LEADING power and automation technology company ABB says it sees a great opportunity in the utilities industry in Zimbabwe.
The ABB group of companies operates in around 105 countries in the world and is the leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customer to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact.
In an interview with NewsDay, ABB country manager Charles Shamu said there was an opportunity for the group to provide machinery and systems support in Zimbabwe as industry in Zimbabwe was operating below 50% capacity.
“We see an opportunity in the infrastructure development and at the moment there is power deficit. Currently we have power outages and we need at least close to 2 000 megawatts in the country, which is almost the size of two existing big stations. We need to build another Hwange and another Kariba to meet the missing gap before we start looking at the future growth,” Shamu said.
“If you look at that, the industry is only maybe half working and we still have that gap of power shortage and it means that there is potential to grow.”
He said ABB has been operating in the Zimbabwean market for a number of decades and sees continuous potential in this growing economy.
Shamu, however, said the company was working with local partners to help build the country’s infrastructure, an area identified by the government as being at the core of Zimbabwe’s economic challenges.
“We remain the leading vendor utility in this country, however due to the economic challenges in the country many companies have moved out but we have remained in the country. We are currently involved in the refurbishment of the Hwange power station and also the Kariba power station,” he said.
Shamu said ABB was more than committed to Zimbabwe and the plan was to expand local engineering capabilities while working with partners and customers to develop custom made solutions that will benefit the people and the environment.
He said in addition to government’s infrastructure projects there was significant number of new investments in other industries, such as the mining industry –platinum, gold, nickel and chrome.
Shamu said for these investments to be successful, improvement of the country’s infrastructure, specifically in terms of power, transport and water was critical.
“ABB is well positioned to support Zimbabwe in its development endeavours, as we have a mix of environmentally friendly products, system and services and most importantly, extensive experience in emerging economy development projects,” Shamu said.
“We are proud of our involvement with some of the most critical infrastructure projects in Zimbabwe. We will continue to do what it takes to meet the dynamic needs of our customer and contribute in a positive and meaningful way to the development initiatives of this country.”
ABB held a Technology Day yesterday where it showcased the products and services it offers.