Murray & Roberts

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Murray & Roberts
Type Public (JSE: MUR)
Industry Construction
Founded 1902
Headquarters Bedfordview, Johannesburg, South Africa
Area served Southern Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Australasia, North America, South America
Key people

Henry Laas (CEO)

Cobus Bester (Financial Director)
Revenue R35.41Billion (FY2012)[1]
Total assets R22.43Billion (FY2012)[2]
Website Murray & Roberts Corporate Website [6]

Murray & Roberts Holdings, Ltd. is a South African based construction, engineering and mining contractor, located in Johannesburg, South Africa[3] and is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange.[4] Murray & Roberts is South Africa’s leading engineering, contracting and construction services company, with a primary focus on the resources-driven construction markets in industry & mining, oil & gas and power & energy in Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Australasia and North and South America.

The company offers civil, mechanical, electrical, mining and process engineering; general building and construction; materials supply and services to the construction industry; and management of concession operations. In addition to the many buildings, Murray & Roberts has been involved in the construction of the Gautrain railroad, the Medupi Power Station, and the Cape Town Stadium.[5]


Company History[edit]

Murray & Roberts was established in 1902 as an emerging house builder in the Cape Colony. For its first 75 years, the company developed under the leadership of its founding families. Douglas Murray inherited Murray & Stewart from his father John in 1928 and co-founded The Roberts Construction Co. in 1934 with his friend and colleague Douglas Roberts. They were later joined by Andrew Roberts, and the three entrepreneurs played a leadership role in the formal development of the South African construction and engineering industry.

Under Douglas Murray the company followed a strategy that maintained geographic focus in the Cape Colony (later known as the Cape Province), he sought growth through diversification into construction materials and services as well as the industrial sector. The company later expanded geographic focus into the rest of Africa and elsewhere whist focusing on construction. In 1951 the company became public and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Douglas Murray died in 1964 and was succeeded by long-serving executive Des Baker, who in partnership with Bill Bramwell at Roberts Construction became the architect of a merged and more industrialised Murray & Roberts over a 13-year period between 1967 and 1979. Douglas Roberts finally retired in 1979 and both brothers died in 1982. Following the premature death of Des Baker earlier that year, Bill Bramwell became executive chairman.

Murray & Roberts was formed in 1967 following its merger with Murray & Stewart, but the two companies continued to operate as separate businesses until all operations were fully consolidated in 1979.

Dave Brink joined Murray & Roberts in 1970 as manager of RUC Mining Contracting. He was first appointed an executive director in 1984, followed by his appointment as chief executive in 1985 and chairman in 1994. Brink returned to Murray & Roberts in 1998 as executive chairman and managing director and became a non-executive chairman in 2000 until he retired in 2003. Brink oversaw a period of acquisition and diversification as Murray & Roberts sought growth at a time when South Africa was politically isolated from the world due to Apartheid sanctions and the domestic construction sector was in decline.

The 15-year period between 1980 and 1994 brought significant change to the shareholding and business make-up of Murray & Roberts. In 1984, The Murray Trusts entered a shareholder and voting pool agreement with Sanlam that controlled more than 50% of the issued shares of Murray & Roberts. By 1989, Sanlam had placed its shares into its industrial investment subsidiary Sankorp, which in turn took singular control of the company through the voting pool agreement, influencing board appointments and strategy. Over the period 1990 to 1994, numerous industrial businesses from elsewhere in the Sankorp stable were sold into Murray & Roberts, paid for through the issue of new shares.

By 1995 Sanlam had reduced its shareholding below 35%, a new executive leadership was in place and euphoria around South Africa’s new democracy including the promise offered by the Reconstruction & Development Programme. Five contracting activities had reduced to less than 30% of group business with the major contributors being cement, tyres and transport.

In June 2000 management aimed to transform Murray & Roberts fundamentally over a five-year period to 30 June 2005 by expanding the company into emerging markets.

Over the decade from 2000 to 2010, Murray & Roberts experienced significant growth: the project order book increased exponentially to R42 billion and revenues quadrupled to R32 billion. This period in the Group’s history was strongly characterised by the lead up to the 2010 Soccer World Cup and the infrastructure investment programme launched by the South African Government to replace ageing infrastructure and prepare South Africa for the largest international event ever hosted on the African continent. It was also a time of global expansion as demand for mining, energy and transport infrastructure increased.

Murray and Roberts Buildings, 10 Skeen Boulevard, Bedfordview, South Africa
Murray and Roberts Construction, 20 Skeen Boulevard, Bedfordview, South Africa
Murray and Roberts Cementation at Douglas Roberts Centre, 22 Skeen Boulevard, Bedfordview, South Africa
Douglas Roberts Centre, Bedfordview, South Africa

Operating Platforms[edit]

Murray & Roberts today directs its activities into the construction economies of Sub Saharan Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Americas. Market sectors include building, infrastructure, mining, industrial, energy, power and environmental.

Infrastructure and Building[edit]

I and B has participated in some of the largest and most significant construction projects in Africa and the Middle East. These include the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link and Cape Town Stadium in South Africa, as well as the Burj al Arab Hotel and Dubai International Airport in the Middle East.

Companies and Divisions of I and B[edit]

  • Murray and Roberts Buildings (Commercial Buildings, Malls, Business parks, Green star buildings)
  • Murray and Roberts Western Cape
  • Murray and Roberts Botswana
  • Murray and Roberts Namibia
  • Murray and Roberts Middle East
  • Murray and Roberts Plant
  • Murray and Roberts Infrastructure
    • Roads and Earthworks
    • Civils
    • Power
    • Concrete Repair
  • Concor Opencast
  • Tolcon (Transport infrastructure management; operations and maintenance service provider with concession contracts and interests.)
    Main Plant Maintenance Yard, Johannesburg

Energy and Industrial[edit]

E and I, which is focused on engineering, procurement and construction management projects, is playing a major role in building two of the world’s largest coal-fired power stations, Eskom’s Medupi and Kusile.

