Issue 41

Bayan Airag Exploration

Mongolia’s Responsible MinerHaving invested in excess of $150 million into one the remotest areas of western Mongolia, Bayan Airag is imparting a positive legacy from its gold and silver mining operations  Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Donovan SmithLandlocked between Russia and China and spanning some 1.6 million square kilometres, Mongolia is topographically one of the most fascinating places on earth.  Vast swathes of grassy steppes, the enormous Gobi Desert and three major mountain ranges make for a natural phenomenon – one which is home to just three million people, meaning it is the most sparsely populated country in the world.     And yet, despite what may appear as physical constraints to economic development, the nation’s GDP is growing solidly. Last year saw the Mongolian economy expand by 6.9 percent, with 6.7 percent growth forecast for 2019 and 6.3 percent in 2020.  Central to this recent positive performance and equally bold outlook is mining.  According to government figures, the industry accounted for 21 percent of GDP, 85 percent of exports, 30 percent of national budget revenue and over 70 percent of foreign direct investment in 2016, with China being a crucial customer of this thriving activity.  It is also fair to suggest that Mongolia is only beginning to scratch the surface of its mining potential.  The country is blessed with minerals, sat atop massive reserves of copper, uranium, rare earths, gold, zinc, oil, silver and more. According to some estimates, it is home to 10 percent of the world’s known coal reserves.  For Enkhtuvshin Yura, the past

By Editorial Team

Vivablast

Preserving Industry Empowering PeopleA business epitomising the meteoric rise of Vietnam and ASEAN during the past two decades, VIVABLAST successfully fuses Asian culture and values with western techniques to deliver excellence in industrial asset preservation   Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Donovan Smith  The 20th century was largely a period of hardship for Vietnam. Categorised by a combination of French colonial rule (1858-1945), the First Indochina War (1946-1954) and the Vietnam War (1955-1975), decades of conflict had left the nation in a state of disrepair. Yet, despite the odds, the country began to turn a corner during the 1990s. Political reforms brought about by Doi Moi beginning 1986 saw an agricultural overhaul and influx of foreign direct investment, allowing its previously untapped potential to blossom. By the turn of the millennium, more than 30,000 private businesses had been created, poverty had been nearly halved and GDP growth rates were peaking at seven percent. Fast forward to the present day and prosperity remains steady. The country’s economic output has risen from $31 billion to over $233 billion over the past 19 years – a growth record described as remarkable by the World Bank. And similarly, the future looks bright. The Vietnamese construction industry, for example, a central facet of the country’s fast-paced economic development, currently benefits from annual investments double that of global averages. Meanwhile, estimates suggest that $25 billion per year will be required in order to meet the country’s sustainable infrastructure needs moving forward. Resultantly, opportunities for local industry stalwarts are currently abundant. “For Vietnam, and for the ASEAN as a whole,

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Anytime Fitness Asia

Anytime Fitness Asia has established itself in hundreds of communities across eight countries, its gyms becoming a welcoming home away from home for its members, staff, and franchisees.

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Super Value Stores

For PNG-based business Super Value Stores, wholesale and retail is all about creating customer benefit by providing better products at better prices.

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Sunseap Group

Singapore’s Leading LightEmpowering Southeast Asia with a portfolio of 1.7 GW of solar projects, Sunseap Group continues to spearhead change with its innovative, agile solutions Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray There are few regions globally that can lay claim to more exciting economic prospects than Southeast Asia. While China, Japan and many of the continent’s other traditional powerhouses continue to make headway, the whirlwind taking many of its tiger cub economies by storm is equally helping to shape Asia’s next growth frontier. Take the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), for example. An intergovernmental organisation comprising 10 countries, combined they stand as the fifth largest economy in the world with a GDP of $2.76 trillion and population of 630 million (according to 2017’s figures). Yet this is just the advent of prosperity for the region. Owed to vast swathes of industrial, entrepreneurial, financial and technological opportunities, the territory’s annual economic growth rates are forecast to exceed five percent for the next half decade. Against this backdrop, numerous enterprises are unsurprisingly thriving. “The renewables industry, particularly solar energy, is epitomising the high growth in Southeast Asia,” affirms Keith Lim, Chief Financial Officer of Sunseap Group – a Singaporean-based company that is making the most of the monumental opportunities available. “Many developing countries here require increasing amounts of energy to fuel their rapid economic expansion, and solar energy presents itself as an attractive alternative to conventional energy, especially with the declining cost of generation.” Identifying these inevitable demands, Sunseap can be best described as a forward-thinking first mover in the solar market, as well

