Hasu Megawatt: a pioneer company growing bigger, better, and stronger
18th of 6, 2018
Hasu Megawatt LLC is one of the Mongolian companies that are growing together with the Oyu Tolgoi project, bringing in international expertise, cutting edge technology and sophisticated know-how, and thus preparing a new generation of high-skill local professionals for the mineral sector. The company’s major contribution to the industrial development of Mongolia is in producing complex equipment and in coming up with engineering solutions to substitute expensive imports. E.Gankhulug, General Manager of the company, tells MMJ more about its operations and projects.
What have been your main areas of operation since the establishment of the company 18 years ago? Hasu Megawatt is one of the oldest private companies in the energy sector of the country. We left the maintenance team at the thermal power plant in 2000 to set ourselves up as an independent company and our first jobs were in the fields of construction of power facilities and equipment maintenance. In those early years, we provided technical and mechanical support services for the overhaul, renovation and expansion work of thermal power plants. Today, we have diversified to energy, mining, construction, vocational training, fabrication and supply of all kind of steel structures.
What was your first project in mining? That was in 2006, when we became a contract supplier to Oyu Tolgoi LLC. These were the years of Phase 1 of the construction of the mine in Umnugobi. A team of 30 people arrived first and then the number of employees at the site kept growing. Our first job was the construction of modular facilities with site offices, a mess hall, a clinic, ger camps, heating facilities and utilities pipelines.
What would you say have been your greatest accomplishments in these 12 years of association with the Oyu Tolgoi project? While striving for the delivery of quality work, we prioritise occupational safety which is one of the most important requirements for Oyu Tolgoi. As for construction, we have built a warehouse complex with a water reserve tank and pump facility for use in case of fire, an open pit field modular office, and an addition to the heavy equipment maintenance shop. With our experience and skills in the field of energy services, we completed complex constructions such as mine site satellite boiler heating facilities and utilities services pipeline networks. We also carried out mine site operation and maintenance services of all diesel generators, heating satellite boiler facilities, utilities pipelines and water storage, and supply pumping systems during Phase 1 of the mine construction.
A central heating plant (CHP) with a capacity of 72 megawatts was commissioned in 2012. This was one of the major works of Phase 2 of the construction. Hasu Megawatt won the transparent tender and entered into a long term strategic service provider cooperation agreement with OT and has for five years now been responsible for the operation and maintenance of the CHP, the heating distribution system, and of all buried service utilities pipelines and valves at the mine site. In addition, as part of the Oyut-II camp expansion work, we completed and commissioned construction of buried utilities services pipelines in 2017.
Hasu Megawatt was the first national company to complete change over fit-out work of underground mine Shaft 1 headframe in 2012 at Oyu Tolgoi project. Dayan Contract Mining, a joint venture between Hasu Megawatt LLC and Redpath Mongolia LLC, was established two years ago and has become a part of the underground development of Oyu Tolgoi project.
Tell us about other projects that Hasu Megawatt has been implementing, apart from Oyu Tolgoi? While about 70% of our work today, in both small and large projects, is related to Oyu Tolgoi, we have taken up a number of initiatives on the basis of our experience there. Two of the more important ones among them are manufacturing steel products and building a vocational education training centre.
The company has expanded its business beyond the energy and construction industry by establishing a high-tech structural steel products manufacturing facility. Currently we are manufacturing and supplying various types of steel structures, components and complex equipment that require fine precision and international standard detailed engineering solutions. It is worth noting that we have acquired a great deal of know-how, skills, and experience from our foreign partners’ expatriate professionals. Also we are building facilities for manufacturing complex auxiliary products that will assist in the preparation of the substructures at the main steel manufacting facility structure.
As we acquire advanced technologies, global competencies, innovative techniques and world-class operational standards, we have set up a vocational training centre for our new employees and also for continuous upskilling of our existing staff. This centre is a practical and theoretical training base where methods, techniques and skills are taught on how to carry out complex high-risk tasks that require technical solutions, standards, specification compliance and safe handling. It conducts specialized trainings for all types of welders, electricians, millwrights, pipe fitters and other statutory state required courses. Our dream is to make these training programmes available to other national companies so that they, too, have access to our knowledge, experience, standards, know-how, and skills. We are proud of our progress and want to help others advance in a similar way.
What kind of steel products do you put on the market? Are they all building material? Apart from various types and grades of nuts, bolts and such small but essential things, we manufacture low tolerance, specifically engineered underground mine sinking plants and structural steel components and equipment related to mine development. For example, a multiple platform known as a sinking Galloway is a vital part of underground mine shaft sinking operations by offering a safe place for miners to work from, with their tools and equipment.We have been the first in Mongolia to manufacture, supply and assemble a sinking Galloway as per Canadian designs for Oyu Tolgoi through an agreement with Redpath Mongol LLC.
