South African utility Eskom has contracted ABB for $30 million worth of equipment, which will help to strengthen power grid reliability.

ABB will supply 275 and 400 kV circuit breakers, as well as medium-voltage and 400 kV surge arrestors to Eskom as part of its program to strengthen the power network by upgrading existing and building new substations.

“Our medium and high-voltage equipment will play a significant part in helping South Africa to strengthen its power grid and ensure reliable electricity supply,” said Bernhard Jucker, head of ABB's Power Products division. “We have considerable experience of working with Eskom and meeting their requirements.”

Under the contract – which will last for four years – ABB will deliver approximately 300 circuit breakers and 530 surge arresters. It is the largest order for live tank breakers ever received by ABB. The breakers are equipped with state-of-the-art polymer insulators which make the breakers safer and more reliable.

Eskom’s program is designed to strengthen grid reliability throughout the country in line with growth projections. Short to medium-term focus will be on Eastern and Western Cape, Gauteng Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal .

This order is the latest in a series of contracts with Eskom. In May 2006, ABB signed a frame agreement worth $25 million to supply medium-voltage switchgear and protection units for two 1200 MW power plants owned by Eskom.