Windhoek-ABB has entrenched its commitment in Southern Africa by opening a new 2,200 m² facility in Windhoek, which increases the company’s capacity to supply, maintain and service products to the local market and neighbouring countries such as Zambia and Angola.
This expanded facility will also start servicing the market needs for medium voltage products, and low and high voltage switchgear, and is soon to introduce distribution transformers into the local market.
The new facility is a consolidation of the two offices ABB previously had in Windhoek and the company has realigned its organisational structure to reflect its growth focus and position ABB Ability™, which represents its complete portfolio of digital solutions with a set of common enabling technologies that are used to build devices, systems and applications.
“Namibia is an important market for ABB, as it is the second largest contributor in the region to our revenue after South Africa. We have been in the country since the early 90‘s, and this investment is part of our commitment to the region to enable the offering of more services and products,” said ABB Southern Africa MD, Leon Viljoen.
“The new facility will also help us to better service the neighbouring markets of Angola and Zambia from here, further improving our penetration into those countries.”
ABB has been operating in Namibia since 1990, after acquiring a small local contracting business and converting it into a full service business focusing on local mining, utilities and industrial sectors.
In the past decade, ABB’s operations in the country have grown in parallel to the country’s GDP growth, resulting in more business from the public sector.
Viljoen said the new Windhoek facility will also ensure that the company is prepared for anticipated continued public capital spending in the next few years.
With a reasonable operation in Zambia, but very small in Angola, Viljoen envisions Namibia becoming the main centre for delivering services across the border in Angola.
“One advantage for our team in Namibia is that they can speedily service customers in Angola,” said Viljoen.
ABB has spent the last 12 months realigning and restructuring the Namibian operation, including ensuring that local employees are adequately developed through upskilling in order for them to positively respond to growing service demand. The new facility currently employs about 70 people.
“In order for the Namibian office to deliver the service they envision, skills development will be a priority to ensure that our employees cover the full range of their products and services needed. Depending on the skills required our people have been trained, and will continue to receive training, from the colleagues and trainers from training facilities in South Africa, Europe or India,” said Victoria Konjore, head of human resources, ABB in Namibia.
ABB has operations in 23 African countries and employs about 5,000 people across the continent. As a pioneering technology leader serving utilities, industry and transport and infrastructure customers globally, ABB supports Africa’s growth with innovative solutions designed to address local challenges, from access to electricity, industrial development, to sustainable transport.
As part of its commitment to Africa, ABB provides scholarships and internships for talented engineers who need financial support to complete their studies. ABB has annual sales in Africa of around $1.5 billion and manufacturing operations in Egypt and South Africa.
ABB is a technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport and infrastructure globally. Continuing a more than 125-year history of innovation, ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 132,000 employees.