ABB control system for giant desalination plant

2006-12-28 - ABB is supplying a state-of-the-art control system to integrate the largest seawater desalination plant in the southern hemisphere into the Western Australia water network. The plant will feed the same network as another ABB automation project – the 700-kilometer Goldfields Pipeline, the longest potable water pipeline in the world.

By Editorial services

Scheduled for completion in December 2006, the Perth Seawater Desalination Plant in Western Australia will feed 45 gigaliters of drinking water a year (130 million liters a day) into the state’s integrated water system.

The US$290 million project will boost the dwindling water supplies in one of the largest states in the world and guarantee 17 percent of Western Australia’s current water needs, regardless of rainfall or drought.

ABB delivered the control system for the world’s longest potable water pipeline.

ABB is supplying a network control system based on its MicroSCADA and RTU560 technology to enable the water produced at the desalination plant to flow into the Perth water distribution network.

The solution includes upgrading the existing MicroSCADA control system with new functionality, like profiling and cascade PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) control across multiple remote sites and fallback communications systems, as well as remote monitoring and control of pressure, flow and other functions.

One-third of Australia
With an area of more than 2.5 million square kilometers, Western Australia covers one-third of Australia and is almost the same size as Argentina, the world’s ninth largest country. Its population of only 1.6 million is one of the most widely distributed on the planet, a factor which is particularly challenging for the state’s water utility, Water Corporation.

ABB has played a long and significant role in helping Water Corporation develop and maintain its vast water network. In the early 1990s ABB supplied some 650 remote terminal units to measure and transmit data on the water distribution system for the state capital, Perth. And in 1995 ABB delivered the automation system for the world’s longest potable water pipeline – the 700-kilometer Goldfields Pipeline which delivers water from Perth to the gold mining area of Kalgoorlie.

Water Corporation recently selected ABB for a strategic alliance in which ABB will continue to supply control systems, remote terminal units and communication systems for Western Australia’s water network.

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    Currently under construction, the Perth Seawater Desalination Plant will be the largest desalination plant in the southern hemisphere when it goes onstream at the end of this year.

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