World-first installation of new FC -Protector supports mine production growth

2017-11-14 - Customer focus and dedication facilitate successful market delivery of effective fault limiting solution, enabling power generation growth on-site

World first installation of ABB FC-Protector technology
Kalgoorlie Power Systems (KPS) is leading the charge by becoming the first company in the world to adopt brand-new Fault Current Protector (FC-Protector) technology from automation and power technology leader ABB.

Based in Western Australia, KPS is a leading contract power supplier to the resources sector, and owns operating power stations at 21 mine-sites across Australia.

KPS operates on a ‘build, own, maintain’ contract structure, funding power station capital costs for its clients. This releases the mine-owner’s capital funding for other mine-related investments.

The world-first project completed in partnership with ABB was performed for the KPS power station at Granites Newmont – a gold-mine based in the Tanami Desert in the Northern Territory, which recently underwent a $120 million expansion.

The ABB FC-Protector technology installation, was instrumental in the Granites site expansion. It works to prevent high-fault currents from causing potentially severe damage to installed electrical equipment on the site.

The project, performed by ABB Australia’s Electrification Products team, follows the recent global launch of ABB’s FC-Protector product-line.

According to ABB Electrical Engineer, Vijay Patel, the KPS power station project was completed on schedule despite a short lead-time, having started commissioning in June this year and reaching completion in July.

“ABB’s scope of works included product supply and commissioning support” said Mr Patel.

“ABB’s new technology provided the necessary fault limiting technologies required to allow site developments to safely proceed, within project budgets.”

World-first project with world leading technology

ABB’s new FC-Protector solution is a safe and effective fault limiting solution, enabling power generation growth on-site, without implications or limitations to site safety standards and network operational requirements.

Mr Patel said the solution is cost-effective when measured against alternate technologies, both on procurement and maintenance.

“It is also not limited to ABB technologies, as it can be implanted on any pre-existing brownfield installation or Greenfield development,” Mr Patel said.

“The solution does not consume power or create unnecessary voltage drop, like reactor technologies, and it is suitable for indoor and outdoor applications up to 36kV.”

According to Mr Patel, the successful application of ABB’s FC-Protector solution at the Granites power station showcased the reliability, innovation, energy efficiency and manufacturing excellence inherent in ABB’s products, by boosting efficiency at the Newmont site.

“The FC-Protector is designed to reduce potential risk for failure. The product design enables reduced down time, as maintenance elements are plug and play; the connection between the insert and insert holder is automatic, meaning no manual wiring removal is required – unlike with our competitors,” he said.

“This means the customer’s application can be refurbished at a very low price. Other suppliers’ products need to have a complete new insert hard-wired, which is expensive in both materials and labour.”

Customer benefits

The ABB team began by networking across the company to seek appropriate solutions, and then tested the market to ensure ABB’s price was competitive.

A spokesperson from KPS said working with ABB allowed us to provide a cost effective and practical solution to our clients increasing power requirements whilst minimising downtime and interface concerns.

ABB were able to deliver what they promised, on time, and provide valuable support to KPS by commissioning in a short time window in one of the remotest parts of Australia.

KPS are pleased to provide a practical, safe and cost effective solution to our valued clients with the support of ABB’s engineering and commissioning teams.