Clean Power Africa

Dean Pratt

Interview with Dean Pratt, MarelliMotori’s Regional Manager Africa.  MarelliMotori is once again platinum sponsor for Hydropower Africa. 

What is on the calendar for the African region for Marelli Motori for 2012?
In terms of exhibitions, we will exhibit at the AUW 2012, Mine Entra and HPA 2012. These exhibitions allow MarelliMotori to showcase our constant strive to continuous development, investments in both equipment and people, training on new technologies, global vision, flexibility, customer focus with attention to strategic markets such as renewable energies, power generation, mines as well as oil and gas sectors.
What projects in South Africa/Africa are you particularly excited about?  How important is the African market for your company?
The African market is extremely important to MarelliMotori and to prove this we have been present in Africa, based in Johannesburg, South Africa since 2001. We see the renewable energy market amongst others which represent approximately 25% of total turnover (co-generation and hydropower) as a further opportunity to contribute to the African continents growth.

What were highlights/success stories from last year?
The highlights from last year are simply our continued growth and acceptance on the African continent. This is due to our continued presence, top of the range product and as part of its commitment to its customers MarelliMotori has in place a global support structure through the MarelliMotori sales, service and distribution support structure with offices located in: Italy, Great Britain, Germany, Asia Pacific, North America and South Africa. From these international locations MarelliMotori qualified personnel can travel to all parts of the world in response to its customers’ needs. Coupled with this is that approximately 15% of the South African office total inventory is “genuine” Marelli spare parts. Marelli Motori was awarded Rolls Royce award as the best supplier of the year 2010 – marine sector. Marelli Motori was also selected by key middle east and African Oil and Gas users to serve the recent plant development.
Some recent projects completed   
a) Hwange Power Station (Zimbabwe): 4 x 930kw, 3300v, 992rpm MarelliMotori motors with heat exchangers and sleeve bearings. It was a bespoke solution, designed, manufactured and supplied by Marelli Motori to meet the most stringent environmental and performance requirements. Further, the MarelliMotori test room was able to verify that design conditions were satisfied prior to shipment to the power plant.
b) Indeni Refinery (Zambia): We supplied a 300kw, 3300v electric motor. It was also a bespoke solution.
c) Marupupele(Botswana): We have supplied the 1700kva, 11kv generator. This has since been successfully installed and commissioned.
Where are your goals for Marelli Motori in Africa?   
Sub Sahara Africa because of its proximity to South Africa. Successful areas for our products in this region are South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe. We have also seen growth in Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia. Further afield we have highlighted growth points for our product as follows, Angola, DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria and Tanzania.
How do you overcome the challenges that the continent presents?
Africa is a diverse continent with many different challenges namely, logistics, poor infrastructure, bad planning and in many regions little or no connectivity to the national grid. However, as Africa is blessed with an abundance of natural resources the world is looking this way as a possible growth point. Herein lays opportunities for MarelliMotori as we can offer the African market:  

a) Value for money.
b) Onsite service and customer care are also provided on request once the unit is operational on site.
c) Training.
d) Customer focus.
e) Flexible in our approach to customers’ needs.
f) Large value of our stock holding is of “genuine” Marelli spare parts.
g) Diverse product portfolio.
h) Global MarelliMotori sales, service and distribution support structure
What do you think are the main challenges for the hydropower industry?
The key of the future success consists of a global approach with design and manufacturing capabilities capable to serve specific market needs.
The alternator supplier is part of a team, not just a supplier of a component.
High efficiency, minimum environmental and social impacts, reliability, smart grid requirements (e.g. Fault Ride Through) are the current challenges for the  hydro market.

You have been involved with hydropower Africa for 3 years now, why do we return?
Marelli Motori can boast in excess of over 600 installed hydropower units on a worldwide basis. In fact renewable energy which includes (co-generation and hydropower) is a strategic growing segment for MarellliMotori. MarelliMotori see this an opportunity to help keep the lights on in Africa in applying our expertise in mini and micro hydropower solutions as well as co-generation (biomass).
MarelliMotori milestones
MarelliMotori was founded in 1891.
In 2008 became part of the Melrose group of companies.
Manufacturing companies in Italy and Malaysia.
The Malaysian manufacturing plant in started production in 2011.
Sales offices in Italy: Arzignano (VI), Milano and Firenze.
Sales office in Spain: Barcelona.
Subsidiary companies in UK, Germany, USA, Malaysia and South Africa.
A distribution network all over the world.
Leading supplier to the power generation, Industrial, Petrochemical, Renewable and Marine Industries sectors offering a complete range of Low, Medium and High Voltage Motors and Generators
Rolls Royce prize as marine supplier of the year award.
Many Oil & Gas end user approvals.
SABS approved (South Africa).
Showcasing our talents in 22 exhibitions worldwide during 2012.