HomeFeatures/AnalysisExclusive interview with Johan Helberg

Exclusive interview with Johan Helberg

Helberg is the Siemens Country Manager, Kenya. Siemens is a longstanding partner of African Utility Week and a silver sponsor at this year’s edition in Cape Town in May.

What Siemens products and services benefit the utility and energy industries?
Siemens addresses the new challenges of energy systems and provides a reliable basis for today’s energy landscape, where digitalization holds the key to mastering these new challenges.

Siemens focuses on three key areas of energy, namely; connecting grids, agility in energy and totally integrated power.

What African projects is Siemens currently involved in?
Siemens is involved in a number of high-profile projects across Africa. These include the delivery of five HV 40&20MVA mobile substations to Eskom, the new rail line project for supply of coal to Majuba power station, as well as the Ethiopia/Kenya HVDC interconnect project.

Where in Africa’s energy sectors is Siemens focusing for growth?

East Africa in particular is focusing on accelerated energy generation and infrastructure investment to maintain and sustain its current economic growth. However, Siemens is entirely focused and fully-committed to the entire African continent.

What are the main challenges in the power and energy industry at the moment in your view?
Many of Africa’s current infrastructure, networks and assets are ageing and are sometimes not fully capable of meeting the modern energy mix and consumer requirements. From this perspective, the main challenge is how to upgrade to the appropriate technology and operating standards, how to expand the networks and how to finance these investments to bring value to the stakeholders.

What is your vision for this sector?
My vision is for the African energy sector to become fully automated and digitalized and to achieve a fully dynamic and agile grid that meets the demands of its consumer base, in addition to having the robustness and analytical capabilities to connect all forms of energy while meeting modern requirements.

Siemens is a longstanding partner of African Utility Week, tell us more about your contribution to the event this year and what your message will be?
Being at AUW has brought many benefits to Siemens in recent years and we look forward to this year’s event, and what it will bring.

Our contribution to AUW 2017 is as follows;
–    Siemens SA CEO Sabine Dall’Omo to deliver keynote address at World Gas to Power Congress
–    Global launch of a groundbreaking new smart metering solution
–    Hosting an effective and interactive exhibition (stand J6) to showcase the portfolio, capabilities and services that Siemens offers to the utility sector
–    The discussion of some key topics supporting localization
–    Experts delivering white papers in three technology areas
–    Siemens technical experts (local & international) will explain principles and share best practises in the areas of meter data management solutions, transmission solutions, monitoring and diagnostics, and traditional energy systems
–    Promoting the various educational initiatives that Siemens drives and supports, both locally and internationally, in supporting and shaping future energy engineers
–    Hosting a VIP cocktail event that brings together some of the sector’s best minds to interact in an informal setting

How important is African Utility Week on the utility calendar?
AUW is the prime event in South Africa on our utility calendar.

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.