Year 2008 News

We commissioned 6 generator sets this year on 5 sites and provided technical support and maintenance at many other sites at home and abroad.  We visited Algeria, Belarus, Denmark, Egypt, France, Ghana, India, Italy, Libya, Norway and Russia.

The photo is of a failed CT primary causing an open circuit 11 kV fault.We have always been involved with practical details of high voltage plant but not in relation to protection and control of generators, part of our core business.  We have not needed to be concerned with such things.  However, this year we have had a good deal to do with choosing switchgear and with primary connections to transmission voltages and we have come across two faults in primary HV plant associated with generation.  Both were caused by current transformer failures and one was in the UK.  This is most unusual, though two failures do not make a trend.  We are well aware of the costs of repair and of the sometimes huge consequential costs of HV failures.

The world economic recession, like climate change, is now a matter of fact though arguments will continue as to the causes.  We might worry about the consequences of recession on our company and on the prosperity we have enjoyed for years.  Our considered view is that our core business will hardly be affected because we support the asset creation sector and investment decisions are made well in advance of business coming to us.  Projects cannot be easily cancelled, bank rate has fallen and the reduced value of our currency means that UK manufacturing is in a strong position to survive and even thrive.  The oil and gas industry is booming and is busy creating assets to enable it to exploit energy sources either recently discovered or else recently made attractive economically.  We are very much involved in this sector.

The electricity supply industry in the UK is suffering badly from a shortage of skilled labour, yet it must continue to supply energy to its customers and to do so with ever more stringent performance criteria.  It turned towards automation some years ago as a way of improving performance at minimum cost and we are very much involved in this sector too.

Overseas, it is difficult to generalise, but if we separate off those countries that have indecent amounts of  oil and gas resources from those that have not, we can mention two countries, India and Ghana.  Both have oil and gas but not in such great amounts that they are dependent on them.  India is doing well and has a strong and growing manufacturing base.  It needs more energy and we all know that the most complex plants, combined cycle gas and steam turbines with CHP, give the highest efficiencies and the best return on capital.  We are busy there.  In Ghana, the situation is different.  Here is a prosperous country with social and political stability in what detractors have called, in fashionably disparaging terms, the armpit of Africa.  It is certainly hot but it is clean and comfortable and it has resources like gold and diamonds and bauxite and other valuable minerals and cocoa in abundance.  It is the bright star in west Africa and it needs energy.  It does not have a large enough group of technical engineers to satisfy its requirements, so we are busy there too.

We invested heavily in training and in our administration software and in our presentation to the outside world, particularly in our website.

The directors of the company thank all our staff and our clients and consultants and friends
for their loyalty and trust during 2008.

We wish them all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


John Sanderson, Director, 15 December 2008