Companies and Divisions of E and I[edit]

  • Concor Engineering (Structural, mechanical, platework and piping) [6]
  • Genrec (Steel fabrication and heavy machining) [7]
  • Murray and Roberts Projects (Energy Fabrication was specifically established to provide the Murray & Roberts Group with a plate fabrication capability for ducting and bunkers)
  • Wade Walker (Broad range of services in the electrical and instrumentation construction fields, serving the following markets;- Mining, Water Treatment, Petrochemical, Iron & Steel, Environmental & Power.)

Underground Mining[edit]

Underground Mining develops underground mine infrastructure. Its clients’ commodity exposure include gold, copper, diamonds, platinum and various other minerals.

Companies and Divisions of UM[edit]

  • Cementation Canada and USA (Design and construction of underground facilities including shaft, ramp accesses, mine development and raises, as well as large diameter raisedrilling)
  • Cementation Sudamerica
  • Murray and Roberts Cementation [8]
    • Murray & Roberts Cementation South Africa
    • Murray & Roberts Cementation Botswana
    • Murray & Roberts Cementation DRC
    • Murray & Roberts Cementation Ghana
    • Murray & Roberts Cementation Namibia
    • Murray & Roberts Cementation Tanzania
    • Murray & Roberts Cementation Zambia
Bentley Park Training Centre, North-west South Africa
  • RUC Cementation Mining Contractors (Operates the largest fleet of large diameter raise-boring machines in the world and also carries out a variety of challenging shaft sinking and ramp and lateral development projects well, The company's ability to deploy a broad range of raiseboring, shaft sinking and mechanised development.)
    • RUC Cementation Mining Contractors Australia
    • Cementation Hong Kong
    • Cementation Indonesia
    • Cementation Mongolia

Oil and Gas[edit]

Oil and Gas consists of the Group’s direct investment in wholly owned subsidiary Clough. Clough is an integrated engineering, procurement and construction contractor focused on oil and gas in Australia and Southeast Asia.

Companies and Divisions of O and G[edit]

  • Clough [9]
  • Murray and Roberts Marine (Gravity quay walls, Piled wharves and jetties, Ship lifts and slipways, Breakwaters and shore revetments, Import and export terminals)
  • Booth Welsh An engineering services company founded in 1989 with headquarters in Ayrshire, Scotland. The company operates globally providing tailor-made, cost effective and flexible solutions for clients across industries including oil & gas, nuclear, petrochemical, chemical and utilities.
  • CH-IV International Provides consulting services to LNG asset developers, regulators, facility owners, operators and lenders and ensures that facilities are developed, designed, constructed and operated safely and in accordance with the client's technical and commercial specifications.
  • e2o (engineering to operations) is a leading multi-discipline technical service provider in Completions, Commissioning and Operational support for the oil & gas, mining and heavy industry sectors. e2o is headquartered in South Australia and has regional offices in Brisbane, Western Australia, Queensland and Singapore.

Significant Projects[edit]


A list of buildings Murray & Roberts was involved in that are 30 stories or more




  • Beit Bridge, Limpopo, South Africa, 1995 [12]
  • Bloukrans Bridge, Eastern Cape, South Africa, 1983
  • Bobbejaans River Bridge, reinforced arch bridge, 16 m wide deck to carry two 317 m wide traffic lanes plus two 3.8 m wide shoulders, configuration can change to four 3.6 m wide lanes, two in each direction, N3 Highway, Cape, South Africa 1983
  • Caledon River Bridge, Free State, South Africa, 1934
  • Draaiberg River Bridge, 504m long, 13 Span girder launched bridge, Cape Town, South Africa [13]
  • Durrat al Bahrain Bridges, Bahrain, 2004 [14]
  • Gillfillan Bridge, Cradock, South Africa, 1967
  • Hugo river viaduct, du Toits Kloof, Western Cape, South Africa, 1987
  • Incrementally launched concrete boxed girder bridge 900m over Zambezi River, Zambia
  • Molenaar bridge, South Africa
  • N1 dual incremental launch, South Africa
  • Rickivy Bridge, dual continuous pre-stressed bridge (box deck) 220 meters long, Pietermaritzburg, KZN, South Africa, 1999

Dams, Water Treatment Works and Reservoirs[edit]

