Exclusive interview with Dr Miroslav Poljak, member of the Management Board of KONÄŒAR – Electrical industry Inc., Zagreb, Croatia – an exhibitor at African Utility Week
What are you most excited about currently in terms of KONÄŒAR’s products and solutions?
KONÄŒAR finished the first phase of the construction of the Pometeno brdo power plant and six wind turbines of 1.0 MW have been connected to the power supply network. The end of this phase is extremely significant as it gives us the necessary references for product export. Wind turbines are the result of KONÄŒAR’s group experts’ knowledge and development and over 80% of components are manufactured domestically. The construction was carried out by 14 KONÄŒAR group companies and 15 subcontractors from Croatia and the wind power plant will consist of fifteen wind turbines of 1.0 MW and one electrical generating unit of 2.5 MW.
Also, KONÄŒAR recently presented an autonomous power supply system for mobile operators to the world market. This is an innovative product commercially named KONÄŒAR Hybrid Power Supply, and it combines wind, solar and hydrogen power as well as battery and provides constant supply to telecommunications operators’ base stations.
The main feature of the hybrid system is over 99.9% energy availability. The entire system consists of three basic components: photovoltaic installations, wind turbines and an energy efficient container to accommodate batteries, fuel cells with hydrogen storage, resource management system and telecommunications equipment. Each of these components is a separate product which can be placed modularly according to the demands of the power expenditure, as well as the climate conditions on each location. A similar concept can be used for power supply with a higher power rating. This product was entirely developed and produced in Croatia and it is the result of long-term research and development by top experts and scientists.
A low-floor commuter train was put into operation last summer. Two prototypes of a modern train delivered to the Croatian railways included one intercity and one suburban vehicle. The main characteristics of the trains are; the state-of-the-art concept, air-conditioning, ergonomic seats and walk-through passenger compartments. The car body of the train is articulated and made up of four-part welded steel construction with two powered bogies.
KONÄŒAR also delivered one low-floor train to the Railways Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
What is on the calendar for KONÄŒAR for 2012?
KONÄŒAR’s core business is manufacturing products and doing turn-key project delivery in the areas of energy and transport. We are very proud of our hydro power plant and transformer substation engineering solutions. The main goals for 2012 are connected with R&D activities. Among them I would like to emphasise the 2.5 MW wind turbine, new generation of the gas insulated switchgear for 145 kV, a new generation of circuit breakers and insulator for high voltages, invertors for transport and renewable applications as well as very smart monitoring solution for transformers, generators and motors. Continuous development process in the fields of power, distributions and instrument transformers ensures that this year export of our transformers to 80 different countries will exceed 80% of our overall production. In addition, delivery of hydro generators to Scandinavian countries will be an excellent reference for KONÄŒAR. Among turnkey projects this year we expect the handover of two new and three completely refurbished transformer substations in Albania and the Bhvani Kattalai 2 hydropower plant in India.
What opportunities do you see in Africa?
The African market is traditionally important for KONÄŒAR, most of all regarding hydro power plants and transformer substations. KONÄŒAR has been present in the markets of Africa for more than 50 years. KONÄŒAR has delivered products and plants to more than 20 countries (Tanzania, Morocco, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Togo, The Central African Republic, Algiers, Kenya, Ruanda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, etc.). KONÄŒAR’s equipment is installed in several dozen African hydro power plants and the equipment’s reliability provides the best reference for contracting of new projects. In addition to plants, KONÄŒAR also offers individual equipment for power generation, transmission and distribution.
What do you think makes KONÄŒAR competitive in this market?
KONÄŒAR was established 91 years ago and our experience and traditions are the best reference in the market. As a knowledge based company our main strength is skilled and educated employees. KONÄŒAR also remains very active in the African market. For example, at the moment we are performing a contract signed by KONÄŒAR Generators and Motors for the Shiroro hydropower plant on the Kaduna River. This includes the complete overhaul of a generator and delivery and replacement of various spare parts. KONÄŒAR delivered four generators, each of 176.5 MVA, for Shiroro hydropower plant in 1983.
In 2011 KONÄŒAR Distribution and Special Transformers (D&ST) delivered 28 power transformers and 340 distribution transformers to Nigeria. Transformers were also delivered to Cameroon and Morocco, and our units have been in operation in Mauritius, Mozambique and Ghana. And for the Bujugali hydropower project in Uganda D&ST recently delivered six 63 MVA power transformers.
At the moment KONÄŒAR Instrument Transformers is delivering its products to the markets of the Republic of South Africa and Nigeria, and that company is also present in the markets of Egypt and Algeria.
KONÄŒAR Power Transformers has delivered more than 100 transformer units to the African markets during the latest five years. The largest recent contracts of this company are four power transformers, 405 MVA each, for the Ingula hydropower plant in the Republic of South Africa and 13 mono phase transformers for two transformer substations, 400 kV each. It is worth saying that KONÄŒAR Power Transformers is present on the African market with HVDC technology as well and that it is going to manufacture HVDC transformers for the Republic of South Africa necessary to connect JAR and Mozambique electric power systems.
What is the message for the African Utility Week delegate and visitor?
The message we would like to send to the visitors from the Republic of South Africa and neighbouring countries is to get acquainted with KONÄŒAR products and activities, since KONÄŒAR is a respectful business partner for delivery of electrical equipment for generation, transmission and distribution of electric power, transport and industry. Not only have we gained numerous references in Africa, but also recent projects we have been performing there indicate that we are ready to fulfil even the most complex requirements of any buyer.
KONÄŒAR contact details:
Marketing and information
KONÄŒAR – ELEKTROINDUSTRIJA, d.d.
Fallerovo Å¡etaliÅ¡te 22, 10000 Zagreb
tel: +385 1 3655 953, mob: +385 99 244 0021
fax: +385 1 3666 414