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ABB Automation Technologies : 26 February, 2007  (Company News)
BP is the second major oil company to select ABB
The solution will enable BP to modernize its multi-platform Valhall complex in the North Sea and replace costly, CO2-emitting gas turbine generators with clean hydropower delivered via ABB’s pioneering HVDC Light (high voltage direct current) technology from the Norwegian mainland.

Located 292 kilometers off the coast of Norway, Valhall is one of the farthest removed offshore platforms in the North Sea.

The project is part of a redevelopment scheme to increase production at the 25-year-old complex and equip it for another 40 years of service. Improvements include a new production and hotel platform that require more electric power than is currently available.

The choice facing BP was either to invest in more gas turbine generators or obtain the power directly from shore with ABB’s HVDC Light technology. HVDC Light was launched in 1997 and remains a power transmission technology unique to ABB.

'300,000 tons of CO2 and 250 tons of NOX is equivalent to the annual emissions of 75,000 cars'

The benefits
According to BP’s own estimates, the benefits to be gained from ABB’s HVDC Light power-from-shore technology, as opposed to conventional gas turbine generators, are considerable:

lower installation costs of $44 million
lower operating and maintenance costs of $7 million a year
improved revenues, gas that is used to fuel the generators will be sold to customers. At current prices those revenues exceed the cost of electricity from the mainland
elimination of 300,000 tons of CO2 and 250 tons of NOX emissions a year
avoidance of emissions taxation

BP also points out that there is minimal risk of fire and explosion as well as less noise and vibration from the HVDC converter module on the platform. Maintenance is minimal, simple, remote and safe, which reduces the need for offshore staffing compared to gas turbines which require the constant presence of maintenance crews.

The solution
HVDC Light is an ABB innovation that uses state-of-the-art power electronics, control and protection systems in a compact converter module to deliver power with 99 percent availability via special HVDC Light underwater or underground cables.

The solution for BP will deliver up to 78 megawatts of electricity to power the five bridge-linked platforms and three wellhead platforms that make up the Valhall complex.

A converter station at a 300 kilovolt substation in Norway will convert the AC power to DC and deliver it over a distance of 292 kilometers via HVDC Light underwater cables to Valhall, where it will be reconverted into AC in a compact, lightweight converter module for distribution at 11 kV throughout the entire complex.

Flagship platform
BP is the second oil major to choose the new power-from-shore technology. Statoil’s Troll A became the first oil and gas platform in the world to be powered from a mainland grid.

BP has designated Valhall as a “Field of the Future,” a flagship installation in which best-practice technologies are installed for their ability to provide operational excellence and significant value to the company.

The BP team working on the power-from-shore project received a Paul Martins Award commendation for “contributing indirectly, but significantly, to production excellence by adding economic and operational value” to the company.
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