By Editorial Team

Solomon Islands Ports Authority

Maritime MarvelSIPA is charting the Solomon Islands’ progressive, transformative maritime course, its two key ports now standing as crucial pillars of the national economy  Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Josh MannThe maritime industry has been instrumental to the development of civilisations through time.Providing humanity with the capacity for cross-continental exploration, mass fishing and greater mobility than land-based travel for trade, transport or warfare, it is understood that the first ships (if you can call them that) were developed many millennia prior to the BC era.Initially consisting of single logs that floated down rivers with small cargo attached to them, greater numbers of logs were eventually strapped together forming rafts to carry larger loads.Fast forward through the centuries and boats gradually became more sophisticated. The Austronesians invented the same oceangoing sailing technologies in 3000 BC that are still used today, allowing them to achieve seaborne migration and establish sophisticated trade routes throughout the Asia Pacific.By 200 AD, records suggest that some ships were capable of carrying 700 people and up to 1,000 tonnes of cargo. Yet these vessels were still a far cry from the sea freighters that we know today.The worlds biggest container ship – the OOCL Hong Kong – currently measures the length of about four football pitches, has a deadweight tonnage of 191,317 metric tonnes, and a capacity equivalent to that of 21,413 standard shipping containers.Albeit impressive, this monumental surge in size is just one facet of the sector that has changed drastically in modern times.Sophisticated marine technologies have been the subject of

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Rutledge Group

Rutledge Group, through its three specialised divisions, continues to innovate and uplift the profile of HSE practices across industries such as oil and gas. 

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RKH Specialty

By extending its in-house talent and integrating capabilities of partner organisations, RKH Specialty is able to provide an unrivalled insurance offering to businesses, institutions and governmental bodies across the APAC region.

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Meinhardt Singapore

Singapore’s ShapeshifterThanks to its one-stop shop approach and can-do attitude, Meinhardt Singapore has been involved in nearly 4,000 projects across the city-state since it started out as a 10-person operation in 1974  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Tom Cullum  Singapore is, like many major cities around the world, changing at breakneck speed.  Rightly perceived as a poster child for modernity and an almost faultless smart city template, the island nation too is having to adapt to changing dynamics that are somewhat out of its authorities’ control.  Climate change and rapidly evolving technology are two examples, while shifting demographic patterns also present a conundrum, one that is accentuated by the fact that Singapore itself is a city-state.  A critical driver of cities’ income expansion since the turn of the millennium, population growth is starting to slow thanks to falling birth rates and the reality that people are living longer. Indeed, by 2030, one in four Singaporeans will be aged 65 years or older, what Dr Shahzad Nasim describes as a silver tsunami.  Nasim is Executive Chairman of global engineering firm Meinhardt, and also the Managing Director of its well-established and sizable Singapore subsidiary.  He has witnessed first-hand the changing dynamics of the city and, while recognising the various challenges that lie ahead, is excited about the opportunities that this brings to the construction sector and his company, not least as part of the response to climate change.  “The effects of climate change loom large in the horizon,” Nasim comments. “Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recently highlighted

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Matrix Composites & Engineering

