innovations that are entering the market. This line-up, described as probably the most ambitious in the company’s history, comes off the back of an incredibly “strong” 2023 – Volvo Group as a whole marked a record year in its annual report and defined the period as one of ‘growth and improved profitability’. Further, as explained by Melker Jernberg, President of Volvo Construction Equipment, the revamped portfolio is being released as part of the company’s investment to be ready for change, contending with the various political, economic, social and technological drivers that are shaping the global business landscape (a particular emphasis was placed on the increasingly influential environmental playing field, with more and more companies committing to science-based targets to cut emissions). As such the company is executing a strategy – in collaboration with its partners which stretch across the value chain – to introduce new technologies, sustainable powered models and smarter solutions in order to remain competitive in the ever-evolving global playing field and ‘perform to transform the future’.

The pursuit of this ambition has led to the design and release of an exciting line-up. This included a new generation of excavators in the form of the Volvo EC500, EC400 and EC230; the launch of the R60 and R70 rigid haulers; a selection of new battery electric equipment such as the EWR150 Electric wheeled excavator, alongside the L90 Electric and L120 Electric wheel loaders; and the launch of the PU40 mobile power unit, an additional charging solution helping to support the company’s growing electric portfolio.

Those in attendance were also treated to a look at the new A40 articulated hauler arriving later this year, not to mention an overview of the company’s blossoming digital support which has been expanded through the release of the new My Equipment web-based app.

At home in Africa

A big focus of the reveal was the development of electrical machinery and equipment that was being delivered, in part, in line with net zero ambitions. With this representing a relatively nascent market on the African continent, African Review sat down with Joakim Arndorw, head of sales region international, to explore how Volvo CE is bringing together the ambition of having 35% of machines sales electric by 2030 with the reality of meeting African demands.

“I think there is a lot of development going on in Africa,” Arndorw remarked. “The whole green transition demands more minerals (amongst others demands) which are available in Africa, making the continent important for us going forward. We are strong in traditional mining income countries in Africa and, through our retail partners, our intention is to develop further. There is a perception that sustainability is not so interesting for Africa. I would disagree. Big mining companies, for example, are definitely on decarbonisation journeys and they are asking us how we can help them to do so, including in Africa.

“Volvo’s vision – the wider group’s vision – is that everything we sell should be net zero by 2040. A big part of that will be an electrified produce range through battery electric, fuel cell electric and grid-connected electric equipment. But we also understand that will not work for all markets, so we are also looking at other solutions with conventional combustion engines; with fuel that allows us to achieve that net zero ambition.”

Arndorw continued by noting that while battery electric machinery might be more limited in Africa and the challenge of weak grids is more pertinent on the continent, they are continuously working with companies there (especially in mining) to develop feasible solutions to ensure the green transition. Arndorw also nodded here to the potential of hydrogen-powered equipment which could have a big future in Africa if the production of this is ramped up here, as many commentators are expecting.

Overall, Arndorw made clear that Africa had played an important part in Volvo CE’s aforementioned success thus far (despite the number of machines sold being somewhat limited in relation to the European business for example) and it would remain a critical part of its (net-zero compliant) business plans going forward.

New generations for modern operations

As such, Arndorw pointed to features of the launch that would be particularly exciting for African customers. At the top of this list was the new range of Volvo CE excavators – the EC500, EC400 and EC230 – which boast a modern makeover and design to be more spacious, ergonomic and help customers achieve the best results at the lowest user cost possible. First introduced in Europe and Turkey, the machines have a range of cabin features to enhance operator experience ranging from a cool box to store items to a keyless engine start and always-on camera. Safety has been prioritised through the ability to pre-set limits on the boom’s depth, height and swing, alongside 360° visibility provided by Volvo Smart View with Obstacle clarification. Volvo CE has further highlighted the superior serviceability, enhanced precision and productivity, and improved fuel efficiency and total cost of ownership that makes the new machines a formidable new offering.

In discussing the excavators, Arndorw explained that this represented a two generation step for African users from the D series which is being sold in the region currently. “This next generation will have the option of either having a high-regulated market spec or a less-regulated market spec. It is important to note that this new generation will enable it with all the digital services and support that we have in Europe today.”

The new Volvo CE EC500 excavator on the top of a hill.

At the behest of Arndorw, African Review also paid a special visit to the all-new, 100% HVO compatible A40 articulated hauler that was on display and would be released soon. The new machine is being delivered to continue Volvo CE’s legacy as an industry pioneer of articulated haulers and was accompanied by company specialists at Volvo Days. These personnel explained that one of the fundamental advancements in the model is a new design with features a new entrance on the side rather than in the back corner (as sported by the A40G) and a more heavily-sloped hood to ensure far greater visibility and – therefore – safety in operations. This is also aided by the addition of extra lighting around the machine, which provide the dual benefit of also enabling the ability to perform maintenance in the dark. Further, in performing such activities, users will appreciate the gathering of features into service centres around the vehicle and easy access under the hood (where all filters are in front of the engine).

As the on-site specialist explained, every change to the A40 has been implemented with “serviceability and safety in mind”, a message that could certainly be applied to all of the new solutions unveiled in Sweden. The new ranges which incorporate such considerations in their product design while ensuring maximum performance, “prove that Volvo CE is well-equipped to respond to the different needs of our customers in both regulated and less regulated markets, leveraging our strength to implement meaningful innovation across all our offerings as we move closer towards our ambition for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040,” as Arndorw stated in the company’s accompanying press release.

A behind the cab image of the new Volvo CE A40.

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