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Helping Zambia generate more power efficiently

ABB is supplying a new Symphony Plus total plant automation system to maximize production and reliability at the Kafue Gorge hydropower plant in Zambia.

The Zambian economy has been growing vigorously over the past decade, achieving an average annual growth rate of 6.4 percent. Electricity demand at peak times is estimated at 1,950 megawatts (MW), while the available capacity is 2,120 MW of which 85 MW is spinning reserve.

As part of its efforts to improve Zambia’s electric power infrastructure and reliability of supply, ZESCO, the stateowned power utility company, has embarked on an ambitious investment program throughout its generation, transmission, distribution and supply operations.

One of the key projects in this program is to maximize production and reliability at one of the country’s biggest power plants - the 990 MW Kafue Gorge hydropower station - by modernizing the aging plant automation system.

ZESCO chooses ABB

ZESCO selected ABB to supply a new distributed control system for the Kafue Gorge plant. Once installed, the system will automate the entire power generation process at the plant. It will control the six 165 MW units, provide an interface with the turbine governor system, and control the plant auxiliaries, start and stop sequences, electrical components and plant substation. It will also facilitate the remote control of the Kafue Gorge hydro facility, which is located ten kilometers upstream from the plant.

The solution is based on powerful Symphony® Plus HPC800 controllers, and includes the intensive use of the PROFIBUS fieldbus. Control and supervision of the entire plant will be performed from operator friendly S+ Operations workplaces.

ABB is also supplying and integrating protection relays from its market-leading Relion® product family, and will provide a new ergonomically designed control room with large screens to facilitate effective operator performance. Design, engineering, installation, commissioning and training are also included.

ABB has extensive experience of supplying and evolving plant automation systems for hydropower stations in Africa. Recent ABB projects include solutions for the Aswan hydropower complex in Egypt and an instrumentation, control and electrical solution for a new 360 km water network in Botswana.

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Symphony Plus