$115 million FACTS order to support high speed rail

Last October, the Saudi Electricity Company placed a $115 million order with ABB for a FACTS (flexible alternating current transmission system) solution to enhance the transmission of Saudi’s transmission grid that supplies the country’s major railway interconnections
The turnkey solution will see ABB designing, supplying, installing and commissioning two identical static var compensators (SVCs) at the Haramain High Speed Railways 380 kV (kilo volts) substations.

The installations will support the large-scale railway interconnection between the pilgrimage cities of Mecca and Medina. Scheduled for completion in 2015, the rail link will cut the journey time from six hours to two, with additional stations at other cities and King Abdulaziz International Airport en route.

The value of the order has made it the largest order received to date by ABB and the static var compensators will work alongside other ABB infrastructure, including 380 kV gas insulated switchgear ordered in 2001 and now in service at substations powering the 444 km railway line.

Typical SVC installation