$10 m portable power solution

ABB Australia has won a $10-million contract from United Group Resources to help provide reliable power for Incitec Pivot Limited’s new ammonium nitrate plant at Moranbah in Queensland.

ABB Australia has won a $10-million contract from United Group Resources to help provide reliable power for Incitec Pivot Limited’s new ammonium nitrate plant at Moranbah in Queensland.

The plant will be one of the biggest in the world, producing 330,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate each year for fertilisers and for explosives for the mining industry.

The company will provide a customised ‘powerhouse’ switchgear solution which includes designing switchboards for installation into transportable switchrooms, which is important to ensure a safe, reliable and secure solution.

“The trend to portable switchrooms is being driven by a number of factors, including the difficulties of engaging skilled labour in remote locations,” ABB WA Sales Manager Rakesh Khandelwal said.

According to UGL Resources Lead Electrical Engineer Tuan Tran, while transportable buildings provide some tremendous advantages, they are not without their technical challenges.

“When using medium voltage switchgear at high fault levels in confined spaces switchgear needs to be carefully selected to avoid internal arcing,” he said.

“We found that ABB offered a reliable solution that uses type tested arc ducting to direct hazardous arc products to a safe area outside the switchroom.

“The switchgear can also be operated remotely for maximum operator safety.”

All equipment, with the exception of the transformers, will be installed within the two 28-metre portable switchrooms at the company’s Moorebank factory in Sydney, Australia.

The switchrooms will then be transported to site for expedite onsite installation and commissioning in July 2009.

The plant is being built for Incitec Pivot’s wholly owned subsidiary Dyno Nobel Moranbah, and is situated at Moranbah, Central Queensland, about 790 km northwest of Brisbane.

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