Revolutionary new power genset for African mining and construction

SDMO main picKOHLER-SDMO enters a new era with the launch of its KD Series, cementing its position in the power generation market

Power specialist KOHLER-SDMO will unveil its latest range of large diesel industrial generators at the Africa Energy Forum this month.

The new KD line, which was launched globally at the end of last year, heralds a new dawn for the company – the generating sets are equipped for the first time with KOHLER engines. 

The KD 135 and KD 175 series is the largest power range on the market from 800 kVA/kWe to 4200 kVA/4,000kWe. 

"It's a very important strategy step for the company because we manufacture our own engines now," said Patrick Le Guen, Export Sales Vice President of KOHLER-SDMO. "It is the latest engine on the market, which has the most modern technology in terms of fuel consumption and fuel emission. We already have an excellent footprint compared to our main competitors."

The new 37 engines and 15 generators have been designed by the company's partner Liebherr and are available under the KOHLER and KOHLER-SDMO brands. The KOHLER brand is dedicated to providing power solutions to North America and Asia-Pacific while the KOHLER-SDMO brand offers applications to EMEA and Latin America. The targeted industries are construction, mining and IT as well as water treatment, oil and gas and telecommunications.

"The big difference is that by having our own engine we can really drive our own sales and service policies," said Le Guen. "We don't have to rely on any supplier; it is ours. During this year and next year, we are providing important service training for all of our African distributors."

David Raison, regional sales director, said the company had already started to roll out training on the new engines and generators for distributors in Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and South Africa.

He said, "One of the important differences between SDMO and our competitors is that we are connected directly to our end users through our distributors, which gives customers more confidence in our products." 

The new engines are characterised by low fuel consumption, extended service intervals and compact design for a variety of stand by and prime applications worldwide. Other notable features include a KOHLER APM802 digital controller with a 12-inch touchscreen and a high-ambient cooling system.

"It is a very important investment for the company from a long-term perspective as we are able to compete with Caterpillar and Cummins, which we are very excited about," said Le Guen.

"One thing which is important, especially for Africa, our partner Liebherr has designed these engines to run in very harsh conditions. As Africa is mainly the prime power market, we have developed a very strong engine. For markets, such as mining, the engine fits perfectly to the customer needs as well as for big industrial applications to support dams or data centres.”

SDMO, which was bought by KOHLER Group in 2005 – making it one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial generators, has more than 30 years experience working in Africa.

"SDMO has a very long history with Africa because this is the continent where we started our export business in the 1980s. So, it was easier for us to start doing business with the French speaking African countries first. Since that time we have continued to invest in the continent, which is second in terms of value for SDMO after Europe. Globally, we are second in the market place after Caterpillar, which is good. Our target, of course, is to be first."

Raison remains confident about business opportunities across EMEA despite economic challenges in the Middle East.

"We are quite optimistic for the Middle East business. But the issue is Saudi Arabia where the market is very weak," he explained. "It was the case last year, but despite this, we had a very good year in terms of our big projects. In the Middle East, SDMO is quite strong in the telecom business, supporting companies and banks. But for the oil and gas we are in the early stages of discussions to increase our presence in this sector. This will be helped with the launch of the new KD line. We do very well in Egypt too. In Qatar, Oman and Dubai, we offer solutions in the standby market. Similarly to Africa, we will continue to deploy the same strategy in the Middle East to be as close as we can to the end user by focusing on our distributors. We also are looking forward to taking part in the Expo 2020 in Dubai to help grow our business further." 

The KOHLER Group has been a global provider of energy solutions since 1920.

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