ABB has contracted to improve the reliability and performance of three of South Africa’s largest power plants after receiving an order worth $54 million from Eskom.

The South African utility has made ABB the turnkey contractor for the project, which involves the provision and installation of electrical and automation solutions at three thermal power plants in the north-east of the country.

The project is a key element of Eskom’s drive to increase the country’s generation and transmission capacity and refurbish existing plant to help overcome energy shortages.

ABB is responsible for the design, installation and commissioning of the equipment, which will include dry-type transformers and energy-efficient variable-speed drives. It will also conduct a performance analysis and refurbishment of motors in order to boost efficiency and extend the service life of the power stations.

The three power plants each have six generating units and a capacity of around 4000 MW.