Newly-empowered engineering firm hopes to grow power-generation business

17th January 2007 By: Mariaan Webb - Creamer Media Deputy Editor Online

South African engineering firm DB Thermal on Wednesday celebrated the launch of DBT Technologies - the new company formed following the completion of an empowerment transaction between DB Thermal and four black South African shareholders.

DBT Technologies effectively came into existence on January 1 and trades as DB Thermal.

It is 74,9%-owned by SPX Corporation, of the US and 25,1%-owned by black empowered Termico.

Termico is owned by Imogen Mkhize, Dr. Sibusiso Sibisi, Tembisa Dingaan and Winnie Kunene.

DBT Technologies MD Heinz Spreitzer said that the company planned to play an important role in, especially, the power generation market.

Over the last couple of years, power generation's contributions to the company's activities was around 20%, with petrochemicals making up the balance, but Spreitzer said that this year the split was expected to be 50-50 and that, in 2008, power generation could contribute as much 80%.

South African power utility Eskom is investing R97-billion over the next five years on raising generation capacity. Eskom plans to build three new stations, while a decision on a fourth power station is still pending. Petrochemicals giant Sasol is also spending R45-billion years over a three-year period to expand and enhance its existing operations.

It is, however, not SPX's policy to allow minority shareholdings, but Spreitzer reported that the expansion plans of Eskom and Sasol made the market attractive.

DBT Technolgies is already involved in supplying cooling systems for some of Eskom's existing power stations.

The company pointed out that its technical and financial backing and support of SPX Corporation remained unchanged.