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Press Release South Africa 06-02-2019

2 min read

ABB powers Africa’s largest gas-insulated switchgear installation

A thriving city and a global financial hub, Johannesburg is the largest metropolis in South Africa. The substantial increase in economic and population growth over the last decade has increased the need for more reliable power. To address the needs of growing electricity demand, Sebenza substation will supply help in the delivery of an additional 30 percent electricity into the national grid.

The Sebenza substation features 38 bays of 132 kilovolt (kV) gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) from ABB, making it the largest installation of GIS at this voltage level to be commissioned in Africa. ABB also supplied 132 kV, 275 kV and 400 kV circuit breakers, surge arresters and point-on-wave controllers that remove electrical transients in the network.

Operated by City Power, a municipal utility owned by the City of Johannesburg and built by Consolidated Power Projects (CONCO), the substation will play a key role as the new interconnection point for the city’s north-eastern region and the national transmission grid.

GIS is a compact metal encapsulated switchgear consisting of high-voltage components such as circuit-breakers and disconnectors, which can be safely operated in confined spaces. It is a key enabler for urbanization in cities like Johannesburg where land is scarce and costly, saving up to 70 percent of space as compared to air-insulated substation.

“Our technology is powering one of the largest GIS installations in all of Africa and we are proud to support South Africa’s development and the region’s growing need for power”, said Mauro Damonte, Hub Business Unit Manager, Middle East and Africa for High Voltage Products within ABB’s Power Grids division. “We are helping our customer, City Power, who provides electricity and network services to the municipality of Johannesburg, to strengthen its network and thus the reliability of the electricity supply.”

ABB pioneered GIS technology 50 years ago and continues to drive innovations in this space. Over the decades, ABB has continued to provide safety and reliability in power networks to address growing power challenges all over the world. As a market and technology leader in high-voltage GIS technology, ABB offers ratings and applications from 72.5 kV to 1,200 kV and has a global installed base of more than 35,000 bays. ABB’s latest offering includes eco-efficient and digital capabilities.


Thembisile Dzonzi
Thembisile Dzonzi

Communications Manager

+27 (0) 10 202 5841