R90m facility to make transformers

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Powertech Transformers, a business owned by the power division of listed Allied Electronics (Altron), has launched a R90 million facility to make small power transformers in Pretoria West that will help shorten the manufacturing lead times for transformers in South Africa. Powertech said yesterday that the project had doubled its capacity to make small transformers. Initially 110 transformers would be produced a year. Output would be increased to 130 units a year over time. The transformers are supplied to clients that include Eskom, mining companies and municipal power providers for inclusion in mini-substations. Transformers are also exported to the rest of Africa. Powertech chief executive Bernard Meyer said 150 new jobs had been created. The positions include 80 operators, apprentices and artisans, 10 technicians, five engineers, five administration staff and five managerial positions. “We have nearly doubled our capacity in this market sector in anticipation of a R250m potential increase in the export market. The new facility is also perfectly timed with new growth opportunities in the renewable energy and rail market sectors,” Meyer said. Powertech designs, manufactures and sells a range of power and distribution transformers for Africa. It has factories in Johannesburg, Pretoria West and Cape Town. The project was started 18 months ago and undertaken in two phases, which involved the upgrading of equipment and excavation and reorganising of the existing factory area. – Asha Speckman

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