Last updateMon, 27 Aug 2018 3am

ABB wins $160 million power plant automation order in South Africa

ABBABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth over $160 million from Eskom, South Africa's national electricity provider, to supply control systems,software and instrumentation for the 4,800 megawatt (MW) Kusile coal-fired power station under construction near Witbank in the country’s north east.

Kusile will be the fourth largest coal-fired power station in the world and will help boost South Africa’s capacity. It’s among a new generation of high-pressure, high-temperature power installations, also known as supercritical, whose efficiency surpasses that of conventional coal-fired power plants, producing lower emissions and reducing fuel costs.

Kusile will be the first in Africa to use wet flue gas desulphurization technology in all its plant boilers. Eskom, which generates more than 90 percent of its electricity from coal-fired stations, is installing state-of-the-art clean coal technology in one of its largest plants to help ensure a long term, reliable source of baseload electricity for the region.

ABB is supplying a complete control and instrumentation solution for the entire plant, including boiler protection and plant simulator, engineering, installation, commissioning, optimization and training. ABB is a leader in providing automation and software for advanced clean coal power plants, including supercritical installations like Kusile.

The project further strengthens ABB’s leading position as a provider of advanced automation and software solutions to electricity utilities globally and in the Southern African region, with systems already installed in South Africa, Lesotho, Malawi, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“ABB’s state-of-the-art energy efficient technology solutions will help boost power supplies and bring reliable power supply to consumers” said Claudio Facchin, president of ABB Power Systems division. ”We are pleased to continue with our contribution to the development of South Africa’s power infrastructure through our power, automation and software capabilities.”

ABB power plant automation and software ensure more effective plant operations, providing greater awareness and enabling faster response and better decisions that improve plant availability and efficiency.

KBR wins Saudi Aramco Offshore Project Management Services Contract

KBR, Inc. has announced that it has been awarded a project management contract by Saudi Aramco to provide project management services for Saudi Aramco’s offshore program.

Under the terms of this six-year contract, KBR will provide project management and engineering services for existing and new offshore facilities to maintain and increase crude production levels to meet Saudi Aramco’s maximum sustained capability for production under the company’s capital program. KBR’s Saudi joint venture company, KBR-AMCDE, will undertake all in-kingdom work scopes while KBR’s Houston and London operations centers will execute all out-of-kingdom scopes. Additionally, KBR-AMCDE will develop an in-kingdom center of engineering excellence to develop and train Saudi engineers.

“This is a significant milestone in our relationship with Saudi Aramco in the offshore arena and complements our existing work in Kingdom on the Jazan PMC and GES+ contracts,” said Stuart Bradie, KBR President and CEO. “We look forward to helping Saudi Aramco achieve its goal to develop an in-kingdom center of offshore engineering excellence and to maintain their production of oil and gas.”

KBR has had a strong presence in the Middle East for decades, working on several major petrochemical projects in Saudi Arabia, including providing Saudi Aramco with front end engineering and design and project management services for the Jazan Refinery, the Yanbu Refinery and the Shaybah NGL program.

Bahrain oil refinery expansion to cost $5 billion

An expansion of Bahrain's Sitra crude oil refinery is expected to cost around $5 billion and the facility is likely to be commissioned by 2019, the kingdom's energy minister said on Tuesday.

"We have the refinery modernisation which will cost around $5 billion. Already front-end engineering and design (FEED) has been awarded - FEED should be ready by the end of the first quarter of 2016," Abdul-Hussain bin Ali Mirza told Reuters.

"The increase in capacity according to the current plan is from 260,000 barrels per day to 360,000 and it will be commissioned by 2019." He added, "Financing will be through borrowing, we haven't finalised this yet."

Bahrain lacks the ample crude oil and financial resources of the big Gulf energy exporters, and its state finances are under heavy pressure from the plunge of oil prices since last year. But Bahraini officials have said they will press ahead with key projects that are needed to develop the economy.

Construction of a pipeline between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, which will replace an ageing one and lift capacity to 350,000 bpd from 230,000, is expected to be finished by 2018, Mirza said. Previously, officials had estimated the pipeline would be completed by the third quarter of 2016. Mirza did not give a reason for the change.

He added that this year Bahrain would ask companies to bid to explore offshore blocks for oil and gas. He did not give a specific date or say which companies would participate as a roadshow for investors has not taken place yet.

The chief executive of Bahrain's National Oil and Gas Holding Co, Mohamed al-Khalifa, told reporters on Monday that the launch of the bidding round "will depend on the situation of the market".

Mirza said in a speech late on Sunday that his country had completed a pilot project to generate 5 megawatts of solar power and was close to launching another pilot plant to generate 3 MW of solar power and 2 MW of wind power.

Saudi's PetroRabigh signs $5.2bn loan for expansion

Reuters: Saudi Arabia's PetroRabigh , a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical, has signed loans worth 19.4 billion riyals ($5.2 billion) for the expansion of its petrochemicals complex, it said on Tuesday.  The move reflects the kingdom's determination to diversify its economy even after lower oil prices caused some regional petrochemical and energy projects to stall.  News of the financing initially sent PetroRabigh shares soaring 5.9 percent to 24 riyals, before they fell back to trade 3.9 percent up at 1030 GMT.

The scheme's cost is now estimated at 30 billion riyals, it said, a further revision to the price, which was scaled up to 32 billion riyals last May from the original 26.3 billion. It gave no reason for the latest revision. The total loan, maturing in June 2031, includes 7.5 billion riyals from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and 4.9 billion riyals from the state-owned Public Investment Fund, a statement from the firm said.  The rest is from a consortium of local and international banks, who would respectively put in 3.5 billion riyals. Among the funders were Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Saudi British Bank andAl Rajhi Bank.

The statement added a 7.5 billion riyals equity bridge loan had also been agreed, which will mature in 2019 and be guaranteed by Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical. Usually, such a facility is to cover initial construction and start-up costs.

McDermott wins Qatar offshore feed contract

Reuters: McDermott International, a leading provider of integrated engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) services, said it has been awarded a large project for a new jacket, temporary deck and replacement umbilical by Qatar Petroleum for the North Field Alpha gas development, offshore Qatar.

The work is expected to be executed through the second quarter of 2016 and will be included in McDermott’s first quarter 2015 backlog, said the company in a statement. The brownfield contract includes front-end engineering design verification, detailed EPCI and commissioning of a new six-legged, 15-slot wellhead jacket and temporary drill deck, with a total weight of approximately 5,000 tons.

The work also includes the decommissioning, removal, replacement and pre-commissioning of 2.6 miles of composite umbilical and a fiber optic cable, in the Maydan Mahzam field.

Commenting on the win, Tom Mackie, the vice president, Middle East, said: "For more than 30 years, McDermott has successfully delivered numerous projects for Qatar Petroleum and its partners in Qatar’s North Field, and we are pleased to further build on this relationship, as they focus on enhancing their oil recovery and production capability."

Detailed engineering, procurement and construction is expected to be carried out by McDermott’s specialist teams in Dubai, UAE, with vessels from the McDermott global fleet scheduled to undertake the installation work in 2016.

“We believe our ability to provide a fully integrated EPCI solution from one centralised location in Dubai will enable us to be more effective at ensuring certainty of delivery across all stages of the project allowing for more scheduling flexibility, and higher quality and safety, which is critical when working within an actively producing field, to ensure minimal operational interruption,” he added