Feb 14, 2013
ABB reaffirms SA’s gateway status as orders rise to R4.3bnBack
ABB Group|ABB South Africa|Motors|New ABB South Africa|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Africa|Pakistan|South Africa|United Arab Emirates|USD|Longmeadow Facility|Automation|Electricity Costs|Energy Efficiency Positions|Manufacturing Capacity|Motors|Renewable Energy Sector|Southern Gulf|Carlos Po|Joe Hogan|Leon Viljoen|Motors|Limpopo|South Africa
© Reuse this
New ABB South Africa CEO Leon Viljoen, who took over from Carlos Poñe on February 1, told Engineering News Online that he remained optimistic about prospects for both South Africa and the region.
Poñe, who delivered his fourteenth and final results presentation at the company’s Longmeadow facility, in Gauteng, had already relocated to the United Arab Emirates, where he was leading the group’s Southern Gulf and Pakistan region.
Poñe acknowledged that the South African business, which had invested materially in new manufacturing capacity over the past few years, faced serious power and labour cost pressures.
However, he and Viljoen stressed that the immediate focus would be on ensuring that these pressures were mitigated through an efficient delivery on its order backlog.
Many of its products and services were also geared towards assisting private and utility clients improve their energy efficiency positions, which meant that South Africa’s steeply rising electricity costs presented some growth opportunities.
During 2012, ABB South Africa had been buoyed by large orders arising from within the domestic renewable-energy sector.
In December, it secured a $225-million order from a SunEdison-led consortium to supply two turnkey photovoltaic power plants, located in the Limpopo province.
The group had also received strong domestic and regional order flow for motors and generators.
ABB South Africa reported a modest 2% rise in revenue growth to R3.5-billion. But 2013 had been placed on a firmer growth footing by the fact that its order backlog had risen 18% to R4.1-billion.
Energy efficiency-related workflow was also a significant driver, as process industries and miners sought to mitigate the impact of rising South African power prices.
Activity from the domestic mining and minerals sector dropped in the second half – a period during which a number of mines experieced significant disruptions as a result of industrial relations volatility. However, resources-related activity in the rest of the region remained strong and cross-border activity contributed 20% of overall revenue.
Poñe was also sanguine about the longer-term prospects for South Africa, where social factors such as inequality, poverty and unemployment were starting the weight on its credit rating and its attractiveness as an investment destination.
“Sometimes we are too negative when we approach most of our issues. We see some of the events that happened in 2012 . . . as a hurdle rather than something that is here to stay,” Poñe asserted.
South Africa’s physical and financial infrastructure remained more advanced than that which was available in the rest of the continent and, thus, positioned it ideally to provide a base from which to pursue emerging opportunities in the rest of the region.
Meanwhile, the larger ABB group reported a 15% fall in 2012 net income to $2.7-billion, on the back of a 4% rise in revenue to $39-billion.
Global CEO Joe Hogan indicated that the current focus was on balancing costs and growth, while seeking to leverage benefits from recent capital and research and development investments.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Transport & Logistics News
Machine moving and abnormal load specialist company Lovemore Bros successfully transported two cumbersome container straddle carriers from the Port of Durban to the city’s former major airport, Durban International Airport on February 11 and 12.
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...