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Schneider Electric has signed an agreement with Gaborone-based SDM Electrical Switchboards Botswana (SDM), which will allow it to import incomplete Schneider Electric medium voltage (MV) switchgears and customise them in Botswana to meet local customers’ specific requirements. The agreement currently covers the PREMSET and PIX RoF switchgears.

Schneider Electric signs manufacturing partnershipPREMSET is a new generation of Schneider Electric’s MV switchgear featuring the Shielded Solid Insulation System (2SIS), and provides the functionality for smart grids needs. The PIX Roll on Floor (RoF) Air Insulated Switchgear adapts to all electrical power distribution requirements up to 17.5kV, with floor rolling vacuum circuit breakers.

SDM manufactures electrical distribution boards, which are used on electrification systems. Its business has expanded to electrical switchgear installation maintenance and servicing. Via Botswana-based companies, SDM has supplied distribution boards into Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola and Zambia.

This agreement will enable SDM to customise Schneider Electric solutions specifically for the Botswana market. Its main customers are all power electrical users, which includes electrical switchboards for Botswana Power Corporation and Water Utilities Corporation.

As part of the execution of the agreement, Schneider Electric will carry out technology transfer through on-site training for local engineers, to enable them to customise the switchgear. The skills would include engineering and design, as per customer specifications. Apart from the engineering teams being trained on the customisation of the switchgear, field engineering teams would be trained to deal with installation, commissioning, troubleshooting and all after sales support.

“Schneider Electric has been working with our company for the over seven years and this agreement will create more local employment opportunities in Botswana. We currently employ 60 staff members, with the capacity to manufacture over 100 switchboards panels per annum. We hope to see this grow substantially,” says Stephen Bond, managing director of SDM.

“We see this as expanding SDM’s current business to many of the electrical contractors supplying both the private and government sectors,” says Taru Madangombe, Vice President of Energy in Southern Africa for Schneider Electric.

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