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SEC expansion will be engineered by local Invensys office

01 February 2008

Invensys Process Systems has won a substantial contract from the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) to rovide plant performance and monitoring solutions for use on PP8, one of the country’s most critical power plants. The project work will be largely carried out by Invensys’ offices in the region following the company’s promise to provide local and regional support and expertise.

Nabil Kassem is managing director of Invensys Middle East
Nabil Kassem is managing director of Invensys Middle East

The PP8 plant is based in Central Province and is one of two power stations that supply the country’s capital city with its electricity needs. The Riyadh plant is currently rated at 1850 MW, which will rise to 2330 MW after this expansion.

Four independent DCS systems currently control the plant. Two of these are Foxboro I/A systems from Invensys but two other older systems are suffering obsolescence issues. As part of the PP8 phase III expansion project, SEC has approved the plant’s expansion with the addition of four new gas turbines to increase capacity by 480 MW. The company was looking for a DCS that has the capability to control and monitor the new gas turbines, the overall balance of plant (BOP), and to provide a seamless interface with the existing DCS systems.

The value of Invensys Process Systems contracts currently underway in the Middle East has broken through the US$500m barrier. Concurrently, a significant proportion of the work scope for those contracts is being implemented regionally in the Middle East. One significant recent win is a multi-million Dollar to implement an InFusion-based plant information management system (PIMS) for the Petro Rabigh refining and petrochemical complex located in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia. The plant, which is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical Company of Japan, will commence operation in the third quarter of 2008.

This PIMS project uses object- and service-oriented technology to allow real-time data access from the processes and utilities units, thus allowing easy integration and transfer of data between applications. The system will allow integration with SAP modules to provide an information flow from the sensor to the boardroom.

Another recent multi-million dollar gas contract, with Saudi Aramco, involves an upgrade of the existing Foxboro distributed control systems (DCS) at the company’s Shedgum and ‘Uthmaniyah gas plants. Invensys is providing all engineering, procurement and site services for this DCS upgrade project. This project is being executed completely out of the new Invensys facility in Saudi Arabia.

The Foxboro I/A Series systems being pgraded were installed in the late 1990s to replace the analogue panel board controls at both plants. Under this DCS upgrade contract, which will ensure that the technologically at both plants remains current, Invensys will upgrade the existing Foxboro I/A Series control networks at each plant with state-of-the-art Mesh Control Network technology.

The two gas plants were constructed by Saudi Aramco in the 1980s as key components of Saudi Arabia’s visionary Master Gas Plan. They remain the two largest gas plants in the Kingdom, with a combined processing capacity of well over four billion standard cubic feet per day.

The output from these plants is fed into the Saudi gas grid where it fuels local power plants and provides feedstock for petrochemical plants. The Middle East is an area of strategic importance to Invensys Process Systems. An important factor in delivering on its promise is the provision of local and regional support and expertise. Nabil Kassem, managing director of Invensys Middle East, explained: “Our aim is to be able to service the customers of the region from the countries of the region with staff from the region.”

Invensys Middle East continues to recruit and train local engineering and professional talent to support its growing business activities in the region. The graduate training program has been highly successful, attracting 52 engineers from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) since 2005. Saudi Arabia and GCC professional staff account for 24% of the total Invensys workforce in the Middle East.

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