ABB technology boosts gas extraction in Egypt’s Western desert fields

Cairo, Egypt - ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, said today that it expanded the installed distributed control system (DCS) at Apache Egypt’s Abu Gharadig Condensate Extraction Facility in the Western desert.

Apache Egypt, a joint-venture between Khalda Petroleum Company and Qarun Petroleum Company, is the largest producer of liquid hydrocarbons and natural gas in the Western desert region and the third largest gas producer in Egypt. It acquired the facility from GUPCO/British Petroleum in 2010. This plant is one of the main LPG extracting facilities of the Egyptian gas grid, with a daily gross production of 135 million cubic feet or 4,000 barrels/day.

The project had initially started as a Human System Interface (HSI) expansion. However, ABB was able to demonstrate that evolving the process controller and operator stations as well to System 800xA could enhance the installation and fully support Apache’s future business needs, including their smart grid utility requirements.

ABB has evolved the installed systems at the Apache facility to meet its changing production and business needs, with system and functionality enhancements that maximize the value of the original ABB system investment. The plant’s original ABB MOD 300 controllers had been running the extraction process since 1992 — a remarkable 20-year history; that was later evolved to ABB’s Freelance AC 800F control technology. At the same time, the operator stations were also evolved to ABB’s System 800xA Operations platform using System 800xA’s AC800F Connect software. The number of channels supported by the redundant AC 800F controllers in the “new” installation grew from 150 to 800. ABB also conducted customized training on the engineering, configuration and operation of System 800xA for the Khalda Petroleum project team.

System 800xA, with the capability to integrate the plant’s process control, asset optimization and power management into one automation platform, as well as support multi-system integration, also provides the foundation to extend to the control environments of other Apache operations such as its Oil Wells Power House and gas plant in Cairo.

“Our industry expertise and local resources helped this project to be implemented and operated successfully, from design to start-up," says Naji Jreijiri, head of ABB in Egypt. Mohamed Ismail, project planning general manager for Khalda Petroleum, says, We appreciate ABB’s cooperation and performance in evolving our DCS system to meet our needs over the years.”

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABBGroup of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.

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