ABB wins $16 million order to strengthen power supply in South Africa

2004-11-26 - FACTS technology to increase transfer capacity

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, said today it has won a high-end technology order worth $16 million to strengthen power supply in the Western Cape region of South Africa.

ABB is to install Flexible Alternating Current Transmission Systems (FACTS) in the Western Cape, under a contract signed with Eskom Holdings Ltd., South Africa’s national power utility.

“Our FACTS technology will improve stability and transfer capacity in the area and help the utility meet growing demand,” says Peter Smits, head of ABB Power Technologies division. “FACTS is in strong demand by utilities which are seeking to improve existing transmission systems and prevent blackouts.”

The contract comprises of four Series installations. The installations will be located at Komsberg (two installations), Bacchus and Proteus 400 kV substations and are scheduled for completion between December 2005 and May 2006.

At Komsberg, ABB’s Series Compensation installations, which the company supplied in 1974, will now be replaced by new banks to allow for a transmission transfer capacity increase. The optimal design of the series capacitors will ensure a stronger system around Proteus and Bacchus substations. ABB is the recognized technology and market leader in the growing field of FACTS, and holds a global market share of about 50 percent.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 103,000 people.

ABB in Southern Africa ( employs close to 2,800 people and has operations in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. ABB South Africa manufactures and supplies power and automation technology products and specialises in electricity infrastructure and industrial automation projects.

Background information about FACTS
The power industry term FACTS covers a number of technologies that enhance the security, capacity and flexibility of power transmission systems. FACTS solutions enable grid owners to increase the capacity of existing transmission networks, while maintaining or improving the operating margins necessary for grid stability.

By applying FACTS, more power can reach consumers with minimum impact on the environment, and at lower investment costs compared to the more time-consuming alternative of building new transmission lines or power plants.

FACTS technologies provide remedies for voltage and stability issues, and permit the transmission system to run more efficiently.

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    By applying FACTS, more power can reach consumers with minimum impact on the environment (the picture shows a typical installation)

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