ABB has partnered with Eya Bantu, a B-BBEE Level 2, local electrical equipment manufacturing, consulting and professional services company, enabling it to manufacture ABB switchgear in South Africa.
The full benefits of ABB’s global experience, expertise and manufacturing excellence are now available locally, thanks to a newly formalised partnership with Eya Bantu. One of the leading energy sector service providers, Eya Bantu is utilising its newest manufacturing facility in Gqeberha to assemble ABB’s 33 kV Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) ZX series.
In the past, customers had to incur extra costs to carry out an in-person inspection at an ABB feeder factory in Europe. This also meant customers could not have direct access for inspections during the execution of their projects and the manufacturing process of the specific products required.
“These are some of the issues we have overcome with the new partnership with Eya Bantu,” says Avi Ramdhin, Product Marketing Director, ABB South Africa. “There is a perception that quality products traditionally only came out of the European Union countries. However, we are proving in today’s ‘new normal’ that local quality, processes and manufacturing facilities are evolving and of a global standard.”
Duplicating ABB’s feeder factory concept in South Africa is a major coup for the country and ABB’s own customer base. “We have brought global experts in to assess the local factory and assist us to ensure it meets the global standards,” says Ramdhin.
Traditionally, switchgear had to be imported fully from either Germany or the Czech Republic. However, only 40% now comes from these locations, with the Gqeberha facility at present supplying 60% of the local requirement. “The main reasons for the partnership are to better serve our customers in terms of flexibility and lead times, and for Eya Bantu to leverage the international brand power of ABB,” says Ramdhin.
He adds that ABB, in turn, is making a significant contribution to boosting the economy and fulfilling its own Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) objectives as a responsible corporate company. Eya Bantu’s new factory has additionally contributed to combat unemployment in the region by further employing a complete contingent of wiremen, test engineers, installers and commissioning engineers.
The facility has already assembled a major renewables project, which Ramdhin says is testament to the successful collaboration fostered by the partnership. A function to officially launch the new facility will be held on Tuesday 25 April 2023 to celebrate the significant investment in the region.
The ABB ZX series of primary gas insulated switchgear products from ABB features flexibility, reliability, availability and economy, making it easier for industrial and utility customers to opt for these as their switchgear of choice. Combined with digital protection and control technology, sensor systems and plug-in connections, the ZX series is also fit-for-purpose for the future. The ZX2 AirPlus switchgear design is based on the existing ZX2 portfolio, offering a climate-friendly alternative to end users with a green focus, retaining the same known footprint, safety and reliability.