The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light just how reliant the modern world is on a number of things. However, from grocery stores to healthcare facilities, nothing is more essential than the power behind them. And nobody knows that better than KONČAR Group – the Croatian-based electrical manufacturer that’s been powering the globe for a century.
With references in 130 global markets, KONČAR’s President of the Management Board Gordan Kolak says the pandemic not only highlighted, but completely reaffirmed, two highly significant facts. “COVID-19 showed us how vital an uninterrupted electricity supply is. The 21st century economy completely relies on it,” he notes.
“Secondly, we see the rising topic of localisation of manufacturing to the EU market. There’s been a lot of talk about reshoring. Major players in the European market have become acutely aware of the fact that we cannot always rely on distant offshore production. There is a need and a justification for purposeful strengthening of European production in order to ensure resiliency in the face of any other future crises and new global challenges.”
“Energy efficiency, self-sufficiency, prosumers and e-mobility are elements of a new power engineering reality. And KONČAR is an active participant.”
For the past few decades, KONČAR has been witnessing a paradigm shift of the electric power system. Gordan shares that it has currently advanced into one of the “most dynamic development momentums for the industry” and the pandemic has only worked to further hasten things.
“Primary resources in electric power generation are changing, and power grids will soon be different as consumer habits and customer expectations change,” he explains. “Energy efficiency, self-sufficiency, prosumers and e-mobility are elements of a new power engineering reality. And KONČAR is an active participant.”
The company values sustainability, not only for its core business in power engineering, but for its long-term effects on society in general. “Divisiveness and imbalances have unfortunately become a part of everyday lives of people across the globe, and we must become more active in advocating sustainable balance, in that way securing a better world for our children and the generations to come,” he says.
“KONČAR firmly commits to ensuring its own contribution to the cause by reducing the carbon footprint in our daily operations and deliberations. I believe that it is only through our own example, through awareness, education and determination in implementing activities aimed at long-term sustainability, that we can and must answer the challenges brought by climate change.”
That’s why over the next year, the company is focused on enhancing its power engineering portfolio, thereby strengthening its role in the development and delivery of solutions based on renewable energy sources with a particular focus on wind, solar and hydro-power – all around the globe. For this, it will take moving away from the outdated individual and fragmented methods and into a more synergised means of application.
“A synergy of green and smart technologies is essential in the period to come. A true green transition ensures a positive effect on the entire ecosystem,” he shares. “KONČAR is focused on furthering the development of technologies and products that will combine green and smart solutions, giving our partners the possibility to stay up to date with European trends as well as with the global initiative and the overall direction in which power engineering is headed.”
At the core of KONČAR’s development over the past 70 years is its Electrical Engineering Institute. This institute features an accredited laboratory centre for conducting numerous testing and calibration methods, and has been key in the company’s commitment to sustainability.
“In addition to developing and improving green products, over the recent years KONČAR has put special emphasis on smart technologies, helping it emerge as a reliable partner, even a flag bearer, on a global scale,” Gordan explains.
“After a century of experience attained in numerous markets across the world in the construction of electric power generation, transmission and distribution facilities, KONČAR offers solutions that contribute to greater market resilience and energy sector strengthening. Together with its longstanding tradition, our advantage lies in continual investment in research and development, which keeps the company up to date with technical and technological trends in the industry, and makes it more resilient to challenges that the future brings.”
What pandemic? KONČAR Group powered a number of major projects in 2020 despite COVID-19
- Created the PROZA NET platform: This platform for the digitisation of automated power systems is the world’s first system certified for the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure.
- Supplied KONČAR’s largest instrument transformers to a US company: Coming in at a voltage level of 525 kilovolts and power output of 250 kilovolt amps, these transformers aren’t just KONČAR’s largest transformers ever manufactured in the instrument transformers segment, they’re also among the largest transformers of their type in the entire world.
- Commissioned Croatia’s largest solar power plant
- Commissioned Africa’s third generator on the Kamburu Hydroelectric Power Station: This was the second stage of the Kenyan plant’s refurbishment. Its first stage was completed by KONČAR in 2014.
- Delivered the first of twelve contracted low-floor trams for Latvian company Liepājas Tramvajs: The trams feature KONČAR’s proprietary solutions for important subsystems such as the main electric motor drive, auxiliary power supply, microprocessor control and communication technologies, body and bogies.