ABB to power new railway line in Africa

Traction substations to ensure reliable power supply to new rail corridor connecting northern Ethiopia to the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway line

Zurich, Switzerland, November 11, 2014 – ABB has won orders worth around $16 million to supply traction substations and auxiliary power supply for a new rail corridor in Ethiopia. The Awash-Kombolcha-Weldia line is part of a five-year growth and transformation plan being implemented by the Ethiopian Government to provide efficient mobility, facilitate trade and strengthen the economy. The order was booked in the third quarter.

The contract was awarded by Yapı Merkezi Construction and Industry Inc., a leading Turkish transportation infrastructure company. The project is scheduled for completion in 2017.

ABB will design and supply engineered equipment packages for five 230/25 kilovolt (kV) traction substations, eight section posts and about 30 auxiliary substations. Key products to be supplied include a range of high and medium-voltage switchgear, traction transformers rated at 25 megavolt-ampere (MVA), power factor correction (PFC) transformers, FSK II+ railway circuit breakers and auxiliary power supply equipment.

The 400-kilometer Awash-Kombolcha-Weldia railway line will connect the northern and eastern traffic corridors of Ethiopia via Kombolcha and Weldia/Hara Gebeya in the north. The line will also connect to the line linking Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, to the port of Djibouti. This will enhance passenger travel and trade, reducing travel time to the port by 50 percent.

“These substations will enable the efficient supply of electricity to power the network’s expansion and ensure reliable operation and performance of this rail network,” said Claudio Facchin, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “ABB has a wide range of technologies and a strong track record of providing innovative solutions for the rail sector, serving communities all over the world. This order also shows our increased focus on expanding in Africa.”

ABB has a range of power and automation products and solutions for the rail industry and a vast global installed base. Increasing concern for the environment, rapid urbanization, the need to move more people and freight faster, and volatile fuel prices make rail a strategic focus sector for the company.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.

ABB Group Corporate Communications, Zürich
Thomas Schmidt, Antonio Ligi
Tel: 41 43 317 6568 

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ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner in ABB Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees.