ABB Transformer

Power automation group ABB has received a contract to provide a flexible alternating current transmission system (FACTS) solution to Saudi Electricity, a power transmission and distribution operator.

The $115m order would see ABB enhance reliability of power supply and strengthen the transmission grid that feeds major railway interconnections in Saudi Arabia.

ABB will design, supply, install and commission two identical static var compensators (SVCs) as part of the solution at the Haramain High Speed Railway’s (HHR) 380kV substations.

The installations are expected to support the railway interconnection between the cities of Mecca and Medina.

ABB Power Systems division head, Brice Koch, said: "This solution will help strengthen the transmission grid and enhance reliability of power supply to important rail links being developed in Saudi Arabia.

"SVCs are part of ABB’s family of FACTS technologies, which help enhance the capacity and flexibility of power transmission systems and also contribute to the development of smarter grids."

In 2011, the company won an order worth $85m to deliver 380kV indoor gas-insulated switchgear, a key component of the new substations, to power the 444km-long Haramain rail line.

The latest contract is ABB’s largest FACTS order to date. The project is expected to be completed by 2015.

Image: an ABB transformer workshop in Ludvika, Sweden. Photo: courtesy of ABB.