ABB upgrades the power supply to one of Norway’s largest industrial clusters

ABB upgrades the power supply to one of Norway’s largest industrial clusters

Norwegian utility Herøya Nett replaces existing medium-voltage power supply with ABB technology to improve availability and safety as well as reduce maintenance time by 80 percent.

With 80 companies, 2,500 employees and an annual turnover of 1.5 billion USD, Herøya Industrial Park in Porsgrunn, Norway, is one of the country’s largest industrial clusters. Utility Herøya Nett owns, operates and maintains power distribution and transmission in the industrial park, consuming approximately 1 TWh of energy per year and accounting for almost one percent of Norway’s total electric power consumption.

ABB is providing digital power supply to Herøya Nett and this latest project will see the existing 12 kilovolt switchgear be replaced by smart power solutions. The new switchgear will feature communication via fiberoptic cable to the utility’s operations center.

Safety is top of the agenda for the utility along with ensuring reliable power. The project will upgrade the aging infrastructure and supply safe and smart electrification across the entire industrial park.

“Up to 50-year-old facilities are neither efficient nor safe. The old equipment is not in an enclosure and provides limited safety against unintentional contact and electric arcs,” says Øyvind Nyhus, general manager of Herøya Nett. “Health, safety and environment (HSE) together with a reliable supply of power to the industrial consumers are key factors for Herøya Nett. As such we are working with ABB to design out the old infrastructure and replace aging switchgear to improve resilience and safety, as well as enable us to digitalize the network from grid to switch.”

Øyvind Nyhus, General Manager of Herøya Nett / Photo by: Siri Krohn-Fagervoll/Herøya Industripark AS
Øyvind Nyhus, General Manager of Herøya Nett / Photo by: Siri Krohn-Fagervoll/Herøya Industripark AS

The installation includes ABB UniGear ZS1 switchgear equipped with ABB Relion® 615 series protection and control relays and IEC 61850 digital communication. The new cabinets are hermetically sealed making them protected and safer as any electric arcs are led up and out of the power room in a safe way.

Øyvind further explains that the new digitalized switchgear will also reduce operating costs further: “The time for regular maintenance shrinks from one week to one day per cell. And this enables us to make time savings of up to 80 percent per year which we can put back into the business.”

“Herøya Nett will offer better regularity in the supply of power to its industrial customers, improved health, safety and environment for employees as well as simpler operations,” says Gøran Salomonsen, managing director ABB Electrification Norway. “The deliveries reinforce our strong relationship with Yara, owner of Herøya Nett, and their other subsidiaries.”

ABB will provide full service from design and install through to aftercare and maintenance, working closely with partner Caverion. The contract includes a service agreement between ABB and Herøya Nett, including attendance at the facility within three hours.

“We are looking forward to a continued fruitful collaboration with Herøya Nett,” says Salomonsen. “We are also proud that the new ABB power supply will drive planned facilities and upgrades in the industrial park, like Elkem’s large-scale battery materials factory for eMobility and the electrification of Yara’s ammonia plant, with a potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 800,000 ton per annum.”


The header image courtesy of: Siri Krohn-Fagervoll/Herøya Industripark AS


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