ABB has won orders worth around $100 million from Rio Tinto for 17 distribution substations to support increased production at iron ore mines in Western Australia. The upgrades and installation of new power infrastructure will raise the voltage level of the existing distribution substations and increase the power supply to support the expansion of existing iron ore mines in the Pilbara region.

"Our proven substation capabilities and leading-edge technologies will help Rio Tinto meet the need for increased electricity and support efficiency at their expanding operations,” said Brice Koch, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “These solutions will also help reinforce the reliability of the grid and ensure the supply of high quality power.”

ABB’s scope of supply includes electrical switch rooms, switchgear, cables, power transformers and ring main units. ABB will also deliver a range of components including SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), and protection and communication equipment compliant with the IEC 61850 global standard. This will enable remote monitoring and control of power assets located at multiple sites, from Rio Tinto’s Remote Operations Center situated in Perth, more than 1,000 km away.

As part of the contracts, ABB is responsible for the design, engineering and supply of equipment needed for the upgrade and installation of new electrical infrastructure for the substations. The projects are scheduled for completion by 2013 and form part of the customer s multi-stage Electrical Infrastructure Replacement project. ABB has previously successfully completed several similar projects for Rio Tinto.

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