ABB wins $100 million power orders to boost production at Rio Tinto mines in Australia

2012-03-14 - Substations to reinforce power distribution for expanded operations

Zurich, Switzerland, March 13, 2012 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won orders worth around $100 million from Rio Tinto for 17 distribution substations to support increased production at iron ore mines in Western Australia.

The upgrades and installation of new power infrastructure will raise the voltage level of the existing distribution substations and increase the power supply to support the expansion of existing iron ore mines in the Pilbara region.

Urbanization and economic development in emerging markets is fueling demand for steel, for which iron ore is the main component. Steel is widely used in the construction of bridges, railways, ships, cars, buildings, and other infrastructure and industries.

“Our proven substation capabilities and leading-edge technologies will help Rio Tinto meet the need for increased electricity and support efficiency at their expanding operations,” said Brice Koch, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “These solutions will also help reinforce the reliability of the grid and ensure the supply of high quality power.”

ABB’s scope of supply includes electrical switch rooms, switchgear, cables, power transformers and ring main units. ABB will also deliver a range of components including SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), and protection and communication equipment compliant with the IEC 61850 global standard. This will enable remote monitoring and control of power assets located at multiple sites, from Rio Tinto’s Remote Operations Centre situated in Perth, more than 1,000 kilometers away.

As part of the contracts, ABB is responsible for the design, engineering and supply of equipment needed for the upgrade and installation of new electrical infrastructure for the substations. The projects are scheduled for completion by 2013 and form part of the customer’s multi-stage Electrical Infrastructure Replacement (EIR) project. ABB has previously successfully completed several similar projects for Rio Tinto.

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 the world’s leading supplier of turnkey air-insulated, gas-insulated and hybrid substations with voltage levels up to 1,100 kV. These substations facilitate the efficient and reliable transmission and distribution of electricity with minimum environmental impact, serving utility, industry and commercial customers as well as sectors like railways, urban transportation and renewables.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people.

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