ABB's SCADA-based solution monitors and controls gas flow across tea estates and select industrial customers, across six districts of upper Assam. The project was awarded by Assam Gas Company Limited (AGCL) and will be undertaken in two phases to cover 399 tea estates and six large industrial customers. As the state utility works towards building a sustainable gas distribution system, one of the major issues AGCL faced with was the optimization of gas flow along its extensive pipeline network ensuring gas availability per pre-defined limit even to the last-mile consumer.
ABB was able to customize and deliver a state-of-the-art SCADA and telecom solution for AGCL covering 74 tea estates and six big industrial consumers in the first phase of the project. This solution comprises of three pressure regulating stations, one bi-directional metering station along AGCL's pipeline.ABB's control system helps AGCL to regulate the gas flow according to the requirements of each tea estate. ABB's pressure regulation (metering, filtration and pressure-let-down) skids, ultrasonic-based metering module solution and the advanced control system, ensure gas distribution to the last mile connection while maintaining the optimum pressure along the length of the pipeline.
"ABB is proud to be associated with Assam Gas Company Ltd., in digitizing their gas distribution network. ABB India has developed an in-house competency to design, engineer, and develop a completely engineered solution to meet the entire spectrum of metering requirements for gas companies. This solution is designed to eliminate the challenges of complex pipeline networks and provide greater visibility of consumption for better demand and supply forecasting." said Balaji G, Head - Industrial Automation, Energy business, ABB India.
AGCL, a govt. of Assam undertaking transports natural gas to a large network and one of their biggest challenges was uneven distribution of gas particularly in CGD network, as the first few centers of the AGCL distribution network would end up utilizing more gas and exhausting their quota beyond the predefined limit, while users at the end of the pipeline would not receive the required gas supply for their tea estates. Additionally, manual collection of gas consumption reading from bigger industrial consumers and each tea estates ,which are not located in industrial parks rather in interior areas always remain a mammoth task. AGCL thus needed a modern digital solution to monitor, control and manage uniform distribution of natural gas supply across its customers including tea estates spread across six districts of upper Assam area.
The SCADAvantage™ system facilitates advanced control and real-time monitoring of gas flow from a remotely located control room. It is a high-quality solution that enables safe and reliable management of distributed assets. On the completion of Phase I, ABB has been awarded with additional contract for 325 locations by Assam Gas Company Ltd.in a competitive bidding process, to be carried out over the next four years as part of Phase II. An ERP solution integrated with SCADA shall also ensure accurate billing for AGCL without need for physical data collections over vast remotely located areas.
One of the major hurdles of this project was communication across the remote areas where AGCL customers were located. The data collected from each of the tea estates needed to be transferred over a
wireless General Packet Radio Services (GPRS)network to the central monitoring location. This required a lot of bandwidth and thus restricted data flow. ABB engineers collaborated with a telecom service provider to develop a novel APN-based (access point name) GPRS solution, to improve the network connection at scattered locations, which enabled the tea estates to transfer data over the wireless network. The team was able to set up the wireless communication network for AGCL on schedule, to allow secure, real-time data acquisition through SMS, email, mobility and data access.
ABB's SCADA technology plays a significant role in city gas distribution (CGD) networks, helping utilities to detect gas leakages and pressure issues that could lead to accidents, environmental hazards and revenue loss. It also enables modernization of the management of gas transmission, distribution and scheduling. ABB's leading SCADA technology is well-positioned to be an enabler of modernization for gas distributors across the world.
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