Jun. 30, 2015


Pedro Ramos

Mozambique

Pedro Ramos

General Director, Tovisi

TBY talks to Pedro Ramos, General Director of Tovisi, on the Gorongosa Dam project, dealing with competition, and plans for the future of the company.

BIO

Pedro Ramos was born in Porto, Portugal. He studied Civil Engineering at Universidade do Minho in GuimarĂ£es. He has been General Director of Tovisi since 2010. Prior to that, he had worked for construction companies in Portugal, and has 15 years of experience in the industry.

Can you provide an overview of the operations of Tovisi in Mozambique?

Tovisi is a construction company that has been operating in Mozambique since 2010. Work began proper in 2011 with a medium-sized energy project for EDM through Portuguese company EFACEC. Since then, we have experienced rapid growth and today have become one of the largest construction operations in Mozambique. The shareholders are 100% Portuguese, but ours is a Mozambican company nonetheless and headquartered locally. And while all construction and operations are in Mozambique, we are expanding to other African countries such as Zambia and Zimbabwe.

What are your main achievements in the Gorongosa dam project?

The Nhandale River Dam is a medium-sized dam located in central Mozambique, in Gorongosa. It was originally studied for water supply, but once we won the project, we transformed it and are now preparing the dam for future energy production connected to the national network as well. Additionally, the dam will bridge both sides of the river. This means that within the same cost at which we won the tender, we will be providing water, power, and transport infrastructure. Construction of this contract of around $10 million has now commenced. We expect to conclude all the works in September of 2015. We are the main contractors, but for the mechanical and electrical components, we will subcontract to other companies,. The project will employ over 200 workers onsite, but on a broader scale, around 10,000 locals stand to benefit from it. Meanwhile, local agriculture also stands to benefit from new water infrastructure that will meet the requirements of the industry.

How would you describe your largest project, namely the headquarters of the Ministry of Natural Resources?

We won the project in a public tender early last year. It is a comprehensive contract that includes the procurement of the plot, as well as the design and construction. The design stage, realized by our partner, the architect Ricardo Maia Moura, is now complete and I am confident that our scheme will come to be an architectural icon in Maputo. The project features a 15-story building with a 360-degree tower of glass that changes color. The concept involves a symbolic crystal with interior lighting, the color of which changes to represent the various minerals found in Mozambique, with yellow for lithium, red for ruby, and so on. The scheme will also feature a five-story car park. It depends on several things, but we expect to be able to open the building by the end of 2016. The contract was for $40 million.

How do you differentiate yourselves from your competitors?

We aim at differentiation by bringing better quality engineering to our schemes. In terms of our public works, our projects save the government money for investment in new schemes. The prime example of this may be seen in our work on the dam in Gorongosa. We initially had a design solely for the concrete wall and water supply, but later transformed it to increase the volume of retained water by fivefold, within the same budget. That is precisely what we mean by creating value engineering. Meanwhile, we have another major project in Beira, which is a youth resources center with an investment of around $4.5 million. We have already begun work on the three-year project. Being a public sector funded scheme, it is divided into three years. We have already met the targets for 2014, and in March we will start our pursuit of the targets for 2015 and 2016.

What are your five-year targets for the Mozambican market?

In terms of construction and real estate, we intend to see a certain measure of growth and will certainly maintain our construction project volume. That being said, we are also investing in other key sectors, such as agriculture and energy, having already established Tovisi Energy. We even have a new education-related project that we intend to start this year.

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