Prime Minister visits ABB’s new facility in Napier

2013-04-30 - Prime Minister visits newly opened research and development centre providing power protection and conversion products to a global market.
ABB, the leading power and automation technology company, this morning hosted Prime Minister John Key for a tour of its new 6500 square metre research and development centre and factory in Napier.

Hon. Craig Foss, Hon. Chris Tremain, Rt Hon. John Key, Grant Gillard and John Penny

The facility was officially opened by local Member of Parliament and Minister of Internal Affairs and Local Government, Chris Tremain on 14th March 2013.

The Prime Minister was given a tour of the facility, led by John Penny, General Manager of ABB’s Napier business, which included viewing the production of technology that is used to protect some of the world’s largest electronics factories, including Samsung, from crippling power disruptions.

Grant Gillard, Managing Director of ABB in New Zealand, says the presence of the Prime Minister at the new facility highlights the significance of ABB’s investment in Napier and New Zealand. “ABB is very committed to New Zealand with three manufacturing plants and over 700 employed. We are proud to have been providing power and automation solutions in New Zealand now for over 80 years”.

John Penny, General Manager of ABB’s Napier based global business, says he was pleased to have the opportunity to showcase the company’s long legacy of excellence in power electronics: “We have been producing our specialty designs for around 30 years in Napier, and are proud to be able to demonstrate our local skills and expertise to the Prime Minister”.

ABB’s Napier business has global responsibility for a range of highly innovative power protection and power conversion products which they design, manufacture and sell globally. Products range from leading edge voltage conditioners that are used to protect some of the world largest semiconductor (silicon chip) manufacturing plants, through to frequency converters allowing ships to connect to shore power while at port, saving fuel and reducing pollution.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.