ABB Measurement Products

ABB wins $39 million power order in Saudi Arabia


Source: ABB Measurement Products

Capacitor banks installed to increase efficiency, reliability and power quality

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth $39 million from the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), Saudi Arabia’s national power transmission and distribution provider, to improve the efficiency of power transmission and distribution in the country’s Eastern Province.

ABB will design, engineer, supply, install and commission equipment including 13.8 kV (kilovolt) capacitor banks for the existing substation infrastructure in 40 locations, which will help significantly reduce electricity losses and improve the stability and quality of power supply. These technologies will improve the network's power factor, which is an indicator of the usable power available in the grid. The fast track project is scheduled for completion by mid 2011.

“Capacitor banks will improve the efficiency and reliability of the power network and support the region’s growing need for power,” said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “ABB has executed similar orders and successfully commissioned several substations in the region. We are pleased to support SEC once again, in their efforts to build and strengthen the country’s power infrastructure.”

A capacitor is a multi-purpose device that can store an electrical charge in the form of an electric field. It is used to help stabilize power systems and make them more efficient. A distribution system’s operating power comprises active or “working” power and reactive or “non-working” power. Power factor represents the ratio between the two and is a measure of a power network's efficiency. Efficiency can be improved by correcting, or raising, the power factor. Power factor correction in inductive alternating current (AC) circuits is a common capacitor application. Capacitor banks contain a number of capacitors connected in parallel.

Substations are key installations in the power grid that facilitate the efficient transmission and distribution of electricity. They include equipment that protects and controls the flow of electrical power. ABB is the world’s leading supplier of air- and gas-insulated substations covering a range of voltage levels up to 1,100 kV.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 117,000 people.

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