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ABB technology helps ensure the freshwater supply in a pumping project in Shanxi Province, China

  • ABB technology helps ensure the freshwater supply in pumping project in Shanxi Province, China
    The Wanjiazhai hydro-junction along the waterway.
  • Based on positive experience from the first phase of the giant Wanjiazhai Yellow River Water Diversion Project, ABB is playing a major role in the second extension project which is now being undertaken.

About the entity

ABB
ABB
ABB is a Swiss-Swedish multinational corporation headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, operating mainly in robotics, power, heavy electrical equipment and automation technology areas.
Schneider Electric
Idrica

Shanxi Wanjiazhai Yellow River Industry Group Co., Ltd., has chosen ABB to deliver the major drives, motors and auxiliary equipment that will run the massive pumping stations that are being installed in the second phase extension of the Wanjiazhai Yellow River Water Diversion Project. This follows positive experience with ABB equipment that is being used in the first extension of the water channel, which was completed in 2015.

The project is one of the major strategic initiatives being implemented by the Chinese government to resolve freshwater scarcity in Shanxi Province and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. It aims to supply 1.2 billion cubic meters of water annually from the Yellow River, providing reliable freshwater resources for local economic and social development.

In 1999 the project began diverting water to the region using 15 pumps. Then in 2012, to meet growing demand, the first extension added 8 more pumps and now in 2020 a further 19 pumps are being installed.

Mr. Anshun Fan, Chairman of Shanxi Wanjiazhai Yellow River Industry Group Co., Ltd., explains the project: “Our main purpose is to provide water to the residents of Taiyuan, Datong and Shuozhou city. Taiyuan is the capital city of Shanxi Province, Datong is the second largest city and an important energy industry center, and in Shuozhou the Ping Shuo opencast mine is the largest in China. Almost 10 million people live in Taiyuan, Datong and Shuozhou city, accounting for about 25% of the total population of the province, but approximately 37% of its GNP. Because underground water has been sharply decreasing, water is very scarce in the area. Without the Yellow River diversion project, many residents would face a severely limited water supply, making overall development very difficult.”

Lifting lots of water can mean high electric bills

The project is particularly challenging because it involves cross-basin, cross-mountain, long-distance underground water delivery. There are 5 pumping stations connected in series and many tunnels between the pumping stations. In addition, the total water elevation rise is very substantial, at 636 meters. To move such large amounts of water so far and so high requires a lot of electricity. Therefore, the high efficiency of the ABB solution is welcome, says Mr. Fan. “We pay special attention to efficiency, since even slightly lower efficiency leads to much higher annual electricity costs for us.”

He also notes that the company is not content to rely on past technological levels, but is instead always driven to innovate and optimize, especially in terms of efficiency. Automation technology has developed rapidly over recent years, he says, and sees this as a way to achieve better control.

Good experience with ABB

Mr. Fan explains that his group has been very pleased with the experience they have with the ABB equipment that was installed in 2012 in the first extension phase, which included 4 medium voltage LCI converters and 8 synchronous motors. “It has been running well for many years now, with good stability and reliability,” comments Mr. Fan. “Based on our experience and cooperation with ABB, combined with their technological progress in recent years especially for control, we think we have the optimal solution for the 2020 extension. This will make a great contribution to the economic development and ecological growth of the people of Shanxi Province.”

ABB’s scope of supply for the second extension includes 8 medium voltage LCI converters, 19 synchronous motors, as well as the PLC system, transformers, switch cabinets, excitation, and filters.

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