  • Al Ezzel Cooling Water System, Bahrain, 2005
  • Amanzintoti Sewage Works, KZN, South Africa
  • Bedford Dam, Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme, KZN, South Africa, 2008 [15]
  • Braamhoek Dam, KZN, South Africa, 2010
  • Driefontein Wastewater Treatment Works, South Africa, 2013
  • Green Point Effluent Outfall Replacement, Cape Town, South Africa, 1994
  • Hawane Dam, Swaziland, 1988
  • Katse Dam, Mashai & Mohale Vertical. Raiseboring of 2x vertical shafts 6mØ, 120m & 80m in length, incl. sliping & concrete lining, Lesotho, 1994
  • Katse Dam wall, Concor consortium, Lesotho, 1996
  • Kolomela Bioremediation facility,Kolomela Mine,Postmasburg, South Africa, 2012
  • Lanseria Reservoir, South Africa, 2013
  • Lusip Dam,construction of three dams to form an off-river storage reservoir to impound 155 million cubic metres of water into the Lower Usuthu River, Swaziland, 2003
  • Matla Brine Ponds, South Africa
  • Ma Wan Island, Water Mains Project, Hong Kong, 2001
  • Masoku dam, Lesotho
  • Mossel Bay Marine, Intakes and Brine Discharge Works, Mossel Bay, South Africa, 2011
  • North Lantau Water Supply Pipeline, Hong Kong, 1995
  • Olifantsvlei Wastewater Treatment Plant, Johannesburg Metropolitan Council,increase capacity from 120M/l to 220M/L per day, South Africa, 1993-1998
  • Otjomuise Waste Water Works, Windhoek Namibia, 1997
  • Penang Water Pipeline, Pihank Berkuasa Air Pulau Pingang, Malaysia,1996
  • Rustenberg Waste Water Treatment Works, Rustenberg, South Africa
  • Tanjung Bin 4, Cooling Water Intake and Pump Station, Malaysia, 2013
  • Thabina dam
  • Tonga Water Treatment works
  • Twin Submarine Water Pipelines, Penang Jerejak, Malaysia, 2005
  • Verulam Sewage Works, Durban, South Africa
  • Virginia water treatment works, Free State, South Africa
  • Waterval Sewage works

Power Stations[edit]

  • Arnot Power Station, Mpumalanga, South Africa, 1971-1975
  • Grootvlei Power Station, South Africa, 1969
  • Jeffreys Bay Windfarm, Eastern Cape, South Africa, 2013 [16]
  • Kendal Power Station,an indirect dry-cooling system, uses less water in cooling processes than the conventional wet cooled power stations, cooling towers are the largest structures of their kind with a height and base diameter of 165m, Witbank, Mpumalanga, South Africa, 1982-1993.
  • Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, consortium, Western Cape, South Africa, 1977 [17]
  • Kusile Power Station, Witbank, South Africa, 2010
  • Lesedi Solar Power Project, Northern Cape, South Africa [18]
  • Letabo Power Station, Vereeninging, Free State, South Africa, 1980-1990
  • Matla Power Station, design and construct of 6 boiler houses, one chimney and 2 coal staiths, civil works to turbine hall aux bay and ancilliaries, South Africa, 1970-1984
  • Medupi Power Station, Power Island, main civils, Lephalale, South Africa, 2008-2014

Mine Development[edit]

  • Apollo Gold’s Black Fox Mine, Matheson,underground development and raise boring, Ontario, Canada [19]
  • Ashanti Gold Mine, Ghana, 1996
  • Amandelbult Platinum,Rustenburg, South Africa
  • Asis Far West, Kombat Mine, Ongopolo Mining Limited, Namibia, 2002-2004
  • Bounty Mine, Aztec Mining Co., Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, 1992–1995
  • Bulyanhulu, Trackless workshop construction, Kahama Mining Barrick Gold, Tanzania, 2004
  • Debswana DCC acid wash, Botswana, 2013
  • Diavik Diamond Mine Mine Development, Rio Tinto, Lac de Gras, Northwest Territories, Canada, 2005
  • Doornkop Shaft Deepening,Vertical Shaft Sinking & Development, Harmony, South Africa, 2004-2007
  • Dwarsrivier Assmang, shaft and underground development project, 2007
  • Ekathi Mine, Raise Boring of 1 shaft, Canada
  • El Abra Copper Mine, Bechtel,3 300t, Chile
  • Finsch Diamond Mine, Block 5, Kimberly, South Africa
  • Freeport Mine, Raise Boring of 4 shafts, Indonesia, 1994
  • Goedgevonden Coal Mine, Xstra, all infrastructure-related work, including workshops, offices, rail construction, road diversions, and preparing terraces for all the other construction work,Ogies, Mpumalanga, South Africa, 2012
  • Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines – Hoyle Deep #2 Winze Project, Canada
  • Hartley, sinking of 4 decline shafts, BHP, Zimbabwe, 1994-1997
  • Impala no 20 shaft, sinking and equipping a main downcast shaft, an upcast ventilation shaft, service infrastructure on surface and all ancillary excavations and access development necessary to establish the footprint for 185 ktpm of Merensky and UG2 reef production, 2008
  • Jwaneng Diamond Mine CUT 8 Project, DEBSWANA (De Beers), Botswana
  • Jwaneng EMV workshop, Botswana
  • Kolomela Bioremediation facility,Kolomela Mine,Postmasburg, South Africa, 2012
  • Kroondal, Marikana, Blue Ridge and Everest Platinum Mines, North West Province, South Africa
  • Lepanto Mine, Philippines
  • Muskeg River Oil Sands Project, Shell, Chevron, Marathon Oil, 800t, Canada [20]
  • Nkana Mine, shaftsinking and equipping of the Synclinorium shaft,establish a hoisting and ventilation facility to extract ore, Kitwe, Zambia
  • Northgate Mineral’s Young-Davidson Mine,(EPC)Shaft deepening and development of a new shaft, raise boring, Matachewan, Ontario, Canada
  • Rubicon Lithium Mine, Namibia
  • Selebe Phikwe, construction of a 7,8m Ø x 946m deep # c/w raisebored rock pass & ventilation systems, attendant stations primary development, crusher, station, sumps, etc., Botswana [21]
  • Selebi North Shaft,Raise Boring of 2 shafts, BC Limited, Botswana, 2009
  • Shase Mines, sinking & equip vertical shaft 320m Deep, 6 stations, 2 water settling dams,Botswana
  • Sishen Expansion Project, Northern Cape, South Africa, 2006 [22]
  • Stylesdrift Mine infrastructure upgrade, Royal Bafokeng Platinum, South Africa, 2013
  • Tati Nickel Mine, Dense Media Separation (DMS) plant and thickner tank, Botswana
  • Tenke Fungurume Greenfield copper mine, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2009
  • Uranium process plant, Langer Heinrich Uranium, Erongo region, Namibia
  • Venetia Diamond Mine, Shaft Sinking, Limpopo, South Africa, 2014 [23]
  • Young-Davidson Project,Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC),AuRico Gold, Northern Ontario, Canada

