Matimba power station
“’ one of the big spenders
on energy efficiency
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 23 February 2011 – The drive towards energy efficiency, and high demand for infrastructure, in Southern Africa were among factors behind an 8.8% increase in ABB SA’s orders for the year to December, according to the company.

‘Business Day’ reports that ABB SA said the increase in orders was indicative of continuing expenditure in power and automation by local companies such as national power utility Eskom.

In November, ABB SA “’ a subsidiary of global power and automation technologies group ABB “’ won an order worth R43 million from Eskom to supply medium-voltage switchgear, protection and supervisory control and data acquisition equipment for the Kusile coal-fired power station in Mpumalanga.

ABB SA said its revenue for the past year was down 5% to R2.8 billion. It attributed the drop to timing, with some of the payments not having been received by year-end. The payments had since been received, and, as a result, the group had maintained the previous year’s revenue.

CEO Carlos Pone pointed out that: “As energy efficiencies remain a significant driver for customers to reduce costs, we continued to see increased product and systems business flow.”

ABB SA said its power business had secured several large projects because of a trend to strengthen power transmission infrastructure and interconnect power grids in Southern Africa.

Apart from Eskom’s Kusile power station, key projects included an R800 million transmission system upgrade for Société Nationale d’Électricité in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and an electrical balance of plant solution for Eskom’s Ingula pumped storage scheme for R173 million.

The company said its automation business had also benefited from demand for industrial energy efficiency and service. Key projects during the year included power infrastructure and automation systems for the Moatize coal mine project in Mozambique, a rectifiers order of R12 million for Boss Mining in the Katanga province in the DRC, and excitation systems orders of R146 million for Eskom’s Matimba power station.