Providing power and generating good business

GeneratorA common problem facing equipment managers is – rent or purchase? And in Africa, where power supplies so frequently fail, the dilemma concerns costly diesel generators more than most

We checked manufacturers’ websites in the 10-3,000 kVA range and found that many confront the issue head on, providing sound cost-based arguments for both options. Many operate a separate rental division.

At the same time we noticed the general equipment rental industry, which also deals in gensets, argues convincingly from its own point of view, providing a series of handy online calculating tools that support this case.

The key point is that a genset is, to many users, not like any other piece of equipment.

Whether installed for prime or standby service (and this usually means quite different specifications) its output is often indispensable in an emergency.

In general, machinery maintenance departments opt for rented equipment to meet infrequent, but not standby demand.

So, an engine generating set will be hired when the workflow increases predictably and temporarily, as when a weaving mill receives a large batch order from overseas. This is a pre-planned and fully-costed operation, with rental arrangements made in advance on an ‘if and when’ basis.

But what if the need for more, or any, power is unplanned? Many Nigerian industrialists will identify with this.

With the cited textile plant no great harm will be done if the looms stop while a genset is trucked in.

To read the rest of this article, please see the April 2012 issue of African Review

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