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March 2017 www.coalage.com 29 plant engineering Using Operational Experience to Better Engineer Projects DRA Taggart is looking to expand globally while maintaining its leadership position in North America by steve fiscor, editor-in-chief Those who witnessed that last major build- out of U.S. coal preparation plants will likely remember that Taggart Global was the engineering firm that led the charge with much of the engineering, design and construction work. In July 2013, Taggart Global, which was having financial diffi- culties, was acquired by Forge Group, an engineering, procurement and construc- tion management (EPCM) firm based in Perth, Australia, for $43 million plus an ad- ditional $25 million of potential earn-out payments. Forge's parent company went into administration. One year later, DRA Group Holdings Pty Ltd., a global multidis- ciplinary engineering group that originated in South Africa and specializes in mining, minerals processing and infrastructure ser- vices, stepped forward and rescued what remained of Taggart Global. The Taggart acquisition added exten- sive experience in coal preparation and diverse mineral and aggregate handling systems in North America, Africa, Australia and China to DRA's mix. At the time, DRA had offices and operations in nine African countries, Australia, Canada, China and India. The Taggart business was rebranded DRA Taggart and consolidated into DRA's operations in the Americas. The business climate, especially as it re- lates to coal mining and processing, forced a lot of companies to readjust their strategies, and DRA Taggart was no different. Some former Taggart executives in the Pittsburgh office were relieved of their duties last year as DRA initiated an aggres- sive cleanup campaign. In October 2016, Wray Carvelas was appointed CEO for DRA Group Holdings and he is also an executive director of DRA Group Holdings, based out of the DRA Americas Toronto office in Canada. With a background in process engineering, he spent his formative years at the mines at Anglo Gold and De Beers and then joined DRA as a project manager more than 16 years ago. It's safe to say he has seen the mineral processing business from just about every angle, moving from an operations position to managing proj- ects through to business management and development. Outside of China, DRA Taggart, togeth- er with DRA's global coal experience, is the largest engineering contractor as far as delivering coal handling and preparation facilities. "Combining the two companies doubled our size over our nearest compet- itor," Carvelas said. "Together we have for- midable coal experience around the globe." The Rebuilding Process Begins The Taggart business had three compo- nents when DRA acquired it: project engi- neering and construction, coal operations, and energy operations (a Refined Coal Operations business). "The shining star at the time of the acquisition was the Refined Coal Operations business, and it has con- tinued to grow and we are pleased with its performance," Carvelas said. "We needed to steady the ship on the project engineer- ing and construction side of the business. There were some internal management is- sues and we needed to adjust the business to handle the diminished pipeline of proj- ects and make sure that the business could stand on its own two feet. We reduced the DRA Taggart designed and engineered the new Donkin prep plant (above) in Nova Scotia.