Global transformer manufacturers engaged in the business of transformer production and distribution in Africa have been focusing their attention on developing and expanding their local production capacities in order to position themselves in the Africa’s surging transformer market and respond to the growing demand for this critical electrical equipment.
New energy market segments, such as water, solar and renewable energy, have been strengthening in Africa. With many electric power projects in progress or completed, there is a boosting demand for transformers and substations.
While imports have dominated the market for a long time, increasing localisation demands and weakening of local currencies (e.g. South Africa) or shortages in foreign currency (e.g. Ethiopia) have influenced that companies aim to reach a more equal ratio between domestic manufacturing and imports, Zest WEG being an example.
In 2013, Zest WEG, a local subsidiary of the Brazilian electrical equipment manufacturing giant WEG Group, has acquired the entire business of Hawker Siddeley Electric Africa in South Africa. Now known as WEG Transformers Africa, the company has become one of the largest manufacturers of standard distribution, power and special application transformers in South Africa.
More recently, the company has acquired TSS Transformers Ltd., a transformer manufacturing business located near Johannesburg in South Africa, and is still acquisitive, reporting aspirations to expand its local manufacturing footprint and tackle opportunities emerging in the rest of Africa through new acquisitions in its electrical-engineering niche.
Other global manufacturers, such as Turkish-based Sunrise Engineering and Machinery Manufacturing with its production facilities in Ethiopia, are also increasing their investment into production lines and capacity, striving to exploit export opportunities to the neighbouring countries in the future.
At the same time, local manufacturing companies have also been established looking to meet the local demand but also to capacitate to be export ready.
Recently, Ethiopian state-owned Metals and Engineering Corporation (MetEC) has set up the Tatek Transformer production line with a capacity to produce 10,000 units a year, while Bridgetech PLC, a locally established firm, has joined Federal Transformer LLC, an affiliate of the Emirates-based Al-Nasser Industrial Enterprises, announcing a plan to annually manufacture some 4,000 units.
Transformers Magazine will continue to follow and report on the developments on the booming African transformer market.
Source: Transformers Magazine