Dolphin Bay upgraded Miro Forestry and Timber’s treatment plant in Sierra Leone last month, “bending over backwards” to make sure it was the best possible system, observed Miro’s General Manager for Sierra Leone, George Catterick.
Miro is the only forestry company in Sierra Leone and the largest forestry and plantation group in West Africa, where it employs about 2000 people. Established in 2010, Miro provides plywood, edge glued panels, CCA-treated poles, and related forest products to clients in West Africa and around the world.
It harvests timber from its own 20 000ha of plantations in Ghana and Sierra Leone for all its processing activities.
The company is a pioneer in the region, continuously improving and taking quality and safety very seriously, observed Dolphin Bay’s Darren Marillier.
Miro and Dolphin Bay reached a CCA supply agreement two years ago, and Miro asked us to commission its new timber treatment plant in Sierra Leone at the time. We identified a few problems with the efficiency of the plant, and Miro asked us to design and install the necessary improvements.
“Unfortunately, our plant wasn’t supplied by Dolphin Bay,” said George. “It came from a third party and had several technical deficiencies.”
“The curry was very tasty indeed, a proper Durbs red curry − and hot enough to fire our kiln boiler!”
Last year, Darren visited the site to take measurements, then designed the modifications and had the parts shipped to the plant. There were several delays in the shipping process, and the parts arrived in January 2023. The same month, Darren travelled to Sierra Leone again, with Dion Kotze, co-owner of our contractor SpecPipe, who had prefabricated the new piping system.
The trip required five flights and took 26 hours. George observed: “Darren and Dion arrived on a Sunday and worked till 8pm or 9pm every night to get the job done.
“Darren is a fantastic guy. If we need anything, he comes up with the idea and fulfils it. Dion was 100% professional, too.”
Darren described Dion as “an absolute Trojan and a massive asset to the project”.
The plant had no mixing facility, so we designed and provided a new mixing and circulation system. We also added a pump, to avoid the need to decant chemical manually, and introduced a new pressure release line.
The Sierra Leone plant is automated, which made the changes more complex to institute. Dolphin Bay had to co-ordinate with programmers in the UK, who updated the software remotely, working around the intermittent internet connections in Sierra Leone.
“We don’t look for faults, but for opportunities in optimising our customer’s businesses, from the flow of their sites and plant operations all the way through to opportunities in the market.”
Said Bertus: “The service we offer customers is unique, because our team enjoys what they are doing. We don’t look for faults, but for opportunities to optimise our customer’s businesses, from the flow of their sites and plant operations all the way through to opportunities in the market.
“It goes back to our slogan, ‘Knowing we can make a difference.’”
Darren added that in the evenings, he and Dion would share a meal with the Miro staff, who live on site and are “quite a social bunch”.
“Last year, George cooked for us. This year I stuck my neck out and said on my next trip, I would cook us a Durban curry. So, I packed all the necessary spices in my suitcase, and cooked up a big pot of it.”
Said George: “The curry was very tasty indeed, a proper Durbs red curry − and hot enough to fire our kiln boiler!”
Source: Dolphin Bay