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Africa|Design|Electrical|Energy|Environment|Health|Infrastructure|Manufacturing|PROJECT|Projects|rail|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Road|Safety|Services|Solar|Systems|Transformer|Transformers|Equipment|Manufacturing |Infrastructure|Transformer

ACTOM division helps to advance restoration of local rail corridors

27th June 2024


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Local transformer manufacturer LH Marthinusen (LHM), a division of electro-mechanical equipment manufacturer ACTOM, is playing a vital role in upgrading South Africa’s commuter rail corridors. The company recently manufactured seven 6.1 MVA traction transformers in record time to meet a strict deadline to advance the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) multibillion-rand reconstruction and recovery project.

The order, which was secured through a third party, forms part of PRASA’s plan to revitalise three rail corridors in Gauteng, whereby overhead traction equipment will be upgraded on the Naledi to Johannesburg, Pienaarspoort to Pretoria and Leralla to Johannesburg lines. While six traction transformers were earmarked for Gauteng, the seventh was destined for the Western Cape.

“Through the supply of our superior quality parts, we are playing a vital role in rebuilding South Africa and its railways, which will encourage the use of trains, preserve the country’s road infrastructure and reduce the number of road accidents,” says LHM transformer division GM Shuveer Maharaj. 

The transformers were manufactured in under six months while upholding LHM’s strict quality standards, amid a global market constrained by long lead times, owing to high order volumes, he explains.

Maharaj attributes the global manufacturing capacity constraint to the growing number of renewable-energy projects, particularly regarding solar PV.

The fast delivery of this order highlights local manufacturing capacity in the transformer space. The in-country manufacture of these traction transformers not only enables shorter lead times by eliminating international shipping of the final product but also reduces procurement costs. This is especially critical as global shipping prices have surged since the start of May, inflating project costs when procuring foreign parts.

“Being local and one of the largest transformer manufacturers in the country gives us an advantage. We have the expertise and the manufacturing capacity. Therefore, LHM is known for producing transformers in a quicker turnaround when time is of the essence for customers,” emphasises Maharaj.

LHM offers a comprehensive suite of on- and off-site electro-mechanical repair and manufacturing services to all industries. The company designs and manufactures transformers up to 80 MVA and 275 kV according to customer specifications, offering full in-house 3D computer-aided design capabilities.

The company’s 21 000 m2 facility in Denver, Johannesburg, is equipped with 160 t overhead crane capacity and three automated vacuum ovens that incorporate nitrogen injection and an oil spraying processing, thereby ensuring that active parts are dried to the highest level before tanking. The facility also has a pressurised electrical assembly facility and a megavolt impulse test facility.

Further, LHM has a test bay facility up to 350 kV and 200 Hz, which can perform most tests in accordance with the standards of the International Electrotechnical Commission and British Standards Institution.

“Being ISO accredited in terms of quality, environment and health and safety management systems, LHM can safely deliver the exact specifications required by its clients. We have grown accustomed to the needs of our clients, having been in operation since 1913,” advises Maharaj.

LHM is also fully equipped to repair or refurbish transformers ranging from 10 kVA to 200 MVA at 275 kV.


Shuveer Maharaj

General Manager at LH Marthinusen

+27 11 615 6722

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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