ABB wins Eskom upgrade contract - Instrumentation News

POWER and automation technology group ABB has won an order from Eskom for the provision of new equipment for the utility’s Arnot power station in Mpumalanga.

ABB yesterday said its control and instrumentation system would integrate Arnot’s water treatment plant, condensate plant regeneration, condensate polishing plant, and ammonia and sedimentation plant into one common plant network.

The scope of the project, which started this month, includes design, production engineering, factory testing, delivery, installation, commissioning, operational acceptance testing, plant documentation and training, ABB said.

The project would be implemented over 20 months, ABB said.

"ABB experts have engaged with the customer to develop operation and control philosophies for implementing on our control system. This will fully automate and allow remote central operation of the plant and provide a safer working environment for plant workers," Carlos Pone, country manager of ABB SA, said yesterday.

The need to upgrade Arnot arose because of the current manual operation with dangerous chemicals and the labour-intensive working environment where operators might be prone to errors, ABB said.

Eskom is investigating the circumstances that led to a blast in its Duvha power station earlier this year. The reasons for the accident, which has taken out 600MW from the national electricity system, are still unknown.

Eskom CE Brian Dames last month said that the unit, which was damaged in the accident, could be returned to service by next June.

ABB said it had recently completed the Kendal power station water treatment plant, which uses the same technology platform as offered for Arnot.

"ABB has an experienced engineering team with water treatment plant process knowledge and because safety is important not just for us at ABB but for our customers , we are pleased to provide automation solutions that address the plant safety issues," Mr Pone said.

This is the latest of several contracts that ABB has won from Eskom. These include a two-year contract for the expansion and replacement of high-voltage products for the transmission network in the country.

ABB said that power utilities and municipalities in Southern Africa and sub-Saharan Africa are investing in improving infrastructure to ensure reliable power supply.
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