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Reviews : General Electric wins Eskom contract

General Electric South Africa has been awarded a R500-million contract to supply switchgear critical to the development of Eskom's new generation Medupi thermal power station in Limpopo.

In a statement on Wednesday, General Electric (GE) said the awarding of the contract reaffirmed its supplier relationship with Eskom.

"As GE we are geared to help in countering South Africa’s energy shortage," said Ross Boyd, general manager of GE industrial solutions in South Africa, a solutions platform of GE energy.

"We'll do so by providing effective solutions with our products and our focus will be on our strengths, namely innovation, performance, safety and reliability."

The switchgear would be built in the GE facility at Midrand. This reflected the company's commitment to the policy of investing in local manufacturing capacity and resources, Boyd said.

"We are proud of the fact that the construction of the modular, low-voltage electrical distribution system is being undertaken by dedicated teams provided through broad-based black economic empowerment partners who are working in tandem with experienced GE technical staff."

GE southern Africa president Thami Mbele welcomed the opportunity to work with Eskom.

"We're focusing on public private partnerships, especially in the power generation sector," he said.
"We believe GE's proven and innovative turnkey solutions for energy and water utilities make us a good partner in this project -- a project that is crucial in helping our country to meet its energy needs."

Boyd said GE had the capacity to deliver Medupi while still focusing on increasing market penetration in other segments.

"Medupi is one of the projects the plant will be delivering and GE will continue to add capacity to deliver other projects."

The equipment was critical to the development of Medupi, a six unit coal-fired power station and the first of its kind to be built in South Africa in more than 20 years.

Part of Eskom’s commitment to the construction of new power stations to meet the growing power needs of the country, Medupi was estimated to cost around R125 billion to construct.

It was being built on an 883 hectare site in Lephalale, would have a generation capacity of about 4800 Megawatts and a projected lifespan of 50 years.

GE's first delivery equipment to the Medupi site was scheduled towards the end of 2010 and would continue into 2011 as the units were required, Boyd said.

He said the size of the contract made it one of the most significant to take place in the local market for some time.

Source: Busrep

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Tags: Eskom   electricity   GE  

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