Power automation solution for NTDC

24 August 2021

Pakistan’s largest transmission company, National Transmission & Despatch Company Ltd (NTDC), has awarded a consortium of (primarily) China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) and Hitachi ABB Power Grids, a project to deliver a completely new load dispatch system to support the country’s sustainable energy goals by helping to improve grid visibility and automation, and enable the seamless integration of renewables.  

Pakistan is aiming to increase the contribution of renewable energy from the current 4% to 30% 2030. An increasing share of renewables requires greater visibility, real-time monitoring, remote control and optimisation of the power grid. The deployment of Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) application, Network Manager, with its energy management and generation management capabilities, is expected to facilitate secure and reliable grid operations.  

The SCADA energy management system will be deployed at NTDC’s national control centre in Islamabad and at the back-up control centre in Jamshoro. It will connect the control centres with all power plants and grid substations that are not currently monitored in real-time and will help build capacity for future stations and remote ends.  

The project will also involve the installation of a new mission-critical communication network with a fibre-optic foundation and featuring a microwave network as back-up. This will help to ensure always-on connectivity and prevent outages resulting from disruptions in the communication network. It will also enable secure data transmission and increased protection from cyber threats through tele-protection and near real-time encryption of operational data and signals. 

NTDC is backbone of the national power system in Pakistan. It owns 220kV and 500kV grid stations and transmission lines and is preparing to introduce UHV (765kV) and  HVDC technology.   

“The current SCADA system does not cater to the ever-expanding network, and an upgrade is essential to efficiently manage the new generation capacity,”?said He Wei, deputy general manager of Complete No.1 Plants Division of CMEC. “With the implementation of the SCADA Phase 3 system enhancement programme, 4085 km of optical ground wire will be installed … CMEC as lead consortium partner, alongside Hitachi ABB Power Grids, will deliver a project that can be considered as a critical infrastructure project for its importance and requirement due to an increase in the demand and supply  for electricity”.  

The new LDS will provide key features including optimal power flow, load forecasting, and automatic generation control which will automate the process of deciding the most efficient use of power plants to meet the energy needs of the country. In addition, Hitachi ABB Power Grids will conduct extensive training and provide NTDC with the capability to maintain its own system and perform changes, such as adding new substations, through in-house engineering efforts. 

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