ABB wins US$ 26 million electrical equipment contract in South Africa

New equipment for aluminium smelter will help boost output

Zurich, Switzerland, 6.June, 2002 –ABB, the global power and automation technology group, said today it has won a US$ 26 million order to supply electrical and control equipment for an aluminium smelter in South Africa which is being expanded by the BHP Billiton mining group.

“ABB was chosen for the contract because we are a leader in very large high current rectifiers. With more than 80 years experience and about 1,500 rectifiers all over the world, we have the expertise to providereliable and efficient service in short delivery time, which is exactly what we’ll give to Billiton,” said Dinesh Paliwal, executive vice president and head of ABB’s Industries division.

The contract involves the design, manufacture, installation and commissioning of the equipment, including a 132 kV gas-insulated substation, a 330 kA transformer/rectifier group, harmonic filtering units and the complete automation and control system. Harmonics refers to a distortion of electrical current, which may cause electrical equipment to overheat and even fail. A rectifier is a device for converting AC voltage into DC voltage.

BHP Billiton’s expansion of its smelter in Richard’s Bay near Durban will increase the output of aluminium from the plant by 130,000 tons per year. Work has commenced on site and the project is scheduled for completion in October 2004.

ABB ( is a global leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. ABB has 152,000 employees in more than 100 countries.

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