MIDEL has already been selected by a South African transformer manufacturer to supply the fluid for 6 000 transformers operated by utility Eskom. Photo: Bloomberg

JOHANNESBURG – M&I Materials on Thursday announced the opening of manufacturing operations in South Africa, producing its MIDEL brand of fire safe and biodegradable ester dielectric fluids for electricity transformers. 

The plant is the first in Africa to make ester transformer fluids, and is the latest addition to MIDEL’s growing global manufacturing footprint. 

MIDEL has already been selected by a South African transformer manufacturer to supply the fluid for 6 000 transformers operated by utility Eskom. 

MIDEL has been trusted by the world’s leading utilities and transformer manufacturers since the 1970s, and is a fire and environmentally safe alternative to the traditional transformer coolant, mineral oil, which is flammable, toxic and non-biodegradable.

UK-based M&I Materials opened an office in South Africa in 2017, and entered into a manufacturing agreement with ISEGEN South Africa to manufacture the MIDEL natural ester fluids which are made from local soybean or rapeseed crops. 

The M&I Materials plant at ISEGEN will be used exclusively for the manufacture of MIDEL fluids.  The M&I Materials investment will create local employment opportunities through the use of locally grown raw materials used in manufacturing MIDEL fluids.

Giles Salt, chief executive of M&I Materials commented, “Developments in the energy infrastructure sector across Africa present a great opportunity for our products. 

The opening of this manufacturing facility demonstrates our commitment to Sub-Saharan Africa, and we look forward to providing products and technical support to power utilities and transformer manufacturers across the region.”

Johannesburg-based Victor Khuboni, MIDEL’s business development manager for sub-Saharan Africa, said: “Making MIDEL ester transformer fluids here in Africa will support local manufacturing, increase skills development and create transformational opportunities in local communities.”

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