MV Switchgear Divisional News – Upgrade of eThekwini Electricity substations

Upgrade of eThekwini Electricity substations


ACTOM MV Switchgear supplies fixed pattern switchgear for upgrade of eThekwini Electricity substations

eThekwini Electricity last year awarded a groundbreaking three-year contract to ACTOM MV Switchgear to supply state-of-the-art fixed pattern switchgear.

This is part of the electrical department’s current programme to supply electricity to new areas and for the replacement of old oil type switchgear in existing substations.

eThekwini Municipality is the first local authority in South Africa to adopt fixed pattern switchgear on a large scale. “They are taking the lead in this respect and we expect other municipalities to follow suit in due course because of the significant advantages of the new technology,” commented Alec Duff, ACTOM MV Switchgear’s Marketing Manager.

The contract has been in force for just under a year, with the company having supplied to date 76 fixed pattern 11 kV units.

The Genie-Evo units are of the fixed pattern, air-insulated, compact, vacuum circuit breaker type, manufactured by ACTOM’s international technology partner, Schneider T&D. The units are customised at the ACTOM Knights works. The local customisation includes the engineering and supply of current transformers, protection relays, wiring and testing of the complete units.

ACTOM MV Switchgear is also responsible for sourcing and supplying some of the ancillary equipment, as well as for installation and cold commissioning of the units in the various eThekwini substations.

“The main advantages of the Genie-Evo fixed pattern units is that, firstly, they require less maintenance, which reduces operating costs and also makes them safer because operating staff are less exposed to live parts, and secondly, they are a lot more compact, so they can be housed in a smaller substation building,” Duff stated.

ACTOM (Pty) Ltd is the largest manufacturer and distributor of electrical equipment in South Africa, employing about 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 Electric of the global Distribution business of Areva T&D, the distribution, technology and representation agreements that existed between ACTOM and Areva will remain in place until such time as a new agreement has been concluded.

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


For further information contact Alec Duff, ACTOM MV Switchgear

PO Box 13024, Knights 1413

Tel (011) 820-5145 Fax (011) 820-5212

Press release compiled by Julian Kraft, J Kraft Public Relations

PO Box 2826 Wilropark 1731

Tel (011) 472-6686 Fax 086-613-9657

Date:  April 13, 2011

Caption:  Alec Duff, ACTOM MV Switchgear’s Marketing Manager, examines some of the Genie-Evo fixed pattern switchgear units that eThekwini Electricity has contracted the company to supply and install in its substations.