ABB wins power order in Australia to support port expansion and mining exports

Substation upgrade to boost port power supply to meet growing exports from Pilbara mines

Zurich, Switzerland, June 25, 2013 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth around $27 million order from Rio Tinto to upgrade an existing power substation at the Cape Lambert port, located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The upgrade will enable the integration of electricity from a new power generation plant into the existing transmission network and will boost power supply to support the expansion of the Cape Lambert port. The order was booked in the first quarter.

The expansion is being undertaken to accommodate more ship loading facilities and increase port capacity, including the addition of a second 1,400-metre jetty and associated bulk material handling equipment. The enhanced infrastructure will enable the port to increase its iron ore exports by 53 million tons per annum. The project is expected to be completed in early 2014.

“This substation upgrade will enhance transmission capacity to increase power availability while ensuring reliability and quality of electricity supplies” said Oleg Aleinikov, head of ABB’s Substations business, a part of the company’s Power Systems division. “ABB has successfully executed several substation projects for Rio Tinto and we will once again deploy our best-in-class technologies and proven project execution capabilities to support their expanding mining and port operations in the region.”

As part of the turnkey contract, ABB will design, construct and commission the substation upgrade. Some of the major supplies include four 220 kilovolt (kV) substation bays, power transformers as well as protection and communication equipment and a SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) solution conforming to the IEC 61850 global standard.

The substation automation and communication systems will enable the power assets to be monitored and controlled from Rio Tinto’s Operations Center situated in Perth, nearly 1,500 kilometers away. The center manages and controls the mining processes, rail transport, ship loading and associated critical infrastructure such as water and power for Rio Tinto’s iron ore mining operations in the Pilbara region.

Rio Tinto is a global leader in the exploration, mining and processing of minerals and metals, including aluminum, copper, diamonds, energy products, gold, industrial minerals and iron ore.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs more than 145,000 people.

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    Media contact
    • Harmeet Bawa
      Head of Communications
      ABB Power Products and Power Systems
      Tel: +41 43 317 6480
      Fax: +41 43 317 6482
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