14 August 2012
South African state power company Eskom has signed two software licence agreements with global software company Ventyx in a deal worth US$7-million (about R56-million) to improve its real-time network monitoring and control of operations.
Ventyx is an ABB company – one of the world’s leading engineering, power and automation companies operating in over 100 countries – and supplies industrial enterprise software to the energy, mining and public infrastructure industries.
“Eskom will undertake the largest implementation in Africa of Ventyx’s supervisory control and data acquisition/distribution management system,” Ventyx said in a statement last week.
This will allow for greater control of Eskom’s operations, as the distribution management system provides access to critical system data to a number of users.
Practically, this means that Eskom can use the system to reduce the impact of outages by locating and isolating faults faster, as well as reducing demand and system losses without affecting customer load.
The deployment of Ventyx’s equipment reliability solution in Eskom’s Koeberg nuclear power station near Cape Town will also assist the utility.
“Ventyx Equipment Reliability is designed to help improve processes, equipment reliability and performance within power generation, transmission and distribution operations,” the company said.
According to Ventyx, Eskom is regarded as one of the top seven utilities in the world in generation capacity and in the top nine for sales volumes. “The new contracts represent a significant expansion of Ventyx’s footprint with Eskom and further cements our leadership in Africa’s fast expanding electrical utility market,” said Ventyx’s sales director in Africa, Johan Engelbrecht.
Eskom also generates about 95% of the electricity used in South Africa, as well as approximately 45% of the electricity in the rest of Africa.
“With an increasingly urban population, demand for electricity in Africa is rising fast, increasing pressure on utilities to maximize the availability and efficiency of their networks,” Engelbrecht said.
“Ventyx network management and equipment reliability solutions help utilities reduce operating and maintenance costs while improving reliability of service.”