Indian cement industry’s first gas-insulated switchyard

November 25, 2014 Sudeep Sar

When there is a need for high reliability and flexibility, low lifecycle costs and maximum environmental sustainability, gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) is the best choice over conventional air-insulated switchgear (AIS).

India’s Reliance Cement chose a complete electrical and automation package from FLSmidth for its 10,000 tonnes–per-day plant at Maihar, Madhya Pradesh. Signed on an EPC basis, the contract entailed complete engineering, procurement and commissioning of the first GIS system to be installed at an Indian cement plant.

From the time of the equipment’s arrival at the site, it took only 17 days to install, test, assemble and charge up the switchgear. Managing risk was a key factor during the delivery and commissioning of the GIS system in terms of equipment selection, engineering, project execution and installation.

Competitive sourcing
FLSmidth applied its in-depth understanding of the cement-making process to select the equipment and components that would ensure optimum performance. Extensive global knowledge of the established electrical and automation OEM suppliers enabled the cost-effective sourcing of equipment.

Dynamic engineering
The performance of any equipment supplied in a project depends on how well it is engineered to match site requirements. FLSmidth successfully met the challenges of bridging national, cultural and linguistic gaps between supplier and end-user, whilst fulfilling the customer’s expectations in terms of safety, acceptance, performance and service.

The engineering started with concept drawing followed by 3D modelling to mitigate any civil work issues. Complete testing of the equipment took place at the suppliers’ workshops to prevent unnecessary surprises at the site and save time in the execution phase, where only resonance frequency testing was necessary.

Seamless execution
A well-structured organisation with dedicated managers for engineering, sourcing and logistics helped ensure efficient project execution. The process involved obtaining all the necessary approvals from customer consultants and electricity boards, securing the supply of special or ‘first-time’ equipment, and ensuring timely ordering, inspection and delivery. All logistics were well-planned and deliveries were tracked to ensure compliance with the agreed timelines.

Long view of GIS

The FLSmidth site engineers, the customer’s engineers and the OEM engineers worked seamlessly together in identifying, installing and commissioning the various equipment parts. Civil engineering levels were verified against the approved drawings. After being installed, the equipment was tested as recommended by the OEM supplier.

About gas-insulated switchgear
The gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) in a substation is contained in an earthed metal (aluminium) enclosure, which is filled with high-insulation pressurised sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) gas as the insulating and arc-extinguishing medium. The switchgear equipment includes a circuit breaker, disconnecting switch, voltage transformer, current transformer, and surge/lightning arrester as well as bushings and cable holders. GIS is compact, environmentally adaptable, safe and easy to operate and handle. It is reliable, flexible and requires minimal maintenance. GIS rated voltages range from 72.5 kV to 800 kV and rated short-circuit breaking current ranges up to 63 kA.

GIS - close-up view

Indian cement industry’s second GIS solution
The best reward any company can expect for exceeding a customer’s expectations is to receive another order from the same customer. Reliance Cement awarded FLSmidth a second electrical and automation EPC contract for the grinding unit in Kundanganj, Uttar Pradesh, India. Following the same successful engineering, procurement and commissioning model developed for the Maihar Plant, the GIS for this new site is already in use.

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