The Lean Machinist Matrix Composites & Engineering is exporting Australian-made advanced materials all over the world, its lean production principles adding a competitive edge  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Thomas Arnold    Australia is a nation with a proud record of ingenuity.   Whether it is the bionic ear, ultrasound scanner or black box flight recorder, Australians’ knack for innovation has helped propel the country onto the global advanced manufacturing stage.    Indeed, of the nation’s A$100 billion total annual manufacturing output, the advanced subsector accounts for nearly half, driven by the adoption of cutting-edge technology and commitment to investing in research and development.   This rings true for Aaron Begley and his company Matrix Composites & Engineering.   Co-founding a business with his father in 1999, it was a case of sensing an opportunity to innovate and plug a gap in the market which saw it break away from the family’s more traditional engineering background.   “We saw an opening in the marketplace to diversify away from what we were doing in the heavy engineering manufacturing space, and that was presented to us by a materials technology from North America,” CEO Begley recalls.   “This prompted the development of our own version, which gave the company entrance into the oil and gas space.”  The composite material in question is called syntactic foam. Lightweight with high compressive strength, it is used in marine environments predominantly to provide flotational buoyancy for oil and gas drilling operations. Matrix is gearing itself up for a boost in the

By Thomas Arnold

Maoneng

Solar Splendour 10 years ago, Maoneng was a humble startup operating in a western suburb of Sydney. Today, it is one of Asia Pacific’s leading solar entities, helping to spearhead the global energy revolution Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Ryan GrayNothing is more important to life on earth than the sun. Warming our oceans, generating our weather patterns and facilitating the photosynthesis of plants which provide food and oxygen for all, without it the world would become an arid ball of ice and rock. Yet, owed to the innovation-abundant 21st century, humanity’s reliance on the central star of our solar system is becoming increasingly pronounced, owed to its ability to act as a sustainable fountain of power. Fast forward from the BC era, when the use of a magnifying glass in concentrating the sun’s ray to create fire was discovered, to today, and technological advancements and learnings have seen solar energy rise to power everything from buildings to streetlamps to trains.  An exciting, fast-moving industry that’s full of sustainable promise, it’s become a field filled with champions of the new energy revolution. “Contrary to popular belief, modern solar photovoltaic technologies are not new,” explains Morris Zhou, Group Executive Chairman of Maoneng, one of Australia’s leading lights for the solar industry. “They have been around for roughly 50 years – one of the first satellites ever shot into space, for example, required silicon-based solar panels in order to charge the equipment. “Only in recent years, over the past decade and a half or so, has the cost of this technology fallen to the

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Kit Loong Commercial Tyre Group

Keeping the Wheels in MotionKit Loong Commercial Tyre Group is helping companies across Malaysia to remain on the road, its comprehensive offering underpinned by unrivalled expertise, brand partnerships and technology   Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Josh Mann  Roads, despite their comparative antiquity versus the likes of air and rail, are a backbone of commerce.  A critical element of a global multimodal transport network that millions of businesses rely on to move goods and people from A to B, highways continue to form key components of industrial strategies adopted by governmental authorities.  Malaysia is no different. Home to a mature road network which supports almost all industrial activity, the country is embarking on an improvement drive to make doing business even easier.  And progress is being made, both pushed from the government through projects such as the Third Industrial Master Plan (IMP3), as well as businesses who are looking to make Malaysia a competitive hub within Asia.  Indeed, the nation is already home to 1.2 million commercial vehicles which rely on its roads to serve their companies, and keeping these cars, vans, trucks and HGVs roadworthy is also big business, the tyre and related services market worth more than RM3 billion ($720 million) a year.  For Kenneth Teh, Group MD of Kit Loong Commercial Tyre Group, the sector represents a vibrant, fast-moving field of work that is subject to constant evolution. “The increase of imports from China has obviously been a real disruptor to the established world-renowned tyre companies, who still have very strong brand kudos here, but are now