We manufacture and supply other mining plants and equipment also. We have made and supplied a variety of structural steel sets, pressure vessels, pipelines, fuel and water holding tanks, and pre-engineered and multi-purpose custom made remote facilities. All this has made Hasu Megawatt is a leading company in the nation in terms of metal forming, fabricating, quality welding and finishing services.
How do you manufacture and assemble large-scale structures, components and equipment? Once we receive an order, we manufacture everything at our factory in Ulaanbaatar, according to design and specification, following highest standards throughout the process, with quality assurance and control programme. The assembling work is done at our pre-shipping assembly yard, and after ensuring that all is in compliance with requirements, the finished products are packing, shipped and delivered to the mine site for installation.
What is the capacity of the factory? How do you get the raw materials? Our manufacturing facilities have the capacity to fabricate 1500 tonnes of steel structures per year. However, currently about 40% of the capacity is being utilized. Our current production is associated with the Oyu Tolgoi project. As for raw materials, much of them is supplied locally but we have to import for large-scale production.
That such high-tech steel things are now made in Mongolia is seen as one of the positive results of Oyu Tolgoi operations, but how many of your specially skilled employees are Mongolian? Many think that Oyu tolgoi imports all its complex structural steel components and equipment, not knowing that national companies are manufacturing and supplying them, meeting global standards.
Partnership and cooperation with Oyu Tolgoi over the past 12 years have contributed to our company’s growth and our employees are continuously learning, improving and developing their skills as they work alongside a thoroughly professional expatriate workforce in an environment with international standards, discipline, know-how and culture. As a company we are also benefiting from continuous growth in areas of health and safety, efficient lean production management system, global quality standards and effective team work with long term vision for our business. Our experience with Oyu Tolgoi will have a positive impact on our future work with others, as we have learnt how to plan properly, and execute efficiently. We spread the results of this experience amongst our total workforce, and urge them to share skills and knowledge. We believe many other national companies are also benefiting in this way from their work for Oyu Tolgoi. We value and understand this opportunity that has been created by the Oyu Tolgoi project and our growth, like that of many other national companies, would not have been so fast if these opportunities were not there, creating new markets with various demands of high volume.
Our manufacuring facilities have over 60 employees, all Mongolian, and about half of them engineering and technical people. At the early stage of our underground mine structural steel component fabrication, we worked under the guidance of Canadian and Oyu Tolgoi project experts, an association that led us to forge long-term partnership with well-established companies, and later to joint venture partnerships, operating successfully today. We are still working together with experts and engineers from Canada and the Oyu Tolgoi project in developing precise, fine detialled, specifically engineered drawings that also require know-how, but the manufacturing production is managed and carried out 100% by Mongolian workforce at our facilities.
Is there any other company in Mongolia doing a similar kind of work? Hasu Megawatt is the only company that manufactures and produces underground mine development related complex structural steel components locally for the Oyu Tolgoi project which, at the moment, is the only mining project with a demand for these. High precision structural steel components are also coming in from China, Canada and Australia. In Mongolia, our company is the first of its type and we hope there will be other national companies. Manufacturing this type of products in high volume requires large facilities, equipment and properly trained, skilled, competent workforce along with professional engineering and technical staff competent in developing technical solutions through understanding of relevant advanced standards, specifications and codes. We are confident that our manufacturing facilities and operation will contribute significantly to the industrial development of Mongolia in the future.
When was the vocational training centre established? How many professionals have you prepared so far? Our vocational training centre began work in 2012. When we opened a new manufacturing facility, we renovated our old workshop into the centre facility.
As of today we have trained and upskilled 1,200 specialists and tradesmen. Training courses are scheduled and conducted in alignment with the seasonal offset of peak operation of construction, mining and universities. Moreover, we conduct trainings as requested by client companies based on the number of employees and according to the qualifications in demand. The centre is well known as the German-Mongolian Vocational Training Center. German specialists in welding conduct courses in that field. We provide suitably qualified graduates with jobs at Hasu Megawatt or its affiliate companies. Representatives from these affiliate companies attend the ranking tests of graduates and select their preferred employees. The center is open for those looking to acquire a new professional trade skill and also for those interested in getting upskilled.
What activities have you taken up as your social responsibility? Our company is committed to meeting our social responsibility and we provide training for Umnogovi residents through our vocational education center, and give them permanent jobs. We also support local suppliers by purchasing all our employees’ work clothes, boots and consumables from them.