T&D World Magazine

ABB's Disaster Relief Effort Takes Several Tracks

ABB has implemented several initiatives in providing relief for the devastated areas along the Gulf coast.

"ABB is in a unique position to help utilities bring electricity to the stricken communities and to help raise funds from its global employee base," said Dinesh Paliwal, chairman and CEO of ABB in North America and head of the Automation Technologies Division worldwide. "When we learned of the disaster left behind by Hurricane Katrina, we put out a call to all employees worldwide to contribute to the company's relief effort." Paliwal noted that ABB employs about 103,000 in 100 countries.

He noted that the ABB Foundation, created as a result of the 2004 hurricane season, was created, in part, to raise funds from employees for communities impacted by natural disasters. The company recently made a contribution to the Save the Children Fund in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami.

Paliwal went on to say that all ABB power equipment manufacturing facilities are "working around the clock, seven days a week" to supply the utilities impacted by the storm with transformers and other electrical equipment needed to restore electricity to New Orleans and the other communities that lost power as a result of the storm.

ABB has electrical equipment manufacturing facilities in Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania. "ABB has also put on notice its facilities in Europe and elsewhere to join in the supply of electrical equipment," said Paliwal.

ABB also is working with other customers to reschedule deliveries of their equipment to provide space for the manufacturing of equipment earmarked for the Gulf coast and is working with suppliers to keep materials needed flowing into its factories.

ABB employs about 100 people in the Gulf coast region and has some 220 retirees living there. "We are in the process of contacting these employees to see if there is anything we can do for them and are tracking pension checks to be sure retirees get all the pension payments to which they are entitled," said Paliwal.

The company recently announced a hotline for those customers dealing with the storm's aftermath. ABB Help Desk employees are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The special toll-free number will help ABB bring its complete product and service offering to each customer's unique emergency needs. The number is 1-877-511-4222.

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