Inroads in Africa’s hydropower industry


There is huge potential as so much needs to be done”Marelli Motori making inroads in Africa’s hydropower industry

Marelli Motori says the time and energy it has invested in the African market in the last few years is starting to pay off.  The global Italian generator giant’s regional manager for Africa, Dean Pratt:  “During the past three years we have invested a lot of time and energy in growing the Marelli Motori brand into the African market and we offer this market more value for money”. 

Worldwide, Marelli Motori delivers over 160,000 motors and 20,000 generators annually with a total power in excess of 3GW.  The hydropower market is a strategic growing segment for the company with over 600 installed units thus far.  Part of this strategy is its continued involvement in the annual Hydropower Africa event, taking place again in Johannesburg in September this year. 

Huge hydro potential in Africa
Marelli’s Dean Pratt says there is great potential for hydropower in Africa, particularly in

South Africa, Namibia, Malawi, Zambia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, DRC, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Uganda. 

Dean Pratt says some of Marelli Motor’s successes in power projects on the continent include:

a)    North Mara (Tanzania):  “We have around 19 x 1300kva, 6600v generators running the mine. They were installed from 2001 onwards running 24/7/365 and are still going strong.”

b)    Hydroelectric water plant at Kapanga-Musumba_(DRC):  “We supplied a 225kW, 400v, 8 pole (750rpm) hydropower generator during early 2010. This has been successfully installed and running without any hitches.”

c)   Marupupele_(Botswana):  “We will be supplying a 1500kva, 11000v generator. This is the first time that the Marelli South African office will be involved in supply and commissioning of a 11kv generator.”

d)   Exxaro Grootegeluk (South Africa):  “We supplied a 3000kva, 6600v generator. This was coupled to 20 valve MTU engine. This was just about the biggest motivator ever built word wide. This has been successfully load tested and commissioned.”

Africa’s many challenges
According to Marelli’s Regional Manager Africa, power projects on the continent pose many challenges, “but there is also huge potential as so much needs to be done.”  He continues:  “there are massive power shortages but this offers an opportunity for Marelli Motori to do business here.  There is always a risk when it comes to financing projects as government or donor money is not always available which puts an extra burden on projects getting delayed or scrapped.  The h
ydroelectric water plant at Kapanga-Musumba is a case in point.” 

Dean Pratt believes the secret of Marelli’s success since its inception in 1891 in Italy is “continuous development, investments in both equipment and people, training on new technologies, global vision, flexibility and customer focus.”  The company was named “Rolls-Royce Supplier of the Year” for 2010 as a key supplier of electric motors and generators for the marine sector.

Says Dean Pratt:  “as part of its commitment to its customers MarelliMotori has in place a global support structure through the MarelliMotori sales, service and distribution offices located in: Italy, Great Britain, Germany, Malaysia, U.S.A., and South Africa.  From these international locations MarelliMotori qualified personnel can travel to all parts of the world in response to its customers’ needs.”

Hydropower Africa speaker highlights include:

§  Gianluca Stanic, Technical Director, MarelliMotor, Italy – Synchronous and induction generators for mini hydropower station – technical solutions for Africa’s energy and growth requirements.

§  Honourable Minister Dipuo Peters, Ministry of Energy, South Africa – unlocking Africa’s generation capacity.

§  Dr Elham Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission, EthiopiaKeynote address: attracting private investment to beat Africa’s energy crisis.
§  Israel Phiri, Manager, Office for Promoting Private Power Investment, Ministry of Energy and Water Development, ZambiaExecutive session and country focus – planned projects and tender prospects: Zambia.

§  Siseho Simasika, CEO, Electricity Control Board, NamibiaUtility vs. IPP – the tariff issue.

§  Jasper Odour, Executive Secretary, East African Power Pool, Ethiopia – Diversification of the energy mix and prospects for cross-border power trading to secure energy for Africa’s future.

The complete interview with Dean Pratt is available on

Contact details for Dean Pratt:
Direct: +27 11 822-5566
Fax: +27 11 828-8089        
Mobile: +27 82 872-3224

Hydropower Africa event dates and location: 
Conference:  19-20 September 2011, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.
Post-conference workshops:  21 September 2011, Sandton Convention Centre, Jhb

Site visits:  22-23 September 2011
–  Small hydro:  Eastern Cape small and mini hydropower schemes
–  Large hydro:  Kafue Gorge Power station, Kariba North Bank Power Station, Zambia
–  Large hydro:  Inga, DRC
Event website:  

Co-located event:  Solar Energy Africa:

For media accreditation or interviews:

Communications Manager: Annemarie Roodbol

Tel: +27 21 700 3558

Mobile: +27 (0) 82 562 7844

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