In conversation with Fred Peters of KBK, distributor for South Africa
Lovink has been active in the South African market for years and companies are increasingly opting for LoviSil® technology. After two difficult years due to Covid, projects are resuming and the prospects are positive.
As in other markets, the Covid restrictions have had a major impact in South Africa. Projects and contract extensions were shelved. In retrospect, 2021 was not as bad as expected. We supplied LoviSil® 33 kV cable joints for a sustainable energy project, and the state-owned Utility Company ESKOM, applied our straight joints for 22 kV PILC projects.
Stay in touch
Our distributor Fred Peters, owner of KBK, explains: “In these times it has proven more important than ever to keep in touch with your customers and to keep looking for new opportunities.” According to him, great opportunities lie in the sustainable energy sector. You deal directly with the designers and engineers of wind and solar projects. When they are convinced of the many advantages of LoviSil® technology, then orders can be completed faster than, for example, with utilities.
Total Cost of Ownership
Fred sees that the new generation of engineers are more open to new technologies, but within large utilities there is still a culture in which the purchase price is the deciding factor. Heat shrink technology is widely used here, mainly because of the low purchase price. Fortunately, Fred sees a turning point and independent utilities such as City or Cape Town, are looking for the most cost-effective technology, whereby the total costs over the useful life of the connection is the deciding factor. “We have been doing business with City of Cape Town to our full satisfaction for many years and the LoviSil® cable joints function without interference in their networks.”
The government in South Africa has announced major plans for sustainable energy projects. The ambition is to realize in excess of 500 MW in wind and solar projects. Most projects will be realized on an industrial scale in remote areas. “As a result, a lot of new infrastructure has to be built to distribute the energy to the urban areas. This is a great opportunity for Lovink to ensure that our technology is preferred in these projects,” says Fred.
In addition, this year, the Municipality of Cape Town, in conjunction with Eskom and the National Roads Agency, will start the realization of a massive upgrade of the fly-over at an important traffic junction on the N1, where an existing substation has to be moved. Many cables will have to be laid for this. It is expected that they will choose reliable and sustainable partners. “Lovink’s image in South Africa is very good. We work with major contractors such as CBI who like to use the LoviSil® cable joints because of the high reliability and the protection against moisture ingress. No other joint can match this.”
Easy to install
“But let’s not forget the jointers,” Fred adds. LoviSil® offers a major advantage when it comes to installation: “Liquid silicone penetrates all cavities in the inner joint and ensures perfect insulation of all parts. It is therefore understanding that the liquid silicone technique is called a ‘forgiving’ technology.” Finally, Fred says that he is very satisfied with the support from Lovink. The lead time for any sales or technical queries is negligible. He is also proud and excited of the continuous product improvements that Lovink implement.
He is looking forward to an active year with many opportunities and successes for Lovink Enertech.