Large Industrial[edit]

  • Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline, Stringing Yard for a Crude Oil Pipeline, Van Oord Offshore, Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, 2010
  • Akyem electrical and instrumentation project, 235 km of cable racking supports, 75 km of small power and lighting cabling, a 19 km overhead power line and 230 electrical field devices, Ghana, 2012
  • Alusaf Aluminium Smelter, Richards Bay, South Africa, 1996
  • Aluminium Pot Steel SNV Lavalin 9 800t, Mozambique
  • Coca-Cola Dome, WBHO, 700t of steel, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • CMT Spinning Mill, Construction Management and Allied, 2 551tons, Mauritius
  • De Hoek Cement Works, concrete framed buildings, silos, preheated tower and tippler pit, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Durban Harbour tunnel, Durban, KZN, South Africa
  • Hydrocarbon Pipeline, Petro SA/Foster Wheeler SA, export subsea pipeline from landfall to an existing Conventional Buoy Mooring (CBM) approximately 1.9km offshore, South Africa, July 2002
  • Multi-Product Fuel Pipeline between Durban and Johannesburg, South Africa
  • SAPPI Amakhulu Pulp,expansion of the Sappi Saiccor mill, Umkomaas, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, 2008
  • SA Milling Company, Cape Town, South Africa, 1936
  • SASOL Benzene Reduction Project, double walled tanks, Secunda, South Africa, 2010
  • SASOL FT Wax Exspansion, South Africa, 2014
  • SASOL Mafuta Bulk Sample Pit Project, Lephalale, South Africa, 2011
  • SASOL Mining, Impumulelo Bunkers,2 coal bunkers,15 000T & 4000T with 26 km overland conveyor,Mpumalanga, South Africa, 2013
  • SASOL Polypropylene II, supply and erect 6 400 tons of structural steel, Secunda, South Africa, 2006
  • SASOL Turbo Project PP2 (Oil and Gas)
  • Synthol Plant for Mossgas Project,process plant,controls, mechanical and electrical services, civil, structural and building work, South Africa, 1988-1992
  • Tata Steel’s ferrochrome plant, Richards Bay, South Africa

Some Projects Involving Murray & Roberts[edit]



Established in 1953, Genrec is one of the largest engineering companies in Africa. In 1974 Murray & Roberts, decided to diversify its operations, and acquired 30% of Genrec shares. In 1988, Murray & Roberts acquired the controlling share holding and in 1992 Murray & Roberts acquired 100% equity, delisted the Group and split activities into separate profit centers.


Subsidiary Murray & Roberts RUC, acquired Cementation Africa with effect 1 July 2004. Murray & Roberts sees the mining sector in Africa as one of the areas where it can substantially grew expand its business over the long term. The complimentary nature of the two companies was important, with the merger giving Murray & Roberts Cementation an estimated 60% market share of the hard rock underground mining construction and contracting sectors in Southern Africa.


Concor was founded in Johannesburg in April 1948 and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange from 1981. Concor was acquired by Murray & Roberts on 1 July 2006. Concor now operates as divisions of Murray & Roberts Limited.

Concor logo


Established in 1919, Clough is a publicly listed Australian based engineering, construction and asset support contractor providing full project life cycle solutions primarily to the upstream oil and gas sector. In November 2013, Clough shareholders voted in favour of a proposed scheme under which Murray & Roberts, through its Australian wholly owned subsidiary, Murray & Roberts Pty Ltd, would acquire all the ordinary shares in Clough it did not already own.

Murray & Roberts obtained its own shareholder approval to buy the remaining 38.4% of the shares in the oil and gas company Clough for about R4bn. The Group's turnkey services range from complex front-end engineering design, construction, installation and commissioning to long-term operations and maintenance. Since 2008, Clough has been strategically positioning its business, primarily a growth strategy to strengthen its selected markets in the oil and gas sector. Project Highlights:

  • Angel Topsides Floatover
  • Woodside’s Pluto LNG Jetty
  • Varanus Island Repair Program
  • Chevron's Gorgon LNG project
  • ExxonMobil's PNG LNG upstream infrastructure and EPC4 gas conditioning plant projects
  • Apache's Devil Creek development project
  • Linkwater's Toowoomba pipeline
  • Newmont's Boddington gold mine
  • Iluka's Murray Basin mineral sands project.

CH-IV International[edit]

In 2014,a US$5 million acquisition of CH-IV International, an engineering company, based in the United States of America and highly regarded in liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) concept, Front End Engineering and Design (“FEED”), detailed design and owner’s engineering arena, with capabilities and credibility across micro, mid scale and large scale LNG [24]


Concrete Technology[edit]

Concrete Centre of Excellence[edit]

Murray & Roberts established a Concrete Centre of Excellence to raise the level of construction technology in the Group and introduce new technology to improve efficiency and reduce costs. The Centre has achieved significant bottom-line savings for group operations by modifying concrete technology across a broad spectrum and reducing costs.

Advanced Recrystallisation[edit]

Concrete strength is measured in megapascals (MPa). Traditionally, 30 MPa concrete requires between 300kg and 350kg of ordinary cement per cubic metre. Murray & Roberts developed a technology that met the 30 MPa standard using just 25kg of cement or even less. To date, strengths of up to 52 MPa have been achieved using Murray & Roberts’ patented ARC (Advanced Recrystallisation) technology and only 25kg of cement per cubic metre. The ARC process uses large amounts of recycled waste products. The most common recycled ingredient is slag from the steel manufacturing process.

