Powertech Transformers, a subsidiary of JSE-listed Altron, had launched a research and development project with the University of Pretoria that would increase local manufacturing capability and activity and reduce national reliance on imports, the firm said yesterday. The firm manufactures power and distribution transformers for sub-Saharan Africa at its operations in Pretoria West, Cape Town and Johannesburg. The project, with the mechanical engineering at the university, is related to the short-circuit withstand ability of transformers. It is funded by the Technology Localisation Programme, which provides technology assistance packages to local companies. Altron gained 4.66 percent to R22.90 on the JSE. – Asha Speckman