Swiss engineering group ABB will supply its first batch of traction transformer units for 240 Bombardier electric locomotives, the company said on Wednesday after opening a production plant in SA. The 2,450m² plant in Longmeadow, Johannesburg, is expected to employ 60 people by the end of 2017, the company said in a statement. In 2014, SA announced a R50bn locomotive supply contract, its largest to date, to four companies, including Canada’s Bombardier, in a push to modernise its fleet and support its road-to-rail migration. "ABB is proud of this new traction transformer facility in SA, reiterating our philosophy of locating manufacturing units close to our customers," ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer said. "It reinforces our next-level strategy focus on strengthening our presence in Africa and supports our ongoing commitment to sustainable mobility." Traction transformers feed power at safe voltages to essential train functions such as traction, brakes, lighting, heating and ventilation,...

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