ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth $41 million from SNEL (Société Nationale d’Électricité), the national power utility in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to refurbish and expand three substations in the southern province of Katanga. The order was booked in the first quarter.
ABB's turnkey solution includes design, engineering, supply, installation and commissioning of three 220 kV (kilovolt) air-insulated switchgear (AIS) substations and an associated load dispatch center. Commissioning is scheduled for 2012.
One substation will also be equipped with an SVC (static var compensator) unit to improve voltage stability and system performance. SVC is part of ABB’s family of FACTS (flexible alternating current transmission systems), which enhance the capacity, security and flexibility of the power network and make an important contribution to the development of smarter grids.
“This will boost transmission capacity to help meet increasing demand for electricity,” said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division.”The upgrades will also strengthen grid reliability and improve power stability in the region.”
Key ABB products in this project include power transformers, high- and medium-voltage equipment, disconnectors, instrument transformers, surge arresters and remote terminal units. ABB will also install substation automation systems compliant with the global IEC 61850 communications standard and equipped with the latest protection and control equipment. A new SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) EMS (energy management system) for remote monitoring and control of the substations will be installed at the load dispatch center located in Likasi.
The project is part of SNEL’s comprehensive grid rehabilitation program, supported by multilateral development funding. It aims to enhance power transmission capacity and meet the growing needs of the mining industry in the region.
ABB is also involved in the first phase of the project, which includes an order booked by ABB at the end of 2009 for the refurbishment of the 500 kV HVDC transmission link between the Inga power plant in the western part of the country and the Katanga district in the South. ABB has also successfully completed the upgrade of several other AIS substations over the past few years.
ABB (abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 124,000 people.