ABB Australia , the power and automation technology group, has won an order worth $26 million from the international mining group Rio Tinto to increase capacity and reliability of existing transmission lines supplying power to their iron-ore mining facilities in Western Australia.
As part of the turnkey solution, ABB will design, supply, install and commission a Flexible Alternating Current Transmission Systems (FACTS) system including a Static Var Compensator (SVC), to optimize the transmission network in the region. The solution also includes extension of an existing 220 kV substation and supply of capacitor banks.
Rio Tinto has committed significant investment to upgrade the port, rail, power, and mine assets in the Pilbara region. This upgrade protects the power supply to Rio Tinto’s iron ore mines in the area and is in addition to several substations ranging from 33 kV (kilo Volts) to 220 kV that ABB has supplied to Rio Tinto as part of their long standing relationship.
SVC is part of ABB’s family of FACTS (flexible AC transmission systems) technologies, which enhance the capacity, security and flexibility of power transmission systems, and make an important contribution to the development of smart grids.
FACTS technologies allow more power to reach consumers with minimal environmental impact, lower investment costs and shorter implementation times than the traditional alternative of building new transmission lines or power plants.
“This solution will boost power capacity and improve grid stability. It will also help reduce environmental impact since it is designed to enhance the supply of electricity through existing transmission lines,” said Martin Gross, head of ABB’s Grid Systems business, within the Power Systems division.