Dec 07, 2007
Hitachi Power Africa assures relationship with ANC-linked company is above boardBack
Engineering|Africa|Babcock Borsig|CoAL|Deutsche Babcock|Eskom|Generators|Hitachi Power Africa|Hitachi Power Europe|Mail & Guardian|Petrochemicals|PROJECT|Sasol|Steinmüller|Africa|Germany|Medupi Power Station|Energy|Equipment|Manufacturing|Petrochemicals|African National Congress (ANC)|Power|Robin Duff|Koss R-80 Consumer Headphones|Limpopo|Mail & Guardian
© Reuse this Power-equipment vendor Hitachi Power Africa has defended its relationship with Chancellor House, which is said to have strong ties with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and has even been described as an ANC business front, stressing there is nothing improper about the relationship.
The R20-billion contract is for six 800-MW utility steam generators for the Medupi power station, which is being built at a cost of R78,6-billion, at a site near Lephalale, in Limpopo province. The consortium is also in line to supply a similar offering for the R80-billion-plus Project Bravo, which is to be built almost simultaneously at a site near Emalahleni, in Mpumalanga. This tender should be awarded before the end of the month.
In a reply to emailed questions, Hitachi Power Africa MD Robin Duff told Engineering News that the relationship with Chancellor House was developed in a bid to deepen its “local knowledge” and that Chancellor House had paid cash for its shares. Duff refused to comment on the value of the payment, describing it as “proprietary information”.
Duff acknowledged that it was aware that Chancellor House has political connections when concluding the black economic-empowerment transaction, but asserted that this was the case “with most other empowerment entities”. He revealed that Chancellor House’s T M Mokoena was a director of Hitachi Power Africa, with M Net-sianda as an alternate director.
Stressed, too, was Chancellor House’s advisory role and the fact that it played no direct role in negotiations with Eskom for a recent contract. “Their role is as investor and adviser on local issues such as skills development, empowerment, and socioeconomic initiatives,” Duff elaborated.
Also placed into context was the long-standing historical relationship between Eskom and the under- lying companies, which currently fall under Hitachi Power Africa.
Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, which saw Steinmuller bought by Babcock Borsig in 1999 and the energy division then sold to Hitachi in 2003, Hitachi Power was the current owner of all the know-how and South African references of the former L&C Steinmuller group.
This included boiler installations at the Majuba, Tutuka, Duvha and Kriel power stations, as well as the majority of the boilers installed at petrochemicals group Sasol, which were engineered and supplied by Deutsche Babcock.
“Hitachi Power thus has a local boiler reference base of close to 20 000 MW. We never lost touch with Eskom and discussions about Eskom’s expansion plans have been ongoing since 2004,” Duff explained, asserting, too, that Hitachi Power Europe currently ranked among the three leading suppliers of utility boilers internationally.
Duff stressed, too, that Hitachi was a strong supporter of Eskom’s aspiration to build local manufacturing capacity around its big build programme, which already involved a pipeline of work worth R300-billion, and that the group would invest in new manufacturing facilities.
This investment would include facilities to produce boiler pressure parts, tube bundles, ducting and coal bunkers and piping. It would also involve the procurement of large cranes, the creation of apprentice training centres and other enterprise development initiatives.
“Planning for the major investments is advanced and will be implemented as from 2008,” he concluded.
Several attempts to garner comment from Eskom proved unsuccessful.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Electricity News
Article contains comments
Updated 4 hours ago Government, in conjunction with industry clusters had to encourage preferential procurement in the mining industry, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) capital equipment and allied services director Tapiwa Samanga has said. In a statement issued on Monday, he...
Updated 4 hours ago The South African Property Owners’ Association (Sapoa) has appealed to Rural Development and Land Affairs Minister Gugile Nkwinti to invoke the discretionary powers available to him under the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act of 2013 to prevent...
Updated 4 hours ago The Financial Services Board (FSB) has extended telecommunications group MTN’s broad-based black economic-empowerment trading platform MTN Zakhele’s exemption to the directive requiring over-the-counter (OTC) trading platforms to apply for a licence to operate,...
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel has announced its fourth consecutive year of profits. The group's results for the financial year 2013/2014 were recently announced at its head office in Centurion, south of Pretoria. Revenues grew by 17%, net...
There is little opportunity for JSE-listed infrastructure company Group Five to grow shareholder value in the domestic market, says CEO Mike Upton. He says value can still be found in the private sector, in the renewable and industrial power sector, as well as in...
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has announced the event dates of the 2015 Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS). The event will take place from October 14 to October 25, 2015, at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec.
UK engineering support services provider Babcock is set to deliver the largest order of global truck manufacturer DAF’s truck tractors in Southern Africa to bulk carrier road-based logistics company Ngululu Bulk Carriers (NBC), with 133 trucks to be delivered in...
Digital radio communications in the African local government space can open up the world, but have many challenges to overcome, notes integration and migration of legacy radio communications infrastructure with digital mobile radio company Emcom Wireless head of...