ABB System Connects North Africa’s Largest Gas Producer To Europe

October 2013, Vol. 240 No. 10

The Medgaz gas pipeline started delivering natural gas in March 2011 from the gas compressor station on the Algerian coast to the receiving terminal in Spain.

The 210-km pipeline connects the gas fields of Algeria, the region’s largest gas producer, with the gas transmission networks of Spain and southwestern Europe. It delivers up to 8 Bcm of natural gas a year, eventually expanding with a second pipeline to 16 Bcm a year.

The $1.2 billion pipeline is one of the largest infrastructure projects in the Mediterranean region in recent years. It was classified as a TEN-E (trans-European energy networks) priority project by the European Union for the interconnection and interoperability of electricity and gas networks within Europe and neighboring regions.

The heart of the Medgaz pipeline is the compressor station and receiving terminal, where the gas is compressed from 45 bar to 200 bar and injected into for transport on the seabed at a depth of up to 2,160 meters. When the gas arrives at the receiving station, it is filtered, regulated and measured, ready for injection into the Spanish transmission network.

Normally, it requires three control systems and three separate control rooms to control the compressor station, receiving terminal and pipeline. But ABB’s integrated multisystem automation system enables the station and the terminal to be monitored and controlled by remote from one control room, with just a leakage detection system for the pipeline.

Credit: Medgaz Infographic

The ABB product integrates the distributed control system, fire and gas system, and emergency shutdown system for both the compressor station and the receiving terminal, using the same extended automation System 800xA platform – thus eliminating replication and achieving significant cost savings.

System 800xA’s “power of integration” capability enables users the ability to seamlessly integrate all automation and information systems using the same platform – from electrical integration and communications to safety, asset management and enterprise resource planning.

Medgaz is jointly owned by several Algerian and European energy companies Sonatrach, Cepsa, Iberdrola, Endesa and GDF Suez.

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