19 August 2013 - The Zest WEG group, the South African subsidiary of Brazilian motor and controls manufacturer WEG, has acquired the entire business of Hawker Siddeley Electric Africa in South Africa, subject to conditions precedent.

Hawker Siddeley is recognised among the pioneers of mini substations and has become one of the largest manufacturers of mini substations, unit substations and distribution transformers in South Africa, with the capability to design and manufacture the complete range presently in use in the country’s industrial sector.

Louis Meiring, chief executive officer of the Zest WEG group, says the rationale behind the acquisition is that while Zest has enjoyed tremendous success in the African market with the supply of large transformers — typically 20 MW and larger — it has not been able to participate in the transformer sector with products from 50 kVA to 20 MVA, in both distribution transformers and mini substations.

“It made absolute sense to fill this gap in our product range via an acquisition that would give us instant access to a product segment in which historically we could not compete. The acquisition means that we can now make the most of opportunities to supply a spectrum of our products on a turnkey basis. Pursuing this route will also give us a cost leadership advantage.  

“In addition, the acquisition is in line with our philosophy of localisation and local investment and aligns with the localisation requirements of Eskom and other parastatals.”

Meiring adds that the acquisition has come just at the right time for the Zest WEG group, which is making robust progress against its holding company’s 2020 strategic plan. The plan, initiated by WEG headquarters in Brazil in 2011, is poised to accelerate the expansion of its global network of businesses and manufacturing plants and is expected to ensure that the Group increases its sales by at least 17% year-on-year until 2020, when it aims to arrive at a turnover of US$10 billion.

“We intend to recapitalise the Hawker Siddeley business in the form of investment in new equipment and training,” he says. Hawker Siddeley mini substations and unit substations have a range of 100 kVA to 1,000 kVA in voltages up to 22 kV. The company specialises in type ‘B’ mini substations, fabricated in mild steel or 3CR12 corrosion resistant steel as recommended in SABS 1029, 1030 and NRS004, with the transformer section complying with SABS 780 and NRS005.

The standard size mini substations consist of 100 kVA, 160 kVA, 200 kVA, 315 kVA, 500 kVA, 630 kVA, 800 kVA and 1,000 kVA units. HT and LT switchgear can be provided to suit individual requirements, with advice and recommendations on the most appropriate switchgear provided by the company’s experienced engineers.

Hawker Siddeley’s standard distribution, power and special application transformers range from 50 kVA to 10,000 kVA in voltages up to 66 kV with off-load tap-switch or on- load tap-changers. In addition, the company manufactures special application units for mining, industrial, rectifier/traction, converter and thyristor drive applications. Dimensions are always within SABS recommendations.

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