ABB substation helps to power industry in central India

September 8, 2017 - Champa is a city famous for its silk, gold and brass metal works. It lies in central India in Chhattisgarh. It is also now home to an ABB pooling substation – one of the largest of its kind ever built for the state-owned electric utility, Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCI).

The substation is around one square kilometer in size with an installed capacity of 9,000 megawatts (MW). Its normal operating capacity is at 6,000 MW – equivalent to the output of six large power-generating plants. It is the largest substation built by ABB in India.

The Champa pooling substation receives power at 765 and 400 kilovolt (kV) from various independent power providers. It consolidates the power and then transfers it to the neighboring states of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. There is high demand for constant and reliable power in these northern and western regions due to their large industrial base. Any surplus power generated is exchanged between the regions depending on its availability and the demand from each region.

The substation is built on rocky terrain that is crossed by a canal, which potentially posed a challenge for construction. Yet, since the project began in 2013, ABB has achieved 2.11 million safe man-hours, demonstrating a commitment to high safety standards. There was ongoing cooperation among subcontractors, site workers and management about safety measures. This was supported by and regular safety reviews to identify and address any on-site hazards.

“We relied on meticulous planning which involved early engagement of experts, resource management, regular reviews, monitoring, documentation and a detailed execution plan.” said Pitamber Shivnani, head of ABB’s Power Grids division in India. “Many factors contributed to successfully deliver the project including the deployment of the latest machinery and tools, a skilled workforce and a collaborative working environment among suppliers and sub-contractors.”

This substation has 23 bays of 765 kV air insulated switchgear and 29 bays of 400 kV switchgear as well as circuit breakers, current transformers, capacitive voltage transformers, surge arresters and protection, control and relay panels. ABB also supplied an IEC 61850-based automation system to facilitate communication between the numerous devices within the substation.

The Champa substation supports PGCI’s larger plan to build a strong, reliable national grid in India to power industrial growth. The project is part of the Indian government’s ongoing investment in power infrastructure with the goal to provide universal access to reliable electricity by 2019.

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