MV Simoprime Switchgear

First locally manufactured Simoprime MV Switchgear produced by Voltex MV/LV Solutions

Voltex MV/LV Solutions has been a Siemens Technology Partner for the 8PTand S8 ranges of LV Switchgear for 1 year and 3 months (since 1st
March 2014) and on the strength of this partnership the Directors felt the time was right to expand the agreement with Siemens to include manufacturing LV Switchgear. This extended license agreement will enable Voltex MV/LV Solutions to offer a full solution to the client from MV through to LV in the growing medium voltage market. In addition, it offered the perfect opportunity to develop local skills in the manufacture of MV Switchgear and technological expertise to Siemens standards. The three employees chosen to go for the partnership training were Luca Petersen, Damien Buchanan and Neil Stewart.

The training took place at the Siemens production facility in Getze, near Istanbul in Turkey, where they learnt the design, manufacturing, assembly and testing of the Simoprime MV Switchgear. This range of air-insulated, metal enclosed, metal clad medium voltage switchgear is for indoor installation with maximum ratings of 17.5kV/40kA/3600A. The product range includes circuit breaker panels (incoming and outgoing), metering, disconnecting bus-coupler and bus riser panels from 7.2kV to 17.5kV with vacuum contractor panels in 7.2kV and 12kV. Available panel widths are 435, 600 and 800mm at a depth of 1860mm. Commenting on the level of training, Luca Petersen stated “the training quality at the Siemens facility was exceptionally high and being able to bring back these new skills to be used locally is enormously rewarding”.

Vacuum interrupters are a highly proven and widely used technology, having 64% of the world market share when it comes to medium voltage switching. Simoprime uses the Siemens Sion 3AE5 and 3AE1 vacuum circuit breakers which range from 7.2kV to 24kV and are suitable for both withdrawal and fixed mounting arrangements within the panels. Operations also take place behind an interlocked closed front door, giving the customer complete peace of mind knowing that the operator will be safe and that the switchboard fulfills all the mandatory type tests required for the new IEC 62271-200.

The first Simoprime order was placed in December 2014 by Consulting Engineers Bosch Projects comprising of 16 panels for Sumitomo Rubber in Ladysmith. The first 4 panels were for an upgrade to their 3.3kV pump house board; these were delivered to site in April. The remaining 12 panels commissioned, replaced their existing 11kV sub-station 1 main intake board and were delivered in May. The next MV project currently in production has been commissioned for Tanelec in Zambia.


Voltex MV/LV Solutions was established in 2003 and integrated into the Voltex Group in 2014. Voltex MV/LV Solutions provides tailor-made manufacturing products and services, which are directly sold to the end user. It has a central focus in the production of LV/MV Panels and Switchgear, Variable Speed Drives, Motor Control

Centres, Distribution Boards, Mini-Subs, Standby Generators and Specialised Assemblies. All products and services are IEC and SABS certified and tailored specifically for end users.

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