South Africa’s electricity landscape is undergoing a significant transformation, driven by the introduction of new generation capacity from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and the planned integration of renewable energy sources. ACTOM High Voltage Equipment, a Division of ACTOM Group stands at the forefront of this evolution, ready to play a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s future power grid. In line with the Transmission Development Plan, of which Eskom said it has approved “the execution of R26 billion in capital investment” for transmission, with two priority programmes already in the pipeline to “accelerate the delivery of the transmission infrastructure.” ACTOM High Voltage Equipment is committed to providing cutting-edge solutions that will ensure the reliable and efficient transmission and distribution of electricity, enabling the nation to harness the full potential of its diverse energy mix.
ACTOM High Voltage specialises in the supply of products crucial to the transmission of electricity, with its equipment being manufactured locally, as well as imported from its global technology partners.
The company is currently positioning itself to participate in Eskom’s latest Transmission Development Plan (TDP2022), which calls for a significant acceleration in grid-related investments to facilitate the integration of 53GW of new generation capacity, mostly renewables, over the next 10 years. The plan outlines the construction of 14 218km of new high-voltage transmission lines, the construction of 170 transformers, 40 capacitors and 52 reactors.
“We are currently looking at various options to increase our capacity and resources to meet the demand for products and services in terms of Eskom’s TDP2022. We have already started looking at expanding our manufacturing capacity of our local factories by about 40% and are in discussions with our global partners to increase our import volumes, by having access to more of their factories than we currently have” says Casbah Zwane, Divisional Chief Executive Officer at ACTOM High Voltage Equipment.
Solid track record
Zwane explains that ACTOM High Voltage has a long and solid track record in South Africa and on the continent, having supplied transmission and distribution equipment to Eskom and other utilities for the past 50 years. Despite being deployed decades ago, a lot of this infrastructure remains functional, with ACTOM High Voltage performing regular maintenance and upgrades as needed by their customers.
“This talks to the reliability of the products that we manufacture locally and source from our partners. We pride ourselves on the high quality of our products and the aftersales support that we provide to customers from within our organisation,” he says.
“ACTOM High Voltage has been the backbone of countless electrification projects in South Africa and our products have been instrumental in powering a staggering 80-90% of grid-tied renewable projects locally.”
The company’s locally honed expertise, quality products and ability to offer local support is what Zwane says will give ACTOM High Voltage the edge over foreign competitors that are expected to enter the local market to participate in Eskom’s TDP2022. According to Zwane, ACTOM High Voltage is therefore in a very strong position as a manufacturer, supplier, and service provider in the transmission space to take a leading role in the implementation of Eskom’s TDP2022.
Green energy solutions
To meet the demands of the TDP2022, Zwane says the company is also investing significantly in green energy solutions and products as part of its contribution to a sustainable future and Eskom’s decarbonisation initiatives.
“The TDP2022’s plans for expanding renewable energy generation will heavily impact new transmission infrastructure. So, we are making quite a substantial investment, as we are not only investing in research and development but also new manufacturing processes, aftersales support, and new testing procedures,” he says.
Zwane further notes that the plan will ultimately provide tremendous opportunities for business growth and will also have significant positive socio-economic impacts, in terms of reindustrialising the country and creating much-needed employment.
“Over the past four or five years, there has been very limited investment in the country’s transmission network, forcing many businesses in this space to downscale their operations. As the TDP2022 comes into effect, we expect to see a massive ramp-up in activity and capacity expansion, which will be positive not just for the industry but also for the entire economy,” concludes Zwane.