Eng. Mohamed Salem, ELDS local business unit Manager: We are always proud of our participation in the national projects that are being implemented and we have a long history in the Egyptian market and local production and manufacturing capabilities that can serve the requirements of these giant projects in record time
Engineer Amr Abdel Kader, Motion Business Manager: Motors and drives for the water sector play a major role in the projects we participate in, resulting in significant energy savings between 30 and 50 percent compared to conventional equipment.
ABB Egypt has completed the delivery of medium-voltage equipment for the first, second and third phases of the Toshka project to ensure power supply for irrigation systems for the reclamation of 105,000 feddans in the Toshka area in the south of the valley, at a value of $4.8 million. These equipment and services will ensure the realization of power supply for irrigation systems and related services within the reclaimed land in the Toshka Desert. This project comes within the vision of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, which aims to enhance agricultural production in line with the state’s efforts to encourage investment and create job opportunities in the Toshka area by building new and integrated communities parallel to the Nile Valley, strengthening agricultural activity, creating industries and urban activities related to it and ensuring security Egypt’s food sector and achieving self-sufficiency in wheat by reclaiming 450,000 feddans by 2024.
The company has a great deal of experience and many projects in the energy sector... We would like to talk about the company’s projects in Toshka and the products and solutions provided in this mega project?
ABB is interested in participating in national projects in Egypt, especially those related to water, such as drinking water and agricultural wastewater treatment. The most important of them is the Toshka project, which aims to achieve self-sufficiency in wheat, as the project was supplied with engines, pumps and variable speed drives produced by ABB, with latest global technology, thereby offering significant energy savings, typically from 30 to 50 percent compared to conventional equipment. ABB has been one of the most interactive companies with this huge project since its inception, starting with the infrastructure stage of the electrical network and transmission networks from the High Dam station, in addition to 8 power transmission stations implemented by ABB in the early ‘90s, all the way to the introduction of the main pumping station in 1997, one of the largest in the world and includes the largest number of pumps and motors that were specifically manufactured to serve the Toshka station. The capacity of one motor reaches 30 MVA and works with special systems that were specifically manufactured for the station. Over the past 25 years, ABB has been operating and maintaining the electrical network and motors and speed drives of the station, in cooperation with the Mechanics and Electricity Department at the Ministry of Irrigation.
What are the challenges and difficulties that you faced during the implementation of the work required for this project?
The project was halted for a while, but during the era of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi the project started to come back to life again and we started working with all the contractors in the project to complete the works of the first phase of the project’s electricity network. Work began on the project’s irrigation networks, starting with water intakes and pumping stations, raising water at different stages to serve the goals of cultivating the 1 million feddan area. The company faced difficulties that varied from product to product and from stage to stage. In the first major stage, the size of the pumps was very large, and their capacity and volume were no longer available in any other country, but ABB manufactured them with the highest specifications and quality to withstand time and harsh conditions, providing and maintaining spare parts flow, and we are still committed to supply spare parts, for decades to come, in order to preserve the investments of the Egyptian state. Today, we are proud to remain part of this huge project by providing the latest solutions and products to operate the motors and maintain a reliable energy efficient power supply, despite all challenges and circumstances, using the latest technologies, which will contribute to achieving sustainable development for the people of Toshka with a balanced economic, social and environmental existence for their present and future.
What are the investments made by the company to increase its local presence to serve national projects?
The company is distinguished by its presence with a large local manufacturing rate. We also hold certificates from the Federation of Industries and the Ministry of Industry. We are among the largest local manufacturing rates for medium and low-voltage electricity distribution products in the Egyptian market, exceeding 40%, a percentage that does not exist in any other foreign company operating in this sector in Egypt. We own a factory complex that is one of the company's largest factories in the world. We started production operations in 1978 and the ABB factory in Egypt was the first factory in the Middle East and Africa to produce electrical panels. We have a long history and great experience in establishing the infrastructure for electricity works related to water stations and irrigation projects for land reclamation in Egypt, where the majority of them depend on the company's solutions and products and to this day they still work with high efficiency and is operated and maintained by ABB. We also have a service center that has been around for 40 years to meet the requirements of the Egyptian market and employ the solutions and products available to us to serve these requirements and to ensure the highest efficiency in performance and the fastest implementation and after-sales follow-up at adequate costs to preserve the Egyptian investments.
How does ABB see the opportunities available in the Egyptian market and how do you prepare for them?
In general, the Egyptian market is a promising market and a fertile field for investment due to its huge population and its commitment to implementing large development plans in the coming period. We are the largest economy in Africa. The Egyptian state has signed many agreements with African countries, such as the COMESA Agreement and the Common Market Agreement to unify trade between all African countries in order to facilitate the process of developing exports to Africa and the logistical solutions that follow. Egypt is also distinguished by the presence of qualified and trained technical workers in the engineering sector to serve investments in electricity transmission and distribution technology with the least possible energy waste and with safe, smart, and sustainable solutions and products. This is making Egypt one of the most attractive markets for investments, especially in various industrial fields. ABB in Egypt is considered a manufacturing hub for both the Middle East and Africa, which is a great addition to us as we have the ability to simultaneously cover the requirements of multiple markets, and provide the latest products, spare parts, after-sales services, maintenance, and operation from Egypt through an integrated team with high efficiency and speed.
What are ABB's latest efforts in the field of energy efficiency and conservation in the motors and drives sector?
In the field of energy efficiency, ABB is working in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry, represented by the Green Production Authority and the Federation of Industries, to develop new standards to determine the efficiency of engines that are supplied inside Egypt. In this regard, the company has donated a special laboratory to measure the efficiency of engines to help the ministry measure the efficiency of engines imported from abroad and measure their compatibility with the environment, which contributes to achieving tremendous energy savings as a large amount of energy is currently wasted in motors with low efficiency. As of April 2022, engines less than IE3 will not be allowed to be imported, which means high efficiency, similar to standards that currently exist in most developed countries such as European countries. Egypt will soon become among the countries that are interested in rationalizing energy soon. Hence, we are currently working in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and the Federation of Industries to discuss how to provide assistance to the Ministry's workshops to provide adequate training for engine maintenance in order to keep the efficiency of the product after repair work.
What are the latest projects implemented by ABB in Egypt?
At the level of new projects, we are currently participating in the implementation of the Bahr Al-Baqar project, the largest wastewater treatment plant in the world. We are supplying integrated products and solutions that serve several aspects of the project, whether with regard to the latest pumps, water motors and variable speed drives, and the best electricity transmission and distribution products that are manufactured with the highest specifications in Egypt. In addition to high-end integrated control systems and solutions for site management in proportion to the size and importance of this vital project. This station is linked to the agricultural and land reclamation projects that Egypt is focusing on nowadays, as it will serve irrigation works to reclaim nearly 400,000 feddans in the East Tafriaa and Al-Qantara areas.
ABB also supplied and installed all the latest electrical installations for the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is due to open this year, and which was built to be the largest museum in the world for antiquities. The museum vicinity includes a group of commercial and recreational service buildings, the restoration center and the museum garden, in addition to the museum building, which will accommodate approximately 5 million visitors annually. ABB also participates with a variety of products and solutions that were supplied in the construction of medium voltage networks and electricity transmission networks for the power stations of the Administrative Capital, especially the Capital Towers area and the Central Business Center. There is currently great cooperation with all electricity distribution companies to replace old systems with newer systems in the field of distribution panels and electricity distribution enclosures. We are also studying with the Ministry of Electricity and contractors how to use energy and solutions for charging EV and fast charging stations for public transportation and cars.