Geopolymer concrete[edit]

Murray and Roberts has developed its own advanced geopolymer concrete, which has the beneficial properties of conventional cement concrete, but blended with the control mechanisms of resin-based materials while reducing by-product and waste materials. Additional benefits can be engineered into the geopolymer such as thermal shock resistance for smelters, additional bond strength for shotcrete applications, acid-resistance for high durability waste water treatment works and/or air-curing for convenience.

Concrete repair with Polyurea[edit]

Reflecting an international trend, polyurea is coming to the fore in South Africa as an innovative solution for repairing concrete buildings and structures.Concor Civils’ Concrete Repair Division uses this plural component elastomer in an increasing number of applications.Polyurea has an long service life, with high puncture and impact resistance and a completely seamless water proofing barrier. Originally designed as a waterproofing product, it can also withstand harsh industrial chemicals including acids and is fully UV-resistant.

Civil Engineering Technology[edit]

Temporary construction platforms in Riverine environments[edit]

Construction of temporary construction platforms in riverine site have been required for piling equipment access for bridges. These platforms have been used on the N2, Sundays River Bridge project in the Eastern Cape in 2011. In order to ease the traffic flow along this section of the national road, a twin bridge was planned to carry westbound traffic and were constructed of dune sand which needed to be contained. Glazed bidim® A6 geocontainers were dryfilled in formwork, stockpiled and then placed in position with a crane. The A6 grade was selected as the most economical option as there were no large or sharp objects in the uniform dune sand. The bags prevented contamination of the river system and minimised the requirement for sand fill by steepening the angle to around 45 degrees. The fill required was approximately 3 500m3 either side of the river which it is estimated may have doubled in volume without the Geocontainer® surround, particularly if the river had come down in flood. Specially glazing the bags for this project meant the continuous filaments of bidim® would remain intact facing the water flow. On completing piling, the temporary platform was removed from the river.

Sliding and Slip Forming[edit]

In this innovative technique, concrete is poured continuously between two climbing wall faces. Multiple platform levels allow for preparatory work, concrete pouring and curing to take place as the form 'slips' upward at a rate from 2.5 to 15 cm per hour. In addition to being faster, the elimination of 'cold joints' makes the resulting structure safer (improved resistance to leakage).

Caisson Forming[edit]

Reinforced concrete caissons used in the construction of quay walls have been constructed using a slip forming technique on floating dry docks. Stone foundation bed for such caisson are formed using purpose built underwater stone creeding machinery. In situ capping of these quays are formed used travelling formwork.

Incremental Launched Bridges[edit]

Incrementally launched bridges consists of building the superstructure segments in a casting yard located behind the bridge abutment. Each segment is matchcast against the previous one and prestressed to the section of superstructure already built. The entire superstructure is then jacked forward a distance equal to the length of this segment. This process is repeated until the bridge is in its final position. The secondary PT is then installed and the temporary bearings are replaced by the permanent bearings. This form of construction can be used for bridges having constant cross sectional shape throughout their length. The bridge should be straight or have a constant horizontal and vertical curvature.

Strand Jacking[edit]

Strand jacking is a construction process in which large construction elements such as concrete slabs and steelwork are lifted into position with computer-controlled hydraulic jacks.Because the multiple jacks can be moved in unison and with great precision, heavy structures can be assembled at ground level and then lifted into position rather than being built at higher levels. This allows for increased safety and reduces costs.

Mining Technology[edit]

Raised Drill Boring[edit]

Murray and Roberts is known for raised bored drilling. With a fleet of fully owned raise drills, Murray and Roberts RUC Mining has the capability to service new and existing clients during even the busiest development periods. The company is also a drill and reamer manufacturer producing, among others, the legendary Strata 960 – the most powerful underground raise drill currently available. Applications include pilot hole reaming for shaft sinking, escape rises, ore passes, ventilation shafts and borehole hoisting. The implications for safety and manning levels are just as impressive. By using non-entry methods, no personnel enter the hole during boring, no blasting takes place, and there is limited exposure to falling rocks or harmful exhaust fumes. With only two operators generally required per shift, cost benefits are obvious – raise drilling is by far the cheapest, safest and most cost-effective approach to creating vertical and sub-vertical openings in mines and construction projects.

Rotary Vertical Drilling[edit]

The RVDS was developed between Murray & Roberts RUC and German company Micon, and allows drilling with far greater accuracy than conventional methods. The RVDS is a system controlled by sensors. As soon as the pilot hole starts to deviate, the sensors pick this up and hydraulic cylinders kick in to rectify any deviation. The new prototype model was first tested during the pilot-hole drilling phase of the BCL ventilation shaft at Selebi-Phikwe, Botswana.

Boxhole Boring[edit]

Where access to the upper level is limited or not possible, the boxhole boring machine sits at the lower level, and a raise is bored upward. Cuttings fall under gravity and are deflected from the machine using a muck chute. RUC Mining has a range of drills available to complete boxhole boring safely and quickly, with a capability of up to 50 m in length and 1.5 m in diameter. Boring can be completed with or without a pre-drilled pilot hole, either vertically or inclined down to 45° from the vertical.

Shaft Drilling[edit]

Electro hydraulic rigs in vertical shaft drilling[edit]

The application in vertical shaft sinking is new. A drill rig was designed in conjunction with Anglo Platinum and Anglo American Technical Services, and built in Rustenburg. This drill rig allows both floor and sidewalls to be drilled simultaneously. The two drill rig units were used on the ventilation shaft and are equipped with three booms each, as does the one being used for the main shaft. A main consideration for applying this technology to shaft sinking is safety, as this drill rig limits the number of people at the bottom of the shaft during drilling operations to six, as opposed to 16 with traditional rigs.

