31 October 2007 – South Africa is likely to be the next high growth developing market for US based SPX Corp, which sells cooling towers and other heavy equipment used in power stations.
South Africa has been struggling with frequent blackouts and aging infrastructure but says SPX chief executive, Chris Kearney "South Africa is on the horizon as the next growth region.
"It’s being driven by the same phenomenon that’s driving growth in China, and that is the need to build a power grid."
With economic growth estimated at 4.9 percent for 2007 and climbing electricity demand, Kearney says "They are behind the curve now in terms of being able to meet power demand with respect to growth in that country,"
"It’s something that we see ramping up in the short term for people in our industry."
Eskom have unveiled a US$20 billion plan to refurbish existing power plants, as well as develop new coal and nuclear plants. Eskom has also committed to buying all power produced by independent power producers and Kearney said SPX would consider stepping up its presence in South Africa if demand developed.
"The business presence that we’ve had there has been more of a maintenance mode," Kearney said. "We do have a manufacturing presence there and certainly capacity to expand."