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Ma'aden Aluminium project, Saudi Arabia

Customer Goal

Evaluate the impact in the Saudi Arabian grid (SEC) due to the installation of the new industrial project, comprising a major aluminium Smelter plant, Refinery and Rolling Mill factory. The project comprises also a new power plant located at Ras Al Khair with 17 generators and a nominal capacity of 3000 MW.

The assessment has been performed considering three possible scenarios; feeding the complex from the actual SEC grid, considering the new power plant in service, and working in island mode.


Addressing the issue

The performance of the power system has been evaluated covering a complete steady-state and dynamic analysis, island operation performance, smelter black-start, GIS electromagnetic analysis and relay coordination. For that purpose, an equivalent AC-DC-AC system was developed using a PSS/E HVDC model, which is capable to simulate the smelter process (a 370 kA constant current process).

The operational requirements from the smelter process in terms of voltage and reactive power were evaluated by increasing the smelter loading (2 different pot lines of 600 MW each) for different system conditions, and by assessing the voltage control strategy coming from the rectiformers.

Additionally an assessment for the 2012-2016 expansion of the transmission system (SEC), which includes a new 3 GW power plant (SWCC) close to the smelter, has been evaluated. The study has covered, among other conditions, the impact that a loss of the full smelter (1200 MW) may have in the overall transient stability.


Customer’s benefits

  • Operational assessment for the SEC grid when the smelter is in operation and when one or more equipment from the smelter plant is out of service.
  • Improved operation and exploitation conditions for the grid, providing higher efficiency and reliability to the system.
  • Improved performance of the smelter plant, including recommendations regarding the operation of the generators and their control system.

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