Normalisation is a process to bring the existing equipment up to specifications. Siemens divisional director business development Dion Govender tells Engineering News that the company is “extremely positive” about prospects in the DRC and believes the contract will open the gates for Siemens’s involvement in a number of areas in the country, including the telecommunications, health and transport sectors. “We have identified a number of opportunities in the DRC together with the relevant ministries and parastatals.
“Finance now needs to be mobilised for these projects to go ahead,” indicates Govender. The DRC has sparked interest for many companies in recent months following positive signs by the government that it is committed to the peace process, to improving living conditions in its capital, Kinshasa, and to the macroeconomic stimulus programmes that it has implemented in a bid to attract foreign investment.
This confidence is strengthened by commitments made by aid organisations to pour billions of dollars into the country to rehabilitate its war-torn infrastructure.
Siemens had, however, been looking at opportunities in the DRC prior to these positive developments – having actively pursued options in the country since 1998, specifically in the energy sector.
The company’s involvement does, in actual fact, go back to the early 1970s when it supplied the turbines for phase IIB of the Inga hydropower station.
Today the company has a liaison office in the country and is in the process of registering a company in the DRC.
The Kinshasa network normalisation and prepayment meter contract, which was awarded to Siemens Southern Africa in July last year by DRC electricity supply utility Soci