A customized Static Var Compensator (SVC), recently installed by ABB for the leading construction contracting company Kvaerner, is helping to increase production of the gas plant and provide greater reliability to the Norwegian transmission grid. The plant, operated by Shell and located on Norway's west coast, can process up to 70 million cubic meters of gas a day directly from the Ormen Lange field.

Work is underway to increase capacity to 84 million, to enable the plant to also process production from the new Polarled Pipeline. The first field to be connected is the Aasta Hansteen field. Once the Nyhamna plant expansion is completed, it has capacity to provide enough gas to power 22 million UK homes. It currently supplies around 20 percent of the UK’s natural gas and represents about a fifth of Norway’s total gas production.

Avoiding outages

Production outages in oil and gas fields, often caused by power quality issues, are expensive and need to be prevented. The SVC is a device that compensates for fluctuations and allows more electricity to flow through the network to improve power quality. It reduces outages caused by voltage drops or failures while ensuring that the pump drives and other vital equipment receive the power they require. The project took place in a live gas plant, adding more complexity to one of Norway’s biggest industrial projects.

“ABB was instrumental in achieving this important milestone for the whole Nyhamna Expansion project,” said Lars Eide, Executive Vice President at Kvaerner. “The SVC project has been executed professionally and I appreciate the constructive cooperation between Shell, ABB and Kvaerner leading up to a successful completion of the SVC plant.”

The SVC installation is expected to meet a demanding performance target of 99.7 percent availability, which requires an optimization system that is able to work within fine tolerances, and the installation of a high degree of redundancy.

“The installation of the SVC will stabilize voltage for gas compressors and decrease the number of gas production disturbances in the Nyhamna facility,” said Patrick Fragman, Managing Director of ABB’s Grid Integration business. “ABB’s FACTS technology has a proven global track record and is ideally suited for applications where it is vital to ensure safe operations with minimum interruptions.”

ABB is a long-term power and automation partner to Norske Shell. Since 2007, the company has had a service agreement for safety and automation systems to oversee operations at Nyhamna. ABB has also supplied the onshore plant with electrification solutions that distribute electricity safely, reliably and efficiently throughout the production areas.

“The SVC project has been a challenging project with high pressure to complete in due time,” said Jan-Willem Verkaik, Senior Project Manager A/S Norske Shell. “With good preparation and teamwork ABB managed to deliver safely and on schedule, this is ahead of our latest expectations – a fantastic result.”