Andrew Jones, Managing Director – Europe, Middle East and Africa S&C Electric Europe Ltd. S&C are silver sponsors at the upcoming Clean Power Africa in Cape Town.
What are you most excited about currently in terms of S&C ELECTRIC’s products and solutions?
The S&C products range continues to expand as we seek to find solutions to customer problems. Currently the two areas that are gathering the most excitement from utility customers around the world are our energy storage solutions ranging from 25 kWh to 10s of MWh and our smart grid products such as IntelliRupter and TripSaver. In addition, S&C expertise on connecting renewable projects on a global basis continues to result in a strong growth in business.
What is on the calendar for S&C ELECTRIC in 2013?
The major item on our calendar is to ensure that the high growth rate achieved in 2012 is continued and the expectation is that we will see growth in excess of 50% in 2013 in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Since we only targeted Africa as a region for growth in 2012, we see our ability to understand and support the Africa needs, as critical in helping us achieve this growth. This means that recruitment is underway particularly in our service area as we increase our level of local support, which includes Africa. In May we will open in Europe our global monitoring center so that we are able to monitor and troubleshoot any issues throughout the EMEA region. A number of product enhancements will be introduced during the year that suit the African market and this will be available to be discussed at the show.
What opportunities do you see in Africa?
Africa has the ability to make a technology leap quickly so that it can start using the leading edge technology quickly, whilst learning from deployment already in the field around the world. As such S&C expects smart grid opportunities in both rural and urban environments and increased integration of renewable energy. S&C is excited about the off-grid potential in Africa as a way to get more people connected to the grid quickly and cheaper than conventional methods. We see S&C experience of global deployment coupled with our engineering team who enjoy solving customer problems, as a great way to start generating business.
What do you think makes S&C ELECTRIC competitive in this market?
S&C is a specialist solution provider so is able to tailor its solution to meet the customer needs. Since we don’t offer a one size suits all approach we believe customers understand the value we create for them and with our help can understand the life cycle benefits of any solution. We have already advised customers in Africa that in some instances our solution offer significant value but in others it is the wrong product to offer. We see building trust based on this approach as being critical for customers to understand S&C value.
What do you think are the biggest challenges to the South African/African energy market?
One of the largest challenges facing the African market is the ability to provide reliable affordable electricity for all that is available 24/7. This is likely to result in adoption of new technology and the speed that the customers embrace this change will be critical.
What surprises you about this industry?
The most pleasant surprise is how technically informed the industry is and it clearly keeping abreast of activity in the rest of the world. I think this education coupled with the realisation that new technology solutions are required will result in Africa quickly moving to the high technology innovative products. This recognition appears much higher than Europe.
Why did you decide to sponsor at Clean Power Africa?
After discussion with our local representatives we decided that this was the best event to show potential customers the innovative product range of S&C in a short period.
What will be the your main message for the event delegate and visitor?
We want to share our experience and knowledge with all delegates and visitors and would love for them to come to speak to us about problems that they can’t find solution to.
Anything you would like to add?
All visitors who leave their business cards at the stand will have the chance to win a bottle of Penderyn Welsh single malt whiskey.