"The mining ecosystem in Zambia generates 90% of our revenue here, but we have also diversified in recent years. We now support non-mining activities like power generation, and we are increasingly moving into the automotive business. Additionally, we are currently the number one provider of high-horsepower diesel engines. We power trucks that are used for mining haulage and the transportation of mining materials."
Can you provide a brief history of Cummins in Zambia and highlight any recent milestones the company has enjoyed here?
Cummins is a Global Fortune 200 company that is coming up to its one hundred year anniversary in 2019. Cummins Zambia is a distribution business of Cummins which began tactically supporting key mining customers in Ndola almost 20 years ago, and has since relocated to Chingola to support KCM, and then again to our new facility in Kitwe. We made the decision to relocate to Kitwe to strategically support key OEMS and key customers because Kitwe is the central city in the Copperbelt Province and easy to access the North-Western Province where copper mining is prominent.
Cummins Southern Africa Regional Organization (CSARO), of which Cummins Zambia is a part, is headquartered in Johannesburg, from where we service not only Zambia but also South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Angola. Cummins Zambia has traditionally been in operations supporting mines, and our fundamental role is to support the mines with engines and all related products such as filtration, coolants and specific oils, as well as service support, working largely through OEMs like Komatsu, Hitachi, Sandvik and Atlas Copco.
The mining ecosystem in Zambia generates 90% of our revenue here, but we have also diversified in recent years. We now support non-mining activities like power generation, and we are increasingly moving into the automotive business. Additionally, we are currently the number one provider of high-horsepower diesel engines. We power trucks that are used for mining haulage and the transportation of mining materials.
With power often amounting to between 10-25% of a mine’s operating costs, how does Cummins help to bring increased efficiency through its products?
We provide power plants for mine sites; for example, most of the diesel generators at FQM are Cummins-powered. Cummins provides the most fuel-efficient diesel power plant, and by using our power plant, our customers are likely to save up to 10% to 15% of operational cost. The running and maintenance cost of our diesel engines are also lower compared to major competitors. These tend to provide major cost savings to our key mining customers. We have on-site contracts that provide 24/7 maintenance cover. We are in a position to provide reliable back-up power, for example we supply a back-up power plant to Indeni Petroleum in Ndola.
We can also help with indirect power efficiency, such as encouraging increased fuel efficiency in trucks.
Cummins has a reputation for leading technology innovation globally. What are some of the current areas of focus in research and development at Cummins?
The newest of our business segments, the Electrified Power Segment, brings together all of Cummins’ electrification resources to increase the visibility of and accountability for the company’s investments and performance in this growing market. It is positioned to provide fully electric and hybrid powertrain solutions along with technology leading components and subsystems to serve all our markets as they adopt electrification. Currently in development are the Cummins Electric Power Battery (EPB) and the Cummins Power Hybrid Plug-In (HPP) systems for urban bus, which are expected to launch in 2019 and 2020 respectively. In addition, Cummins intends to deliver product offerings to future markets, including pick-up and delivery applications and other markets, as they adopt electric solutions.
Zambian mines are under increasing pressure to reduce their emissions. How can Cummins help mines to decrease their environmental footprint?
Cummins is a market leader in producing low emission products, and has been for a long time. In the early 1990’s, when the US first began introducing legislation to reduce emissions, Cummins was the first company in the world to use this legislation as a guide for the development of new products, and as such, we became the number one diesel engine provider in the world at the time. We were the only company investing in the research and development of low emission engines, and our competitors were behind in creating products that would meet the stringent new requirements. Caring and Integrity are part of our core values, and being environmentally responsible is one of the ways in which we live these values.
Can you share your objectives for the future of Cummins in Zambia?
Our vision is to bring the values of Cummins to all our stakeholders – employees and their families, customers, suppliers and the communities in which we operate. Our key values are Caring, Integrity, Diversity & Inclusion, Excellence and Teamwork. We care for the environment, our staff, and the communities; we are committed to working with integrity in everything that we do. Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is important both on a company and individual level; every employee is encouraged to do at least 4 hours of corporate responsibility work, such as teaching at schools or picking up garbage on the streets, cleaning the environment etc. We want to make the world we live in a better place for all of us.
Mining will always be key to our operations here, so we will continue to be a provider of choice for the industry in Zambia, not only through our excellent service offering, but also through enacting our ethos.