ACTOM High Voltage Equipment, a South African-based leading manufacturer and supplier of electro-mechanical equipment in Southern Africa, has secured a contract to supply and deliver high-voltage equipment for the Selebi-Phikwe Photovoltaic Solar Power Plant, currently under construction in Botswana.
The 120MW solar photovoltaic facility is being developed by the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and project owner SCATEC, a Norwegian company that specialises in renewable energy systems.
Casbah Zwane, Divisional Chief Executive Officer at ACTOM High Voltage Equipment, explains that the company successfully responded to a request for proposals last year and signed the contract in late November for phase 1 of the project, which will see 60MW of solar power capacity installed at the plant.
“The scope of our contract is to supply and deliver the full range of 220kV high-voltage equipment for the grid connection scope of the project, where power generated by the solar farm will be stepped up and fed into BPC’s electricity network,” he says.
Once completed, the solar plant is expected to supply enough clean energy to power 20 000 households and to offset 48 000t of carbon dioxide emissions a year. This is a very important step in Botswana’s green energy transition.
International technology partners
Zwane says that ACTOM High Voltage Equipment will be sourcing the equipment from its technology partners in Spain, India, and China, as this voltage equipment is not manufactured locally. He adds that the manufacturing of these components has already started and should be delivered to the project by the end of September 2024.
“By relying on our global technology partners, we have shown that we can diversify our supply chain to meet the demands of the current energy environment. We have the capacity to deliver, via a diverse supply chain network and manufacturing options, as we are not just limited to our factories in South Africa,” he says.
“That really gave us the competitive advantage over our rivals and was an even more important differentiator than pricing. We have demonstrated that if the demand requires it, we can leverage the various factories that are part of our global network,” he says.
Bullish on phase 2
After the completion of the first phase, ACTOM is confident that it will also secure a similar contract for the second phase of the project, which will see the installation of the remaining 60MW capacity at the solar farm.
“This is a key project for ACTOM High Voltage Equipment since it exposes us to more opportunities to expand our export markets. We are most known as a South African company with a very strong local focus, but as part of ACTOM’s growth strategy, we have strong intentions to grow outside of South African borders and even beyond Southern Africa,” says Zwane.
“Becoming part of SCATEC’s supply chain definitely gives us access to opportunities beyond South Africa’s borders and on the African continent as a whole, given SCATEC’s significant footprint.”
While there is no formal aftersales or operation & maintenance contract in place with BPC, Zwane says ACTOM High Voltage Equipment is positioned to assist the power generation, transmission and distribution entity with maintenance, repair and replacement of the equipment supplied to the project.
“One of our other main differentiators is that we have the capacity to support the end customer, in this case BPC, with aftersales services, including maintenance of equipment for the life of the plant. This gives us a significant competitive advantage,” Zwane concludes.