Ute Menikheim,
Head of Energy
Sector, Siemens
 
3 April 2012 – The Siemens Power Academy, an R8 million training investment, is to be officially launched in the Mpumalanga Province, in eMalahleni, on Thursday the 5th of April, 2012. The academy provides instrumentation and controls (I&C) training focused on fossil power generation to learners already in the energy industry working for power utilities, such as Eskom.

"This milestone local value-add initiative will ensure that our customers in Africa are able to receive the essential skills and training closer to their home countries,” says Ute Menikheim, the head of the energy sector for Siemens Africa. In the past, this type of instrumentation and control training was originally only offered in Europe and America. Today, Siemens has two power academies on the African continent, in Nigeria and in South Africa.

Menikheim says locating the centre in Mpumalanga was a strategic move as most of South Africa’s power stations are located in that province. “We have to centralise our skills transfer base to be close to our customers, also for operations and maintenance purposes as availability and reliability is currently one of our customers’ main focuses.” she says. South Africa is also the main power house of Africa’s energy sector.

The academy provides training for major customers like Eskom in South Africa and also major customers from Africa’s power producers in countries such as Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. “Other countries, i.e. Turkey, also utilise the Siemens Power Academy,” reports Chris Waddicor, business unit leader at Siemens, who oversees the academy’s activities.

The academy’s training portfolio comprises the I&C-System SPPA-T3000, the fourth generation I&C-system to boost profitability, reliability and ease of use, the SPPA-T2000, the reference class for power plant DCS. It offers information from basic knowledge and fundamentals of automation and I&C to detailed engineering, maintenance and operation skills in power and oil and gas industries. The training portfolio also comprises the process optimisation system (SPPA-P3000) and the turbine controls, an innovative solution for turbines (SPPA-R3000).

Dependent on the demand of the users further training opportunities can also include the electrical systems SPPA-E3000, the future-proven electrical solutions engineered for power plants as unit protection and synchronisation, excitation systems and SFC, switchgear control and protection for all types of power plants as well as energy management solutions (SPPA-M3000) to increase plant performance.

“We cover the physical, technological and environmental challenges that help our customers build a technical bench-strength and to ensure an adaptable, flexible and highly trained workforce,” Waddicor says.