GIS substations upgrade to strengthen power grid in Pakistan

2016-05-30 - Upgrade of three-decades-old gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) substations in Karachi to help meet growing demand for electricity

Karachi is the second-largest city in the world by population and Pakistan’s main seaport, financial center and industrial hub. Its population of 23.5 million (2013) is growing at an annual rate of five percent. To meet the rising demand for electricity, Pakistan’s major power utility K-Electric is adding generation capacity and reinforcing its grid infrastructure.

Two of its most important grid substations, Baldia and Pipri West, have been in operation for more than 30 years. While Baldia substation is feeding a large residential area in the western part of Karachi, the Pipri West substation is located about 40 km (kilometers) southeast of Karachi near the deep-water seaport Port Muhammad Bin Qasim and feeds heavy industries including Pakistan Steel Mills, one of the country’s largest industrial complexes.

To cater for the growing energy requirements of the provisioned areas and to improve grid stability, the substations require modernization. ABB performed a thorough risk assessment at the stations that enabled K-Electric to select an effective solution for upgrading the existing facilities to ensure high performance while lowering maintenance cost.

As part of the turnkey contract, ABB will overhaul and upgrade the GIS at the 220/132 kV (kilovolt) Baldia substation and the 132 kV Pipri West facility. The 132 kV GIS at Baldia will also be extended by two bus sections to further enhance the availability of the facility.

The ability to extend switchgear that is in operation since the 1980s demonstrates the flexibility of this equipment to be adapted to changing demands. The project is scheduled for completion by 2017.

“This project is an important part of K-Electric’s strategy towards a modern and reliable transmission grid with excellent availability,” said Mr. Aslam Khan, Transmission Grid Manager at K-Electric. “Thanks to the right-on-time actions, the substations are being upgraded and modernized, enhancing their operational reliability and substantially extending their lifetime.”

“We are pleased to contribute to K-Electric’s modernization plans and help to enhance the availability and reliability of the transmission grid,” said Oleg Aleinikov, Managing Director of the Grid Integration business, a part of the company’s Power Grids division. “Thanks to our leading-edge technologies and project execution expertise, we were able to offer solutions that add sustainable value and protect utility investments in line with our Next Level strategy.”

K-Electric Limited manages the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to the greater metropolitan area of Karachi, covering over 6,500 square kilometers, and supplies electricity to industrial, commercial, agricultural and residential consumers.