JOHANNESBURG May 3 Swiss engineering group ABB
will supply its first batch of traction transformer
units for 240 Bombardier electric locomotives, the
company said on Wednesday after opening a production plant in
The 2,450 square metre plant in Longmeadow, Johannesburg is
expected to employ 60 people by the end of 2017, the company
said in a statement.
In 2014, South Africa announced a 50 billion rand ($3.74
billion) locomotive supply contract, its largest ever, to four
companies, including Canada's Bombardier, in a push to modernise
its fleet and support its road-to-rail migration.
"ABB is proud of this new traction transformer facility in
South Africa, reiterating our philosophy of locating
manufacturing units close to our customers," ABB Chief Executive
Ulrich Spiesshofer said.
"It reinforces our next level strategy focus on
strengthening our presence in Africa and supports our ongoing
commitment to sustainable mobility."
Traction transformers feed power at safe voltages to
essential train functions like traction, brakes, lighting,
heating and ventilation, as well as passenger information,
signalling and communication.
ABB has operations in 23 African countries and employs about
5,000 people across the continent.
($1 = 13.3600 rand)
(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; editing by Susan Thomas)