Modular Kitchen for Mining Camp to Feed 1,000

PKL worked with a world-renowned structure and logistics expert to provide a large scale modular camp used to support workers at a gold mine in Mali.

We were required to design and supply a kitchen solution that could cope with the logistical demands of feeding a 1,000-strong workforce, which was linked onto other modular buildings that made up the whole camp facility.

The design and delivery of the kitchen was particularly challenging given the location of the project, and required a company who had the expertise and experience of providing modular facilities capable of feeding a large number of people at a remote site.

Drawing on our 25 years of experience delivering large scale modular facilities to locations such as the UAE, Afghanistan, Senegal and Angola, a kitchen was designed to cope with the extreme heat and dustiness of the Malian countryside. The site itself was located seven hours from the nearest city, and required detailed logistical planning to ensure that the kitchen units were delivered to site on time without costly planning omissions.

A close working relationship with the main camp structure provider was required from an early stage, as well as proactive engagement with their site team to plan and coordinate the installation of the kitchen and to make sure it remained on budget. Additionally, PKL worked closely with an on-site construction team to create plans for foundations and unit construction and their deployment at the camp.

The kitchen design required a bespoke air conditioning system that would be able to deal with the high ambient temperatures in Mali and the demands of the long hours that it would be in operation, without adding significant cost to the project. Additionally, all of the catering equipment specified in the kitchen was American standard, and therefore required special consideration to ensure that the power and electrical distribution within the facility took this into account.

Due to the number of workers on site and the small area that was available relative to the amount of diners who would be using the facility, the servery area had to be designed to maximise throughput during busy periods. To achieve this, a symmetrical U-shaped servery area with an island in the middle was designed. Additionally, a theatre-style cooking operation was provided as the kitchen and canteen needed to be operational 24 hours a day, allowing the workforce to have food made to order at any time of day if required.

Using our in-house expertise, the project was able to progress quickly and efficiently, through regular consultation between our designers, the equipment suppliers and the main structure provider. We were also responsible for building and managing relationships with the supply chain when constructing the kitchen, to ensure that it was delivered to our own quality standards and those required by the main structure provider.

When delivering the project, Mali was under a heightened state of security which meant that continual risk assessment and close cooperation with the client’s security team was required to ensure the safety of workers undertaking the project.

Despite a challenging design brief and the remote location, the structure provider was able to rely on us to deliver the modular kitchen part of the camp, allowing them to concentrate on the construction of the rest of the facility. This was helped by our turnkey service offer, which included the management of the installation process and the supervision of workers during the construction and commissioning phase of the kitchen.

The kitchen took just three months to deliver and install, and was handed over on time and on budget. Following the installation, we also provided a comprehensive spares pack and training to staff using the kitchen to ensure that once it had been handed over, the risk of downtime due to equipment misuse or breakdowns was reduced. We continue to provide warranty cover for all parts following the completion of the installation.

PKL Operations Director Chris Irving said: “Once on site, the project required a very quick turnaround in a region that presents multiple logistical challenges. Using our in-house design team, we quickly created a solution that fitted the complexity of the project, met with our own exacting standards, and delivered the project quickly and at the right price”.

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