eThekwini Electricity R107m Contract
eThekwini Electricity has awarded a R107-million contract to ACTOM Power Transformers to produce four 315 MVA 275 kV/132 kV autotransformers for Klaarwater substation, one of the main intake substations for Durban.
It is the first contact the company has won for power transformers of these power and voltage ratings. The largest power transformers it is currently equipped to manufacture are 160 MVA 161 kV units.
“Winning this prized contract is a very important milestone for us and it greatly enhances our credibility at the most opportune time for our impending entry into the transmission sector of the market, encompassing Eskom, other power utilities in Africa and other metropolitan municipalities besides eThekwini,” commented ACTOM Power Transformers General Manager Ronnie Russell.
He explained that a R50-million expansion and upgrade of the company’s Wadeville, Germiston, plant is already well under way, having commenced in mid-2011 and due for completion at the end of April this year. The expansion will enhance the plant’s production capacity to include power transformers of up to 350 MVA and voltages of up to 300 kV.
The company won the Klaarwater contract in competition with a number of overseas and local manufacturers – all well-established producers of the higher rated units.
“Our success proves that we are up to speed on the advanced technology involved and that we are geared to produce these units at globally competitive prices. This is invaluable as a further demonstration of our credibility to the higher rated power transformers market sector we are entering – especially for end-users we haven’t previously done business with,” said Russell, adding that eThekwini is a longstanding customer of the company.
The Klaarwater contract, encompassing design, manufacture, supply, installation and testing, was awarded at the end of January this year. Delivery of the first unit is scheduled for March 2013, with the others to follow in the course of 2013 and the first half of 2014.
The new autotransformers will replace the original 250 MVA units that were installed when the substation was built over 40 years ago.
“eThekwini Electricity’s specifications for the autotransformers are based on Eskom Transmission’s specifications, though they are not exactly the same,” Russell stated.
“The conditions of contract include a requirement that the design and manufacturing techniques be reviewed and approved by a reputable international firm of transformer consultants, which in our case happens to be the same Austria-based firm that Eskom uses to perform similar procedures.”
The plant extension and upgrade currently in progress at ACTOM Power Transformers will increase the plant’s present production capacity by 30 % to a total of 3000 MVA per annum
“The extension involves a further upgrade of our test facility and a 20% increase in our total factory floor space. The new test equipment will include a new lightning impulse generator, a refurbished motor generator set and an 80 MVA transformer for conducting temperature rise tests, while the plant extension involves substantial expansion of our assembly bay,” Russell explained.
The latest plant expansion follows on a R30-million extension and upgrade that was completed in 2007, which raised the upper power rating limit of the product from 45 MVA at 132 kV to 160 MVA at 161 kV and increased production capacity by 50% to a total of 2250 MVA per annum.
ACTOM (Pty) Ltd is the largest manufacturer, repairer and distributor of electro-mechanical equipment and turnkey solutions in Southern Africa, employing about 7 500 people with an annual order intake in excess of R7.5bn. It is a black empowered company with 40 operating units, 39 production, service and repair facilities, and 26 distribution outlets throughout Southern Africa.
ACTOM partners Alstom for environmental equipment and in service, maintenance, upgrade and retrofit for larger boilers, as well as for railway transport activities. It also holds exclusive distribution, technology and representation rights for Alstom Grid in Southern Africa and maintains management, technical and commercial links to Alstom Grid business in Europe.
ACTOM has distribution and value added reseller agreements with Schneider Electric of France for a range of automation and medium voltage products.
For further information contact Ronnie Russell, ACTOM Power Transformers
PO Box 14575, Wadeville 1422
Tel (011) 824-2810 Fax (011) 827-5116
Press release compiled by Julian Kraft, J Kraft Public Relations
PO Box 2826 Wilropark 1731
Tel (011) 472-6686 Fax 086-613-9657
Date: March 6, 2012
Caption: A view of the extensions under way at ACTOM Power Transformers’ plant, showing the extension to the existing assembly bay in the foreground and the new test facility under construction in the background.