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Company leverages offering, expertise to ‘redefine’ S Africa’s energy industry

MERVYN NAIDOO
The company's offerings underscore its commitment to excellence and reliability

MERVYN NAIDOO The company's offerings underscore its commitment to excellence and reliability

22nd March 2024

By: Simone Liedtke

Creamer Media Social Media Editor & Senior Writer

     

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As South Africa’s energy sector continues to grapple with climate change and an increasing demand for electricity, electromechanical equipment manufacturer ACTOM is making significant strides in redefining the industry through its production of transformers, high-voltage equipment, switchgear and control systems, according to CEO Mervyn Naidoo.

The company’s offerings – such as the complete build of substations on an engineering, procurement and construction basis, alongside the operation and maintenance of plants and all associated components – underscore its commitment to excellence and reliability.

However, considering that the energy industry is “no stranger to the vicissitudes of demand”, South Africa’s manufacturing operations in the energy sector have had to contend with severe challenges stemming from inconsistent demand in recent years, Naidoo explains.

This erratic landscape has compelled many to rationalise and diminish their capacity, a consequence of subdued fixed capital investment in South Africa over the past 10 years, he laments, noting that, in recognising the imperative of smooth fixed capital investment, ACTOM champions the vision of a sustainable local manufacturing industry.

“Such an industry is not only pivotal for the reindustrialisation of South Africa but also essential for job creation and stimulating gross domestic product (GDP) growth, both of which are critical national imperatives.”

Nonetheless, the landscape presents numerous opportunities as the country phases out older-generation capacities and gears up for an anticipated surge in energy demand, which Naidoo says is expected to more than double in the next ten to 15 years.

ACTOM sees “fertile ground for economic growth” as the company is poised to leverage its domestic manufacturing capabilities to meet these burgeoning demands, offering a robust support system for the products and systems after commissioning.

Naidoo is confident that dedication to supporting regional developers and ACTOM’s intent to bolster capacity for long-term sustainability reflects a proactive approach to the evolving energy transition.

However, the journey towards decarbonisation and the embrace of renewable energy are “undeniable realities in the face of climate change”, he says.

With enhanced funding availability aimed at facilitating this energy transition, ACTOM is strategically positioned to assist in building new-generation capacities, he adds, noting that the company achieves this through partnerships with developers and customers on numerous projects in the solar, renewables and biomass sectors.

The electrification and industrialisation surge across the continent represents a pivotal moment for Africa: “ACTOM’s commitment to localising manufacturing resonates with the broader goal of enhancing the continent’s economically active population and, by extension, its GDP growth”.

This approach addresses a critical gap in energy supply chains, where the focus on self-interest often overshadows the collective benefits of reducing poverty and unemployment, he concludes.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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