ACTOM Distribution Transformers continues to support Kamoa Copper Mine

ACTOM Distribution Transformers has won an order to supply its Neutral Electromagnetic Couplers with Earthing Resistors and an Auxiliary Transformer (NECRT’s) to the Kamoa Copper Mine in the DRC

The division within the ACTOM Group designs and manufactures a range of 16kVA to 10MVA distribution and longer-range power transformers and, after refining NECRT’s design in 2010, is now considered a class leader in the field in sub-Saharan Africa. According to Lee Mbenge, CEO of ACTOM Distribution Transformers, NECRT’s play a key role in grounding collector power transformers in the substation which helps to facilitate the transmission of power generated by renewable energy plants into the national grid.

“We are the preferred supplier of NECRT’s to Kamoa Copper Mine SA, which demonstrates that they have full confidence in our equipment,” remarked Mbenge. “The latest order allows us to strengthen our footprint in Africa, positioning us as not only the dominant NECRT’S supplier in South Africa but also throughout the continent.”

Over the last few years, the optimisation of NECRT’s has included strengthening the active parts (internal design) and mechanical integrity to ensure the equipment is able to survive transportation with little damage. Furthermore, Mbenge explained that it has been adapted to suit the often harsh conditions the units are set to work in and “as a result, our NECRT units have performed better than those of various international suppliers, which are prone to failure.”

Ensuring reliable renewable power

According to the organisation, NECRT’s have a lifespan of approximately 21 years with trouble-free utilisation, resulting in an increase in efficiency and reliability of renewable energy plants. With cross-border demand growing for the NECRT’s units, the business is now suppling the products to Namibia, Lesotho and Zambia as well.

“The latest order from Kamoa Copper Mine SA highlights the strength of the ACTOM brand in the design and manufacture of NECRT’s and transformers,” Mbenge concluded. “This will allow us to become further entrenched in the renewable energy market where we would like to be more dominant.”

The Kamoa Copper Mine is powered by the Mwadingusha Hydroelectric Plant which was rehabilitated and modernised in 2021. The latest order is a continuation of the partnership between the business and division that has been running for several years and, in 2023, saw an order worth more than R10mn (approx. US$530,000) completed for the mine. Indeed, the mine has been making some serious investments in order to overhaul its energy infrastructure, including placing an order with ACTOM MV Switchgear for GELPAG solid insulate switchgear units for underground substation at the mine.

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