Electrical Power & Protection


ABB supplies Zambian sugar producer

November 2023 Electrical Power & Protection

ABB has supplied its UniGear ZS1 medium voltage, arc-proof, air-insulated switchgear to a project for a major sugar producer in Zambia. This is in addition to installation and commissioning. Engineer, Bukhosi Zuma says that ABB is also negotiating the service and maintenance portion of the project. “It is an important client for us and represents a significant foot in the door in the potentially lucrative sugar industry in Zambia and elsewhere in Africa,” he explains.

UniGear ZS1 is a medium-voltage switchgear with a metal enclosure, and is suitable for indoor installations. Metal partitions segregate the compartments from each other, while the live parts are air insulated. The switchgear is highly modular for simple selection of components required for a range of applications.


Bukhosi Zuma.

The functional units of the switchgear are guaranteed arc-proof in accordance with the IEC 62271-200 standard, Appendix AA, Class A accessibility, Criteria 1 to 5. All the installation, operation and maintenance operations can be carried out from the front of the unit.

The switchgear and earthing switches are operated from the front, with the door closed. The switchgear can be back-to-wall installed if necessary. The range of apparatus available for the UniGear ZS1 switchgear is the most complete on the market and includes:

• Withdrawable vacuum circuit breakers with mechanical or magnetic actuator.

• Withdrawable gas circuit breakers.

• Withdrawable vacuum contactors with fuses.

• Fixed version of switch disconnectors.

This makes it possible to offer a single switchgear-user interface with the same operational and maintenance procedures. The switchgear can be fitted with instrument transformers or sensors for current and voltage measurement and protection, and any type of protection or control unit.

As with traditional functional units in a single level-single busbar arrangement, the UniGear ZS1 switchgear platform is fitted with double level, compact units equipped with contactors, with fuses and double busbar systems. These units allow for extremely efficient use of space. In addition, a UniGear ZS1 single busbar can combine with other members of the UniGear family such as UniGear 550, UniGear 500R and UniGear MCC.

“The benefits for customers in the sugar industry standardising on ABB products is that they have access to the latest technology that promotes energy efficiency and easy maintenance,” says Zuma. Being a multinational, ABB also has a global project reference list it can tap into for experience and expertise. Zuma adds that while working in Zambia can have supply and logistics challenges, it is part of ABB’s strategy to expand into key sectors in Africa such as the sugar industry.

Here, it can offer sugar plant automation and optimisation in the form of ABB Ability solutions. These combine ABB’s deep domain expertise with connectivity and software innovation. They can facilitate real time, data-driven decisions for safer, smarter operations that maximise resource efficiency and contribute to a low-carbon future. ABB’s large portfolio of digital solutions helps companies automate, optimise and futureproof their businesses to achieve new heights in performance and drive sustainable progress.

For more information contact ABB South Africa, +27 10 202 510, ofentse.dijoe@za.abb.com, www.abb.com/za


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