Remote controlled rig shaft drilling[edit]

The integration of proven technologies in an innovative manner has resulted in a new type of shaft jumbo drill rig. Operated from a crow’s nest at the top of the unit, or from a pendant control at shaft bottom, this innovative drill rig is able to drill vertically, horizontally and upwardly at 45 degrees for station brow excavation. Equipped with 21 kW hydraulic drifters with high instantaneous penetration rates, this drill rig increases productivity significantly while at the same time enhancing safety levels as a result of fewer people at the shaft bottom.

Concurrent sinking of sections of a shaft barrel above one another[edit]

In order to accelerate a shaft deepening sinking project at the Doornkop gold mine, Cementation planned and executed a “dual-sink” with one shaft above the other, sinking both concurrently. Ventilation brattice walls and floating steelwork installation in an operating shaft allowed reef mining in the shaft pillar.Destressed

Backfilling at depth[edit]

De-stressing mining areas with narrow reef extractions can be backfilled, followed by the mining and backfilling of a complete economical reef package. The advantage of backfill is that all voids in a mining area is filled, resulting in a much safer operational mine as well as a higher extraction rate. Depending on the application, the backfill material is either gravity fed or pumped. Plant such as the one used at South Deep by Murray and Roberts, have been designed for FPT (full plant tailings) due to the size of the stopes and drainage considerations. Essentially, tailings are pumped from a gold plant to a storage facility next to the storage tanks for the backfill plant, then pumped to a deep cone thickener and then binder is added to the thickened material. Following this, the backfill slurry is then gravity fed underground via the surface main shaft and then the sub vertical shaft to the levels where it is required. Typically de-stress stopes are backfilled first. Thereafter, backfilling of the longhole drilled stopes is done. Backfill allows previously mined out stopes to be filled with a suitable product, which then supplies regional support to an area to enable further mining. Other reasons for using backfill include improved ore extraction rates; improved safety – especially fire risk; improved ventilation; reduced refrigeration requirements and reduced logistics in terms of timber transportation.

Backfill hole equipping[edit]

A number of innovative engineering methods have been implemented for the equipping of backfill holes such as Cullinan Diamond Mine. This includes the use of a purpose designed carriage system and hydraulic torque tools both engineered to accomplish the top down installation.

Water Retaining Bulkhead Plugs[edit]

One of the primary difficulties facing underground is managing rising water. Murray and Roberts Cementation offers the installation of high pressure water retaining bulkhead plugs that have been designed to retain the inflow of water into underground working sections and secure future mining in areas that would otherwise be inaccessible. Plug installations vary from 21 up to 40 metres in length. A code of practice stipulates the acceptable area in which water retaining bulkhead plugs can be installed. According to this code, the site of the work should be situated in an area of homogenous rock. This infers that the ground for a distance of three plug lengths is free of structural weaknesses such as faults, fissures, shales, shists, friable or soft material or other mining excavations. This is to ensure safe anchoring of the plug and water tightness. The effect of stress changes as caused by mining should also be carefully assessed. Once the bulkhead plug site has been prepared, a strength concrete retaining wall is erected at the wet side of the bulkhead plug. The bulkhead plug is packed from the footwall up to the hanging wall with quartzite rock plums. This structure also contains a number of positioned intrusion and tightening pipes. Pressure rated stainless steel pipes and valves can also be installed in a plug construction for future dewatering requirements.The plug's front shutter is erected simultaneously with the construction and pipe installation. After construction mortar is intruded into the constructed plug via the intrusion pipes up to the last high point pipe.The mortar used for intrusion is mixed locally at an underground plant which is especially erected for the duration of the bulkhead plug construction. The plant comprises an aggregate conveyor, high shear mixer, pumps and storage tanks. Mortar cube samples are taken for compressive strength testing throughout the mortar placing. Water retaining bulkhead plugs must withstand and hold their design static heads and careful calculation of their length is a critical aspect of installation. The plug's front shutter is erected simultaneously with the construction and pipe installation. After construction mortar is intruded into the constructed plug via the intrusion pipes up to the last high point pipe. The mortar used for intrusion is mixed locally at an underground plant which is especially erected for the duration of the bulkhead plug construction. The plant comprises an aggregate conveyor, high shear mixer, pumps and storage tanks. Mortar cube samples are taken for compressive strength testing throughout the mortar placing.

Ground support[edit]

Operating with a fleet of specialised ground support and service machines, RUC Mining is able to install, tension and pressure grout, all types of ground support, whether cable bolts, resin bolts, split sets, grouted dowels, steel straps or mesh.Full and semi-mechanised systems are used for bolting and spraying. With both high and low profile machines, holes are drilled and bolted in rapid sequence in accordance with a mine plans. Remote spray units (including vertical shaft spray units) eliminates the need for personnel to enter shafts or unsupported drives.

Electronic Detonation Blasting[edit]

Concor Opencast uses Electronic Detonation Blasting Technology that uses the principles of two-way communication, separation of power and full control of firing energy, as the minimum requirements for the user to be in control of any blast with a maximum of safety for all personnel as well as laymen in the immediate vicinity.

