ABB wins orders worth $170 million in Saudi Arabia for expansion of power grid

New substations to help meet growing demand for electricity

(PresseBox) ( Zurich, Switzerland, )
ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won orders worth around $170 million to execute substation projects for the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), the country's national power transmission and distribution operator. The orders were booked in the third quarter.

ABB will design, supply, install and commission a substation to help meet the increased demand for electricity in and round the central pilgrimage area of Makkah. The substation, which deploys ABB's compact and robust gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) technology, will be housed in a multistoried building located in a populous and congested area. GIS substations have a considerably smaller footprint and are ideally suited for urban applications in space constrained locations.

Based on International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates, the Saudi population is set to increase from around 28 million at present to approximately 37 million by 2020, with nearly 85 percent living in urban areas. Saudi Arabia has among the highest residential electricity consumption in the world with growing household, industrial and commercial demand driven by economic development. The country is executing an ambitious Ninth Development Plan (2010-2014) aimed at raising its installed power generation capacity by more than 20 gigawatts (GW) to reach around 72GW by 2014.

"These substations will help strengthen the grid infrastructure and enhance power capacity to address the growing electricity demand in the country," said Brice Koch, head of ABB's Power Systems division. "They will also help to improve reliability and quality of power supplies while ensuring energy efficiency."

ABB will also build four other transmission and distribution GIS substations in the western and southern regions of the country.

The turnkey projects are scheduled for completion by 2014 and include delivery of products such as high- and medium-voltage switchgear, transformers, auxiliary systems and cables. ABB will also supply the SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system as well as the automation, control, protection and communication systems compliant with the international IEC 61850 standard to enable remote monitoring and control of power assets located at multiple sites from SEC's control center.

ABB is the world's leading supplier of turnkey air-insulated, gas-insulated and hybrid substations with voltage levels up to 1,100 kV. These substations facilitate the efficient and reliable transmission and distribution of electricity with minimum environmental impact, serving utility, industry and commercial customers as well as sectors like railways, urban transportation and renewables.
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