Media Releases

CBI-electric: African Cables launches new high-voltage production line
Tuesday, 18 March 2014

CBI-electric: african cables today launched its Continuous Catenary Vulcanizing (CCV) line making it the first cable manufacturer in Sub-Saharan Africa to design and manufacture high-voltage (HV) cables up to 275kV with conductor sizes up to 2 500mm². These new cables can distribute 350MVA, at 132kV and 547 MVA at 275kV, from a single cable circuit.

The new plant and machinery, an investment of R150 million, was officially opened by Dr Rob Davies, Minister of the Department of Trade and Industry. The plant and machinery has been funded by the shareholders and the DTI's Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (MCEP), which contributed R45 million of the total investment.

The first locally produced, 132kV, 1600mm² underground cable system will be installed in June 2014 in the City of Cape Town. CBI-electric: african cables is also involved in installing a 400kV cable system at Eskom's Ingula Pump Storage System in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

CBI-electric CEO Alan Dickson said the investment is providing a fundamental step change in remaining competitive over the next thirty years. Growing electricity demand as well as the high copper price necessitated an investment by the company, supported by DTI initiatives, to build a world class production facility. The facility is capable of manufacturing high-voltage underground electric cable ranging from 44kV to 275kV, with increased conductor sizes up to 2 500mm². This investment will enable South African large energy consumers to achieve a distribution of up to 350MVA, 132kV, and 547MVA, 275kV, on a single cable circuit.

In addition to the product manufacturing facility, CBI-electric: african cables boasts a division specialising in the installation and maintenance of Medium and High Voltage cables called Power Installations (PI). The new equipment investments, coupled with PI, now provide every local consumer with a 100% South African turnkey and maintenance solution for all of their High Voltage cable requirements.

As the only ISO 9001:2008 accredited manufacturer and installer of HV cables in Sub-Saharan Africa, the company has ensured that the entire facility has been installed with world-class technology and equipment. In addition to creating 27 permanent jobs, the R&D, engineering, process, manufacturing and associated skills will all be developed and retained within South Africa. These highly trained personnel will ensure that the production capacity of the new plant will exceed 20km's per week, which will result in shorter project lead times.

Part of the investment includes a mobile 260kV AC Series Resonant Testing Unit. This unit is capable of conducting after-installation and partial discharge tests on site above normal operating voltages. This test set will extend the stringent quality standards, followed within the factory, into the completed installation and will confirm the quality and reliability of the installation prior to handover to the customer.

Since 1935, CBI-electric: african cables has designed and manufactured a comprehensive range of electric power cables at its Vereeniging factory. CBI-electric: african cables is a wholly-owned South African company with a BEE and BWO shareholding of 31.89% & 11.24% respectively. The company boasts a Level 2 BBBEE rating and holds the complete suite of Quality, Safety, Health and Environmental accreditations. The company permanently employs over 750 personnel between the manufacturing factory and installation offices around the country.

All solutions provided by the company are fully tested according to the required SABS and IEC standards. Type Testing is conducted, on site, in the company's 300kV Type Test laboratory under the strict supervision of SABS inspectors, ensuring compliance to all global standards. Successful completion of type tests verifies product performance, quality and long term reliability.


For further information please contact Pravesh Haripersad at (016) 430 6000(016) 430 6000 or visit our website on