The company has lent its products and expertise to several Gulf projects and has also been involved in transmitting its skills to local populations
ABB has reaffirmed its position as one of the prominent players in the Gulf’s power generation and transmission sector with a new contract it received in recent months.
The Switzerland-based company won an order worth around $55 million from Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) in the third quarter to build a substation that will integrate power from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park.
The gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) substation will enhance transmission capacity, boost power supplies and strengthen the reliability of the grid. The 100 megawatt (MW) Phase 2 of the solar power plant in Seih Al Dahal, about 50 km south of Dubai, is scheduled to commence generation in 2017.
The solar park is one of the biggest renewable energy projects in the Middle East and North Africa. It is expected to cover an area of more than 40 sq km and produce 1,000 MW of clean energy when completed in 2030. It will support the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, adopted by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy to diversify the energy mix.
“The substation will help increase transmission capacity and deliver clean solar power to meet growing demand for electricity in the region,” said Claudio Facchin, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “We are pleased to help the UAE strengthen its power network and increase the use of renewable energy.”
As part of the turnkey contract, ABB is responsible for the design, installation, commissioning and start-up of the plant. Key products to be supplied include eight bays of 400 kV and 10 bays of 132 kV GIS, two 132/400 kV power transformers rated at 570 megavolt-ampere (MVA) as well as the protection system, automation and control system, surveillance and communication. The substation will also be IEC 61850 enabled to support open communications automation and protection.
Some of the projects executed in recent years by ABB in the region are:
• A combined cycle conversion project with an EPC contractor in Kuwait. The scope included complete electrical systems and control systems for the project on a turnkey basis – manufacturing at ABB factories, engineering, assembling, testing, installation supervision, commissioning and documentation.
• A power plant (180 MW) for an EPC contractor in the UAE and end user in Iraq. The scope included a complete electrical balance of plant systems (eBoP) systems for the gas turbine power plant: (4 x GT – 40 MW – GE Frame 6B) on a turnkey basis. Manufacturing was undertaken in ABB factories, ABB was also responsible for engineering, assembling, testing and remote support for site works including documentation.
• Solar power plant, 100 MW in the UAE for an EPC contractor. Scope including key electrical, control and communication systems such as a generator circuit breaker, an isolated phase bus duct, a fault monitoring system, a protection system, a synchronising system and a settlement metering system, among other things. Other elements – manufacturing at ABB factories, engineering, assembling, testing, remote support and documentation.
“ABB is a long-term partner and we are fully committed to supporting the region with the development of the infrastructure to enable economic growth and prosperity for its people,” said a company statement. “As a result ABB will continue to offer its electrical and automation solutions for green field power and water projects in the region as well as to work together with our customers to upgrade and retrofit their plants enhancing the production capacity and improving their efficiency.
“We continue to be a technology driven company: our Research and Development is strongly focused on developing the equipment and systems required for power generation and modern power grids as well as water industries.
“We recognise the importance of securing the investments made by our customers in the assets under operations and the need to operate and maintain them with highest possible reliability, availability and efficiency and therefore our service portfolio is constantly expanded to address the rising demand to help our customers meet the above challenges. We maintain a highly trained service team in the region together with best- in-class service facilities well supported by our global team of service engineers and factories.”
ABB clearly sees business possibilities over the next few years.
“There is still significant demand for power in countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Iraq where ABB expects few IPP and EPC projects. With regards to water, there are several desalination, pumping stations, waste water and irrigation projects in the region due to the growing demand for both potable water and the need for maximising water re-use,” it says.
“In addition to the traditional electrical and automation scope, ABB will play a strong part in helping our customer design better and smarter water networks through its automation solutions designed for water applications.”
ABB generates revenues from products and solutions helping customers to reduce energy consumption, environmental impact and emissions and supporting integration of renewables in the energy segment.
More than 5,000 ABB engineers, service technicians and specialists serve customers in the Middle East ensuring they have broad and easy access to ABB technology and service. ABB technologies are used along the entire energy value chain – from extraction of resources and their transformation into electricity, liquefied natural gas or refined petroleum products to their efficient use in utilities, industries, transportation and buildings. ABB highlights it helps customers extract the most value from each unit of energy they generate, transmit, distribute or use.
ABB has developed Symphony Plus, its total plant automation platform designed specifically to meet the needs of the power generation and water industries in the GCC region.
“Our market and technology leadership in power and automation technologies means that we can offer customers integrated electrical, control and instrumentation solutions. These complete solutions are optimised to maximise the efficiency and minimise the energy consumption of power and water applications. For EPCs they significantly reduce project risk and minimise the number of vendor interfaces to just one,” the company said.
“Continuous technology leadership in renewable energy, efficiency and reduced environmental impact allows ABB to gain and strengthen global market share in key growth segments. During the past years ABB has continuously grown revenues from its portfolio in renewables. ABB will continue to develop technologies for key areas such as solar, smart grids and microgrids, sustainable mobility and energy efficiency.”
The company’s training programmes for engineers, programmers, maintenance and operations personnel are designed to provide up-to-date technical expertise for existing and new products, processes, and technology advances.
It offers training on-site at ABB training facilities, locally at the plant site or on-line. ABB University helps increase workforce skill levels and knowledge with training assessment programmes including competence development, custom courseware and coaching services.
ABB recently launched its Sentinel (long-term licence agreement) programme through which customers can buy an upgrade licence at a much lower costs on ABB DCS (distributed control systems).
The company is present in almost all GCC countries and the regional centre of competence is located in Abu Dhabi. It has long-term service contracts with some of its customers in the region.