Cybermine Mining Simulation[edit]

Murray & Roberts Cementation makes use of Cybermine mining simulators, which are simulated cabs, with realistic replica of the actual mining equipment, fully functional simulated instruments and controls to train its operators. These replicated cabs aremounted on a motion platform capable of imparting up to six degrees of freedom and is surrounded by a 270° or full 360° panoramic, high-resolution projection display system with surround sound audio. Control of all aspects of training and evaluation is exercised in real time from a feature rich instructor station and displayed on two High Definition widescreen displays. The entire mining simulator system is housed in self-contained ISO standard containers, which also facilitates ease of transport. Cymbermine mining simulators offer a controlled environment which is highly conducive to the professional training, re-training and evaluation of student operators.

Innovative emergency egress systems[edit]

Murray & Roberts Cementation established an innovative emergency egress system - from design to operation - in just 11 days at Petra Diamonds' Finsch Mine, 160km northwest of Kimberley. Temporary personnel escape route from mine underground operations while refurbishment work is being conducted on a decline, which normally serves as the second escape route, is required in terms of the Mine Health & Safety Act. An existing 2.1m diameter raisebored ventilation pass that extended 280m to the mine's 35 level, to create the required emergency evacuation facility. The system was reminiscent of that implemented to rescue the 33 miners who were trapped underground in the San Jose Mine in Northern Chile. The system, which comprises a small headgear, a winder system and a wheel-guided conveyance is capable of transporting 12 people at one time to the surface in the event of an underground emergency. The system is containerised, the entire winch system, which is electrically powered, with standby generators available, travels at a speed of 0.5m per second.

Marine Technology[edit]


A floatover operation enables a large integrated topside to be installed, thereby minimising offshore hook-up and commissioning, without the use of large crane vessels. Operational cost is much lower than other methods of installation, such as modular lifts or a single piece installation by a heavy lift barge. Deck integration can be performed on land, at quay side and will not depend on a heavy lift barge.

Linear Winching[edit]

A 300 Te capacity linear winch system is widely used, which consists of two wire grippers, known as luckers, which grip and either hold or pull the wire. The pulling force is applied to the luckers by hydraulic rams. The power is provided by a diesel driven hydraulic power pack.

Bottom towing[edit]

Typically this method employs winches at fixed locations such as onshore, on anchored barges and, more recently, on platforms where it has been used to perform tie-ins. A pipeline is towed along the seabed by a tug to which it is attached by a long cable. The line may be a single pipe or a bundle of pipes. From vertical and horizontal equilibrium, the maximum length of pipeline that can be towed using available tow vessels, may be estimated by assuming: firstly that the pipe bottom is in direct and continuous contact with the seabed, with no spans being present; secondly that the system has a uniform negative buoyancy along its entire length; and thirdly, that the coefficients of friction between the pipe and the tow route are known, based on reliable data concerning the seabed soils configuration and the pipe characteristics.

Seawater Intakes & Outfalls[edit]

Provision of cooling water reticulation for the power generation sector such as the Manjung Power Station in Malaysia where a culvert design was offered as an alternative to the postulated piping system.

Subsea Pipelines[edit]

Provision of sub-sea pipelines to markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East. Pipe laying techniques include lay-barge, bottom tow and “float and sink” in steel, HDPE and even concrete.

Modelling Research[edit]

Murray and Roberts frequently embarks on numerical and physical modelling of marine civil structures to ensure that the solutions meet the demands made of them within the unrelenting marine environment, at modelling facilities of both the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Civil engineering department at the Stellenbosch University.

Mine Water Treatment[edit]

Murray & Roberts Water and technology partner Miwatek undertake engineering design and pilot testing of mine-water treatment facilities.

Murray & Roberts Water, which designs, builds, operates and maintains mine water, sea-water desalination, waste water re-use and industrial water-treatment plants completed a containerized water-treatment plant for Gold Fields Ghana at its Tarkwa operations. [25]


South African Institute of Civil Engineering[edit]

  • 2000 - "Most outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement in the International Category" awarded for the Sonils Luanda Base Expansion project which consisted of a 400m long extension of the existing container quay to provide additional berths for a new offshore oil and gas logistics base for Sonils Lda in Luanda
  • 2001 - "Most outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement in the International Category" awarded for the Cooling Water Intake and Outfall at Manjung in Malaysia. The project entailed a 1,5 kilometre long subsea cooling water intake system for a 2100 MW coal fired power station located on a reclaimed island at Manjung in the state of Perak.

Concrete Society of Southern Africa[26][edit]

  • 1983, - Fulton Award, - Bloukrans bridge for Excellence in the use of concrete and the SAICE Eastern Cape Branch Award.
  • 1996, - Fulton Award, - Alusaf Aluminium Smelter for Excellence in the civil engineering category.
  • 1998, - Fulton Commendation, - "Excellence in use of concrete" awarded for the Extension to the General Purpose Quay in Saldanha, South Africa. The project entailed a 620m extension of the existing general cargo quay and reclamation of the back of quay area.
  • 1998, - Fulton Award, - University of Port Elizabeth, innovative use of concrete in the civil engineering category.
  • 2001, - Fulton Commendation, - "Excellence in use of concrete" awarded for the Sonils Luanda Base Expansion project.
  • 2007, - Fulton Award, - Civil Engineering Projects category for Impala Platinum Mine’s Number 16 Shaft. The Judges commended the outstanding quality of concrete achieved.
  • 2011, - Fulton Award, - Civil Engineering Projects category for Bombela CJV's, Gautrain Project - Balanced Cantilever.

South African Property Owners Association Award[edit]

  • 2010, - SAPOA Award for the Department of International Relations and Co-operation’s new office and conference centre development in Tshwane, of which Murray and Roberts Buildings was the main contractor, in the best development and best overall property development categories. The R1,2 billion building structure embodies a functional and efficient use of space for staff and the public which is further enhanced by high standards of green design principles. Accommodating some 2 500 employees with1 500 parking bays, the 138 570 cubic metre building includes a state of the art conference facility designed to house the African Union and South African Development Community (SADC) conferences.

