Chinese major enters local T&D market

L-R: TGOOD Global CEO Dr Siegfried Ruhland, TGOOD Australia CEO Chris Ball, TGOOD Global chairman Helmut B Rebstock and TGOOD Global managing director David Kang
L-R: TGOOD Global CEO Dr Siegfried Ruhland, TGOOD Australia CEO Chris Ball, TGOOD Global chairman Helmut B Rebstock and TGOOD Global managing director David Kang

A new supplier has arrived in Australia’s power transmission and distribution market: TGOOD ACEO Chris Ball talks about e-houses, kiosks, and the importance of good timing.

TGOOD is targeting utility and mining majors including BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, with a pledge to beat rivals’ lead times on new projects by as much as half.

The Chinese-backed electricity system supplier specialises in providing vertically integrated substation solutions (from power products through to and including building and structural fabrication) and is an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of medium and high voltage power equipment.

Chaired by new Chinese billionaire Yu Dexiang, TGOOD launched its Australian business in April, and chief executive officer Chris Ball says interest is already strong among utilities with projects in the pipeline.

The thing that sets the company apart, he says, is good timing.

“When TGOOD first decided to grow from a successful domestic business in China into a global multinational we knew that speed of delivery would be our key point of difference,” he says, adding the quicker power is supplied, the quicker the cash flows.

“There is intense pressure on these industry sectors to deliver significant savings to the bottom line, whether as overall project costs or reductions in capital expenditure.

“Time really does equal money in the energy industry. The power of any large project is always a critical path to delivering a project. That directly turns into a saving on cash flow.”

TGOOD, which manufactures electrical equipment as well as providing ready-made power solutions for projects and sites, could provide a substation in 20 weeks, rather than the 10-12 months typical in the industry.

“We are nimble, responsive and not constrained by heavy compartmentalisation,” Chris says.

He attributes the company’s short delivery times to the integration of the business and its new 400,000sq m factory in Qingdao, China, which is designed to grow with demand.

“Global factories, in most cases, are over-utilised which, in turn, translate into protracted manufacturing lead times. However, TGOOD’s new factory has been planned to cater for the next 10 years of global growth,” he says.

The benefits of prefabricated modular substations include significantly reduced on-site labour costs, greater quality and environmental control, reduced lead times, increased safety during the manufacturing process, and reduced onsite installation and commissioning time and expense.

Essentially, it’s a one-stop-shop for e-houses – an industry term meaning anything that contains a building or a room dedicated to electrical equipment .

“In TGOOD’s case, we provide high voltage power products or substation equipment within pre-fabricated buildings that can be transported directly from the place of manufacturing to the site of installation. We can produce all aspects of the e-house without needing to involve high dollar value external suppliers, thus reducing the multi-contract margin on margin effect that often escalates cost with large projects,” he says.

Another key product for TGOOD globally is the supply of Compact Secondary Substations, which are commonly referred to as ‘kiosks’. They convert higher voltage electricity into the lower voltage required by homes and businesses. In Australia, local utility providers manage kiosks.

As population and energy requirements increase and existing power infrastructure ages, Chris expects a high demand for e-houses and kiosks throughout the country.

The company is heavily involved with electric vehicle charging in China (TGOOD Global is majority owned of the Chinese parent TGOOD Electric Group, the Shenzhen-listed entity). Nonetheless, for now at least, the Australian team will focus on its power products and developing relationships with customers.

“It’s not often that you see the birth of a new global player in such an established industry, he said.

“We are here for the long haul and incredibly optimistic about the future.”