The Sri Lankan government and grid operators have been working to improve the country’s power quality and reliability of its grid as the demand for energy rises steadily due to the economic development. ABB has been commissioned to upgrade and extend six substations in Colombo by Ceylon Electricity Board, an electricity utility company which owns and operates the whole transmission grid of Sri Lanka and supplies nearly 90% of Sri Lankan consumers with power.
The project, worth around $10 million, is part of an infrastructure project called ‘Greater Colombo Transmission and Distribution Loss Reduction Project’, which aims to boost the transmission and distribution capacity of the electricity network. It is funded through a soft loan by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The extended substations will make it possible to power new urban districts, including Colombo’s International Financial City (CIFC) – a new business district of office buildings and conference centers, aimed at attracting national and international banking and financial service companies. The Sri Lankan government expects the CIFC financial zone to create over 15,000 new jobs and is to play an important role as a future financial hub between Dubai and Singapore.
ABB will extend a 220 kilovolt (kV) gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) substation, three 132 kV GIS substations and modify two 132 kV GIS substations, which were all built by ABB over the past three decades. The compact ABB GIS-technology is best suited for the densely populated capital city – the substation has a reduced footprint of up to 70% compared with an Air Insulated Switchgear substation.
ABB will also deliver medium and high voltage switchgear, auxiliary equipment, extend the telecommunication system and upgrade three control and protection systems to the latest communication protocol, IEC 61850.