ABB opens new traction transformer plant in South Africa


ABB has opened a new traction transformer production facility in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The new 2,450m² facility is located next to the company’s headquarters in Longmeadow and will specialise in the manufacture of traction transformers, which will be used to power trains and support South Africa’s growing railway network.

It will also support growing need for sustainable transportation in Johannesburg.

ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer said: “ABB is proud of this new traction transformer facility in South Africa, reiterating our philosophy of locating manufacturing units close to our customers.

“It reinforces our next level strategy focus on strengthening our presence in Africa and supports our ongoing commitment to sustainable mobility.”

"ABB is proud of this new traction transformer facility in South Africa, reiterating our philosophy of locating manufacturing units close to our customers."

ABB stated that the transformers provide power at safe voltages to crucial train functions such as traction, brakes, lighting, heating and ventilation. The new site is expected to create nearly 60 jobs by the end of the year.

The facility will supply traction units for 240 Bombardier electric locomotives as part of the first contract.

The decision to manufacture the units locally is intended to support the South African Government’s local procurement, as well as aid employment targets.

South Africa has made significant investments to develop its rail network and encourage a major shift from road to rail transport for both passenger and freight travel since 2012.

ABB provides traction transformers on a worldwide basis, and currently operates in 23 African countries.