Feb 14, 2013
ABB reaffirms SA’s gateway status as orders rise to R4.3bnBack
Engineering|ABB Group|ABB South Africa|Africa|Flow|Generators|Industrial|Mining|Motors|New ABB South Africa|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Resources|Africa|Pakistan|South Africa|United Arab Emirates|USD|Longmeadow Facility|Automation|Electricity Costs|Energy|Energy Efficiency Positions|Flow|Manufacturing|Manufacturing Capacity|Motors|Products|Renewable Energy Sector|Services|Southern Gulf|Carlos Po|Infrastructure|Joe Hogan|Leon Viljoen|Motors|Power|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 (150 word limit)
Other Electricity News
Updated 2 hours 33 minutes ago There are no scheduled power outages for Monday, Eskom said. Spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said Eskom expected the power grid to remain "moderate" throughout the day.
Updated 4 hours ago Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Updated 4 hours ago Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa must provide the country and Parliament with a comprehensive report on the state of Eskom, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday. DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane said in a statement he had written to Ramaphosa requesting that...
Updated 21 minutes ago AECI executive committee member and subsidiary AEL Mining Services MD Schalk Venter has resigned, effective May 15, to pursue another opportunity in industry. Venter, who had served the parent company for 24 years, had been MD since 2012 and had played a leading role...
Updated 21 minutes ago Banking group Nedbank Capital’s commodity finance division has announced the appointment of Anne-Marie Woolley as the new energy and metals unit head, which forms part of its global commodity finance division. London-based Woolley, who was formerly Standard Bank’s...
Updated 56 minutes ago While noting that the responsibility for recovering debt owed to municipalities falls on the municipalities themselves, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan says national government’s ‘Back to Basics’ campaign, which gives specific...
Recent Research Reports
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
This Week's Magazine
Projected capital expenditure (capex) in the South African automotive assembly industry should reach a record R7.48-billion this year, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its 2014 fourth quarter business review. Capex...
After several years of navigating project-threatening red tape and currency fluctuations, the 4.4 MW Bronkhorstspruit biogas power plant, which will supply clean energy to a leading automotive manufacturer in Gauteng, is expected to enter production before June....
South African paper and pulp producer Sappi reported earlier this month that it would build a pilot plant for the production of low-cost Cellulose NanoFibrils, or CNF (nanocellulose) at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands.
The long-term outlook for Nigeria is a country that has the potential to be very strong. So affirmed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Nigeria Mission Chief and Senior Resident Representative Dr Gene Leon on recently. "But we are starting from a point of huge...
Poor infrastructure planning and inadequate maintenance are becoming increasingly problematic for new developments and the associated infrastructure required to support such developments. In many urban and rural municipalities, the state of infrastructure has been...