MV Protection and Control Divisional News – Southern African Power Pool

Southern African Power Pool


ACTOM Protection & Control selected to provide advanced Energy Management System for Southern African Power Pool

ACTOM Protection & Control (P&C) has won a prestigious R13,7-million turnkey contract from the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) to provide an Energy Management System (EMS) to monitor the state of transmission lines (interconnectors) between the 12 SAPP member countries.

The contract was awarded in early-July this year and is scheduled for completion at the end of June 2011.

The Energy Management System collects and collates data from the various utility control centres. This information is then used to monitor the state of the interconnectors between the various utilities, including the energy transfers between the different countries. In addition, the EMS will provide load forecasts, contingency analysis, short-circuit analysis and “look-ahead” simulation scenarios.

P&C will execute the contract in close partnership with its international technology principal Alstom Grid (formerly Areva T&D), which is responsible for the design, manufacture and supply of the equipment, and a local EMS specialist company that will provide engineering support in the form of assistance with configuration, factory acceptance testing and site acceptance testing. The equipment involved comprises a control system, including an application server, historian server and various other application-specific servers.

The protocol that will be used between the various control centres is Inter Control Centre Protocol (ICCP).

SAPP, which is based in Harare, is responsible for the coordination of all energy trading taking place between the member countries.

“The contract is seen as a key project as SAPP represents all the utilities in the region,” commented Marius van Rensburg, P&C’s Sales Manager, Protection Products & Systems.

“What is unique about the EMS system is that it provides an indication of all the power flows within the whole Southern African region. At present SAPP relies on manual feedback from the various utilities, which is work intensive and time consuming. While the EMS system is not critical for day-to-day trading, it provides more up-to-date representation of the interconnect status and energy being transferred between the various utilities.”

The EMS at SAPP’s headquarters will as a start be connected via VSAT satellite links to the control centres of three major utilities, South Africa’s Eskom, Zimbabwe’s ZESA and Zambia’s ZESCO. “In the foreseeable future the VSAT link will be replaced by fibre-optic communication,” Van Rensburg stated.


ACTOM (Pty) Ltd is the largest manufacturer and distributor of electrical equipment in South Africa, employing over 6 000 people and with an annual order intake in excess of R5bn. It is a black empowered company with 27operating units, 22 production facilities and 25 distribution centres throughout South Africa.

ACTOM partners Alstom France for environmental equipment and in serving the maintenance, upgrade and retrofit market for larger boilers, as well as for railway transport activities.

ACTOM holds exclusive distribution, technology and representation rights for Alstom Grid (formerly the Transmission business of Areva T&D) in Southern Africa and maintains management, technical and commercial links to Alstom Grid business units in Europe.

Following the acquisition by Schneider Energy of the global Distribution business of Areva T&D, ACTOM and Schneider Energy are currently negotiating the local distribution, technology and representation rights with a view to finalising them later this year (2010).

ACTOM formerly traded under the name Alstom South Africa and re-branded to ACTOM in September 2009.


For further information contact Martin Kelly, ACTOM Protection & Control
PO Box 13024, Knights 1413
Tel (011) 820-5319 Fax (011) 820-5323
Press release compiled by Julian Kraft, J Kraft Public Relations
PO Box 2826 Wilropark 1731
Tel (011) 472-6686 Fax 086-613-9657

Date:  October 27, 2010