ABB has won orders worth around $150 million from the Saudi Electricity Co. to expand five existing substations, helping to ready the country’s transmission system for a 50 percent expansion of power generation capacity to accommodate a growing economy.
SEC, Saudi Arabia’s national power transmission and distribution operator, is increasing the capacity of the substations, with three located in the central region and one each in the eastern and western regions. The orders were booked in the second quarter of 2015.
Economic growth in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, primarily driven by oil and gas, necessitates a strong power infrastructure to secure a reliable electricity supply to growing industrial and commercial sectors in the region, as well as to households.
To meet this rising demand, Saudi Arabia is boosting its power generation capacity from less than 60 GW to about 91 GW by 2020, and to more than double existing capacity over the longer term. ABB is supporting these efforts through several projects across the country, including an additional $60 million order booked in the second quarter from SEC for 65 power transformers.
The extension orders include design, supply, installation and commissioning of new switchgear bays at five existing transmission substations as well as modification of associated automation, control, protection and auxiliary power supply systems and connected transmission substations.
ABB’s gas-insulated switchgear has been in successful operation for more than three decades in one of these substations. The ability to extend equipment working since the 1980s using state-of-the-art technology demonstrates the flexibility of this equipment to be adapted to changing demands.