13 March 2008
US industrial manufacturer SPX Corporation has reaffirmed its commitment to continued growth and expansion in South Africa, saying it expects to play a meaningful role in helping meet the country’s growing energy infrastructure needs.
“South Africa is on the horizon as the next growth region,” SPX CEO Christopher Kearney said during a visit to Johannesburg this week. “We have a strong commitment to growing our business here over the long term and continuing to invest in our facilities and employee base.”
According to a statement issued by the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company on Wednesday, its thermal equipment and services affiliate was awarded a US$235-million contract from Hitachi Power Africa to provide critical products for South Africa’s new Medupi power station, being constructed in Limpopo province.
As per the contract, SPX will supply the power plant with pressure parts for six 800-megawatt boilers, as well as jet fabric filters and air pre-heaters designed to reduce emissions and enhance the productivity and efficiency of the plant.
“We look forward to working with Hitachi on outfitting Eskom’s new Medupi power plant and to future opportunities in which SPX can assist with the South African government’s broader energy infrastructure initiatives,” Kearney said.
South African expansion
Kearney was in South Africa to meet with customers, including Hitachi Power Africa, and tour SPX facilities such as the company’s Nigel factory. The facility is undergoing an expansion which will be complete by November.
SPX has a presence in South Africa through SPX Cooling Technologies/DB Thermal and Balcke-Durr, which supply cooling towers and thermal components for power plants and serve as a major provider of service for existing power plants.
The company has 50 employees working for its process equipment business in the region, as well as approximately 500 permanent and contract employees working at offices in Woodmead and Nigel and at four major sites, including Camden, Komati, Sasol Secunda and KBR Sasol.
The company has been involved in various international projects, notably the European Pressurised Reactor nuclear power plant in Olkiluotto, Finland, where SPX supplied four high-pressure heaters. Weighing in at 120 tons each, the heaters were manufactured in South Africa.
Most recently, the companies played an integral role in returning the mothballed Camden, Komati and Grootvlei coal-fired power plants to active service.