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Inchcape Shipping Services

Global, Local, Transparent By adding a global, technology-enabled layer of transparency to shipping agency operations, Inchcape Shipping Services continues to gain the trust of clients to manage their vessels and cargo the world over   Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: David Knott  Around 6,000 years ago Egyptians navigated 100-metre-long boats up and down the Nile.   Powered by oars and featuring sails, these wooden vessels carried enormous obelisks and were a serious feat of engineering for their time, so much so that very little evolution in boat mechanics occurred until the advent of steam propulsion.   The British East India Company took full advantage of this long-awaited breakthrough, initially using steamships to help manoeuvre large sailing ships into the narrow harbours of India before reducing travel time between Asia and Britain.   In 1856 the Company awarded a contract to carry mail between Calcutta and Rangoon to the Calcutta & Burmah Steam Navigation Company, which incorporated in London and became an agent for the new shipping line. This was the work of William Mackinnon, who, together with Robert Mackenzie, formed a general merchanting partnership named Mackinnon Mackenzie & Company (MMC).   It is the formation of this company in Calcutta in 1847 that the Inchcape Group proudly traces its origins.   Exponentially growing its influence between Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and even Australia, MMC became a crucial enabler of British sea trade, the Inchcape name taking over in the 1950s and continuing to serve as agents for a tremendous array of clients to this very day.   But, much like the steamship’s oar- and sail-powered predecessor, the nature of shipping agency interactions

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Hornibrook NGI 2019

Driven by DevelopmentA company characterised by transition and transformation, Hornibrook NGI continues to catalyse PNG’s economy with its diversified construction services Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Tom Cullum Papua New Guinea (PNG) is not known as one of Asia Pacific’s economic powerhouses. Yet it is a nation that is beginning to make a real name for itself. Earlier this year, the World Bank released a bullish assessment of the country’s economy, forecasting subdued inflation, a surgent local currency (kina) and GDP growth of five percent. Indeed, PNG’s remarkably diverse mineral reserves and thriving agricultural industries have traditionally played a major part in mapping out this rise and will continue to do so. However, the World Bank also claims that much of the economic buoyancy set to sweep across the country can be attributed to an enhanced emphasis on expanding economic diversification. From the catalysation of the private sector to greater investment in infrastructure and human capital, steps are being taken and PNG is becoming celebrated as a country on the up. One local company embodying the optimistic outlook amidst this climate is Hornibrook NGI (HNGI). With roots stemming from the 1940s, the business has been an integral part of PNG’s industrial and resource development over the years. That said, its present stature as an industry-leading construction specialist is largely owed to a critical period of consolidation that occurred from 1994 onwards following the arrival of current Chairman and Australian national, Mal Lewis. “I joined Hornibrook as Managing Director and hastily had to restructure things because the company had simply lost its way a

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Goodhill Enterprise

Goodhill Enterprise (Cambodia) Ltd is enjoying a remarkable growth curve which is ahead of the country as a whole, bringing more international brands to retailers and consumers.

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Gekko Systems

Modernising MiningBringing a fresh approach to the global mining table, Gekko Systems’ innovative offerings and next-gen technologies are helping to uphold the industry’s digital upheaval Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Donovan Smith The mining industry is one of the greatest beneficiaries of a rising digital tide. New technologies are enabling industry stalwarts to reenergise their traditional operations and processes, propelling performance across the whole value chain from mine to market. From the internet of things to cloud computing or data analytics, the abundant benefits that new technologies are providing are not lost on boardroom decision makers.  According to a recent study from Accenture, 92 percent of mining executives plan to increase their investment in technology, while research from KPMG shows that the highest level of investment is occurring in data and analytics tools (53 percent), autonomous vehicles (30 percent) and robotic process automation (29 percent).  “At the moment, mining operations are all trying to reduce costs and improve efficiency,” explains Nigel Grigg, General Manager of Global Sales and Solutions at Gekko Systems. “This in mind, we believe that automation and the use of data in optimising processes will continue to accelerate.” Indeed, Gekko Systems is perfectly positioned to capitalise on the opportunities that this shift will bring. Starting out as an Australian startup producing InLine Pressure Jigs (IPJ) for continuous gravity separation, designed to recover very high grades of valuable ore material in very small masses, the firm has gone from strength to strength during the course of the past two decades, now standing as a world leader in gold processing and low-energy

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CR Asia Group

Driven by a mission to become the partner of choice in delivering comprehensive maintenance solutions, CR Asia Group is uplifting industries, communities and people alike across the continent with its customer-centric contracting.

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Sri Lanka: A small island nation packed with cultural, culinary and natural phenomena

We talk to The Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka about a nation packed with cultural, culinary and natural phenomena.

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