The creation of substations

Building substations: from design to delivery

ABB delivers more substation projects than any other supplier worldwide. Our capabilities are global and total – from complete project management to the manufacture of components and parts, and the upgrading, optimization and servicing of existing installations.

Customer specifications

The customer either submits detailed specifications of the substation and its many constituent components and parts to ABB and requests a quotation, or determines performance requirements and requests ABB to specify the system to meet them.

Preparing a quotation

Az Zour 275kV substation, Kuwait
ABB appoints a project manager – one of 400 worldwide – to be responsible for the quotation and to see the project through to completion. A project team consults with the customer as to what sort of substation would best meet the specifications, and prepares a quotation.


ABB performs complete primary and secondary engineering from design and short-circuit calculations to the engineering of digital substation automation systems.


ABB manufactures each component and part. They are made at the nearest ABB focused factory (in Europe, Asia, North or Latin America) and shipped to the substation site.

ABB’s total supplier capability ensures that nothing is left to chance. Increasingly, ABB delivers modules that integrate several key components that are already pre-tested in an ABB factory - saving time and cost.

Civil works and installation

ABB works with carefully selected local contractors. After the civil works have been built, ABB engineers install and test everything, from disconnectors and circuit breakers to electrical control and protection systems.


A typical substation takes 18 months to complete, from the day the customer submits the specifications to the day ABB engineers complete the commissioning.

The quick fix

Mobile substation
Modularized, pre-engineered substations are available in different ratings up to 145 kV, that ABB delivers within six months of receiving the order. Customers have the option to configure and submit the order online via a dedicated Website. ABB’s mobile substations are delivered by trailer and can be up and running within less than 24 hours of arrival, helping utilities to respond quickly to outages.

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    The evolution of substation

    • ABB has been designing and building substations for more than 100 years. In that time we have supplied some 5,500 air insulated and gas insulated substations for all voltage levels and all climates, from the densest downtown locations to the harshest environments on earth. ABB engineers, manufactures and delivers complete installations, and has dedicated substation capabilities in around 100 countries.

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