ABB increases the efficiency of EPCC’s ­cement production lines in Saudi Arabia

ABB recently commissioned an extensive electrical infrastructure upgrade for the Eastern Province Cement Company’s two 30-year old cement production lines at its plant in Al Khursaniya/Saudi Arabia.

The project upgraded the existing 75 MV Switchgear Panels to the latest protection relay generation, and integrated the power supply systems with the ABB 800xA automation system already in place. Commissioning was completed in February 2016.

Outdated hardware and software had posed a risk to the plant’s reliability and availability. To avoid unexpected shutdowns and improve the reliability of the cement production lines, EPCC decided to modernize the 30-year old Medium Voltage Switchgears for Lines 1 and 2. The evolution to the latest automation and power technology will help EPCC manage production at the highest level of efficiency and quality while meeting various international standards.

“ABB has completed the final upgrade on site in record time during the planned maintenance shutdowns of the plant,” said Mohammad Arif Khan, Electrical and Instrumentation Manager at EPCC. “The excellent teamwork between EPCC and ABB engineers made it possible to meet this challenge without affecting the production of the other production lines.”

The scope of supply included the replacement of the 30-year old protection compartment of 75 MV (13.8 & 4.16 kV) Switchgear Panels with the latest generation of ABB Relion protection relays, integration via IEC61850 with the 800xA automation system, the delivery of state-of-the art computer and network equipment. ABB also provided project management, engineering, site services and training together with its supplier Eco­Watt Projects AG.

“ABB’s integrated power and process automation solutions will allow EPCC to achieve optimal operating conditions,” said Max Luedtke, ABB’s Product Group Manager for Mineral Processing. “Our well-established relationship with the customer combined with ABB’s long-term experience with the cement production process were major factors for obtaining this order.”

The Eastern Province Cement production facility is located in Al Khursaniya, in the Eastern part of Saudi Arabia about 165 km north of Dammam where the company is headquartered. The plant started commercial production in 1985 with an annual production of 2.2 million t of clinker and 860 thousand t of cement. Today, annual capacity reaches 3.5 million t of clinker and 3.7 million t of cement.


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