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Zirku Cogeneration Plant, Abu Dhabi

ABB to upgrade power systems for giant Gulf oilfield

The Zirku Island oil and gas treatment facility, located in the coastal waters of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, is the principal production hub for the world’s fourth largest hydrocarbon reservoir.

The company set up to exploit this field is the Zakum Development Company, or Zadco, and it recently awarded ABB a $175m deal to expand and upgrade the island’s power systems.

The aim of the engineering, procurement and construction contract is to install additional power generation capacity and to improve the efficiency and robustness of industrial complex’s energy systems.

It is also intended to create the additional capacity necessary to increase the production rate of the 1,200 square kilometer Upper Zakum field from 550,000 to 750,000 barrels of oil per day.

The equipment to be installed includes two state-of-the-art gas turbine generators together with step-up transformers, high-voltage switchgear and a power management system to improve efficiency and lower carbon emissions.

ABB will also provide waste heat recovery units to utilize exhaust gases from the turbines for process heating. The project, which was awarded towards the end of 2013 will be handed over to Zadco in June 2016.

The Upper Zakum field was discovered in 1963 and was originally developed by a joint venture of BP and Total before it was taken over the government of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. It has proven reserves of 50 billion barrels of oil.

Main data

Customer:  Zakum Development Company (ZADCO) 
Site:  Zirku Island off the coast of Abu Dhabi 
Customer need:  Upgraded power generation and distribution system 
Scope:  Engineering, procurement and construction contract to install two gas turbine generators together with associated transformers and switchgear 
Application:  Oil production hub 
Customer benefits:  Greater power output with improved reliability, efficiency and control 
Commissioning year:  2016 

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