Investment Analysts’ Society (IAS) Award[edit]

  • 2009/2010, - Murray & Roberts won the Investment Analysts’ Society (IAS) award for the best presentation to the Society for companies with market capitalisation between R5 billion and R20 billion. The IAS is a liaison body for the investment analyst profession. Each year, the IAS promotes a prestigious awards ceremony in recognition of the skills of those listed companies that win awards for “Best Communicating and Reporting”.

International Project Management Institute (PMI)[edit]

  • 2001,- Mozal, global project of the year. At an award ceremony in Memphis, Tennessee, the joint venture SNC-Lavalin Murray & Roberts received the prestigious 2001 Project of the Year award of the International Project Management Institute (PMI) as recognition for the delivery of the Mozal aluminium smelter in Mozambique.

Construction World’s Best Projects[edit]

  • 2007, - Sishen Expansion Project, Crusher Plant, in order to meet an extremely short construction period, innovative methods were employed to decrease the turnaround time of formwork systems and maximise access to all parts of the structures. An innovative coupler-pocket connection of heavy slabs to walls was utilised since it showed that connections of this type at the largest scale could be practically created, making it technically possible to use a fly-past wall construction with floors following after construction method for heavy multi-storey structures. As slip-form and jump-form systems become preferred to the conventional “hand over hand”, the large scale floor to wall connection developed at Sishen was considered a breakthrough.
  • 2011, - Zayed University, Khalifa City, United Arab Emirates
  • 2013, - Concor Roads & Earthworks, received a Highly Commended in the Civil Engineering Contractors category for a major South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) project to rehabilitate the N2-11 from the eastern boundary of the Coega Industrial Development Zone to the Colchester intersection, as well as the construction of a new carriageway to the south of the existing road. This undertaking was characterised by several innovations, including the raising of an existing bridge using jacking techniques, access platforms in a river estuary to facilitate construction of a new bridge and the application of Concor Roads & Earthworks’ proprietary Novachip ultra-thin friction course for sections of road passing through residential areas.
  • 2013, - Portside Tower,Cape Towns tallest building and 5 star green rated as overall winner. Tasked with a fast track construction period of only 26 months, the Murray & Roberts Western Cape Portside project team gained a competitive edge by paying intense attention to detail in the planning stages. Under the leadership of project manager Chris Prodehl, the team formulated an intelligent methodology to generate optimal time efficiencies, which also benefited site safety.

Nedbank Capital Sustainable Business Awards[edit]

  • Murray & Roberts Construction- 2014- Runners up in the Infrastructure & Renewable Energy Category: For its innovative high fly ash and geopolymer concrete designs, coupled to a very high concrete recycling program of over 87 percent for the Transnet City Deep Project [27]

San Jose Mine rescue[edit]

Murray & Roberts participated in the rescue operation of 33 miners who had been trapped underground in the 2010 Copiapó mining accident in the San Jose Mine near the town Copiapó in the north of Chile. Murray & Roberts has a controlling shareholding in two mining contracting companies in Chile; Terracem, which is a specialist raise drilling company, and Cementation Sudamerica, which focused on major vertical shaft and underground mine infrastructure work. Its partner in Chile is a local company, Terraservice.[28]

One of the company's large diameter raise drilling machines, the Strata 950, was used by Terracem in the rescue operation. Rotary Vertical Drilling System (RVDS) technology, co-developed by Murray & Roberts, was applied to accurately drill a pilot hole to reach the trapped miners, where after the hole was be opened up to 660mm to rescue the miners. The Strata 950 had just completed a shaft for Codelco's Andina Mine and had already been transferred to the San Jose Mine where drilling would commence.


In June 2013, Murray & Roberts agreed to pay R309 million levied by the Competition Commission[29] as one of 15 construction companies fined a total of R1.46 billion for anticompetitive behaviour. The commission found that the company had committed a total of 17 transgressions of the South African Competition Act. In November 2013 it was reported that Murray & Roberts was pursuing former company executives implicated in anticompetitive behaviour.[30]

The Competition Commission found that Murray & Roberts, had “an agreement in terms of which firms which were not interested in the projects or winning the tenders, or were not allocated to a project, would submit cover bids to ensure that those interested in particular bids, won them.”[31] By this process the colluding companies were able to rig bids so that they could charge higher prices and ensure that participating colluding companies got bids that were preselected by those companies beforehand and without the government or any other third party knowing.

The company was not penalised for a number of the projects, because many of them occurred more than three years before the Competition Commission investigation.[31]

Projects that were affected included:

Useful Information[edit]

Below are a few links to useful information:

  • Murray & Roberts Operating Platforms [7]
  • Murray & Roberts Investor Relations [8]
  • Murray & Roberts Integrated Annual Reports [9]
  • Murray & Roberts Press Releases [10]


  1. ^ [1], Murray & Roberts Statement of Financial Performance FY2012
  2. ^ [2], Murray & Roberts Statement of Financial Position FY2012
  3. ^ [3], Murray & Roberts Group Overview
  4. ^ [4], Murray & Roberts Listing on JSE
  5. ^ [5], Murray & Roberts Construction Capability
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  10. ^ Bahrain World Trade Center Captures Innovation Award
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  28. ^ South African Press Association (2010-10-13). "SA company lauded for Chile rescue". News24. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  29. ^
  30. ^ Allix, Mark (7 November 2013). "Murray & Roberts ‘pursues’ former executives implicated in collusion". Business Day. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  31. ^ a b Nicholson, Zara (15 July 2013). "Rigged tenders escape sanction". Cape Times. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  32. ^