25 September 2008
Multinational power and automation technology company ABB has won a US$75-million (about R612.1-million) order from state company Eskom to supply and install circuit breakers to strengthen South Africa’s electricity network.
“We are proud to support Eskom in this critical period of strengthening the power grid,” ABB Power Products head Bernhard Jucker said in a statement this week.
“Our production capabilities, together with the expertise of the local teams that will install and commission the equipment, helped us secure what is one of ABB’s largest-ever orders for circuit breakers.”
ABB will deliver about 2 000 circuit breakers with operating voltages of 66 kV and 132 kV over a five-year period, and will take responsibility for their installation and commissioning.
The circuit breakers help protect electrical equipment from damage caused by current surges and will assist in enhancing the safety and reliability of the electricity network.
Eskom is spending billions to rehabilitate South Africa’s electricity network and double generation capacity.
Eskom recently began construction on the Kusile coal-fired base load power station near Witbank in the Mpumalanga province, while work on the Medupi coal-fired base load power station, situated near Lephalale in the Limpopo province, began in April this year.
The first of Medupi’s six generating units will be commissioned by early 2011, with the last unit scheduled for commissioning by January 2015. The first of Kusile’s six generating units is scheduled for completion by 2013, followed by the completion on an additional unit after every eight months.
Eskom has also called for statements of qualification from local and international companies interested in investing in South Africa as independent power producers.
“We are seeing Eskom speeding up their projects to upgrade the infrastructure in South Africa and will continue to support them on the supply and technical aspects,” said ABB iouth Africa country manager Carlos Pone.
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