Ralf Hennecke appointed managing director of BME

By Dominic Ellis
New BME managing director Ralf Hennecke will oversee growth plans across its global markets

Ralf Hennecke has been appointed managing director of BME, a division of the Omnia Group, from this month.

Hennecke was acting managing director since March last year, following a two-year spell as general manager, marketing & technology, and previously held the position of customer commercial & marketing for four years. Overall, he has been part of BME’s executive team for over 20 years.

“It is an honour to accept this role, and with the support of my team, we are deeply committed to executing on BME’s growth plans across our global markets. We will achieve this through consistent product, technology and services delivery, close customer and stakeholder relationships and partnerships, whilst playing our part as a responsible and sustainable corporate citizen in the mining sector," he said.

BME is a leading manufacturer and supplier of explosives products, technology and blasting services to the mining, quarrying and construction industries across many African countries, Asia Pacific and North America. It has a balanced presence in sectors that are essential to the sustainable use of the world’s finite resources and focuses on developing intellectual property to add value to the global mining sector. Its principal product ranges cover bulk emissions, packaged explosives and initating systems. 

The recent launch of AXXIS Titanium, an advanced electronic blast detonation system, along with greater customer focus on ESG and innovative technology will play a key role in driving growth, while the “Blast Alliance” approach will further entrench the division’s reputation as a collaborative partner.

“In line with Omnia’s growth strategy, it is vital to ensure that we have the leadership bench strength required to achieve our ambitions. It thus gives me great pleasure to welcome Ralf in his new role. His wealth of experience and understanding of our Group allows us to continue to execute on our growth strategy," said Seelan Gobalsamy, ceo of the Omnia Group.

Last month BME was recognised by the Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA) for its contribution to a cleaner environment – winning the CAIA Responsible Care initiative of the year award, in the company projects: Category A segment, during an online award ceremony. The award was for BME’s incorporation of used oil as a base product for its emulsion explosives, removing the risk that this oil could contaminate water or soil, and forms part of its ESG commitment.

The AXXIS Titanium system was built for the blaster and blast engineers "who work with the product every day,” said Hennecke. “The robustness of the wire, the easy-to-use interface and the improved integration will improve efficiency in terms of time, data and reporting.”

He started his career in 1987 at Rand Mines, was employed at Johannesburg Consolidated Investments (JCI), and joined Omnia BME in 1995.

Alongside a deep operational, marketing, sales, commercial and technical expertise, he played a key role in BME’s recent global corporate development and strategy. In July, he was promoted to the position of managing director for BME SADC. 

Omnia has been in business for 61 years, with its head office in Johannesburg, and the group’s operations extend across Africa, Australasia and Brazil. 

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