Komatsu’s next phase of its R1 bn campus development unearthed

Komatsu’s next phase of its R1 bn campus development unearthed

Artist’s impression of the new 300 000m² Komatsu Campus in Tunney, Germiston, Gauteng.

Earth-moving equipment giant, Komatsu, has partnered with Investec Property to consolidate its head office operations, warehouse and distribution centres as well as its workshops and remanufacturing facilities into one centralised property.

The new 300 000 m2 Komatsu development in Tunney, Germiston in Gauteng will be one of the largest industrial campuses in the country.

“As a central hub from which Komatsu will direct its extensive operations and activities in Southern Africa, the ownership and development of this campus in Gauteng signals the company’s unwavering commitment to doing business in the region,” says Mike Blom, managing director of Komatsu Africa Holdings (Pty) Ltd.

“Our current head office support operations are conducted from three different locations and this makes it difficult logistically and limits our ability to effectively and efficiently support our operations and customers. By consolidating all our head office functions into one campus we will be able to improve our customer support as well as have sufficient space for further expansion in the future.”

The requirements of the new Komatsu Campus are substantial and complex – it needs to have the space, technology and capabilities for Komatsu to serve the mining, construction and utility markets in South Africa and all of southern Africa.

Blom says the project will put Komatsu‘s sales and service functions in an ideal position to capitalise on market resurgence opportunities within the short, medium and long term. At the same time, it will serve to improve further the extent of Komatsu’s field and technical service offerings.

Investec Property (Pty) Ltd, a division of Investec Limited, is a recognised property developer, property investor and property fund manager. Operating in South Africa for over 40 years, Investec Property has expanded internationally and has businesses based in the United Kingdom and Australia.

“The Greenhills property is exceptionally well located and Investec Property’s team of experts have provided a turnkey solution for the entire Komatsu Campus project – from concept and design, through the land acquisition, to construction and delivery of the completed developments,” says Investec’s David Rosmarin.

“The first phase of development, a 22 000m2 state-of-the-art parts distribution centre, was completed in just nine months. The warehouse has the largest floor without a joint in the country, and rises 13m from floor to eaves. As a result, semi-automated turrets operating within the warehouse can retrieve items from the highest access points with an unprecedented degree of accuracy and safety.”

He says the warehouse floor is an example of excellence in engineering design innovation and precision; the entire floor is based on a post-tensioned cabling system that makes use of 132km of steel cable.

“The strategic decision to place the concentration of Southern African operations in one area will unlock some significant benefits. From a logistics and efficiency perspective, there will be improved workflow and productivity benefits, as well as the chance for face to face communication across all departments. Komatsu will be able to ensure its facilities are built to the highest level of safety requirements, making sure employees areas of work are safe.

“Products, parts and service capabilities will be in one single location. Another long-term goal for Komatsu is a training area, which will facilitate product demonstrations, and provide new operators with experience in operating Komatsu earth-moving equipment. The new training centre will incorporate a hands-on training area – ensuring greater skills training for the technical teams of support staff,” says Blom.

“The first phase of construction has gone exceptionally well. We will continue to consolidate our head office functions into the new campus, which will include the relocation of Isando branch as well as Reman and the head office.”

Construction on phase two of the campus development started in July 2017. Komatsu has become the owner of the land, since the commencement of the project, and Investec Property remains the preferred developer for the entire project, which is estimated at over R1 billion.

The new phase two unit is expected to be fully operational by September 2018. Completion of the new Komatsu Campus in its entirety is scheduled for 2021 to coincide with Komatsu’s 100th anniversary.