Pakistan’s largest transmission operator improves network visibility for resilience


The National Transmission & Despatch Company Limited (NTDC) has selected a consortium of Hitachi ABB Power Grids and China Machinery Engineering Corporation for the supply and installation of a new load dispatch system (LDS) on its network.

The LDS will enable Pakistan’s largest energy transmission company to enhance its visibility of events occurring within the network and to automate functionalities and developments that would enable more renewable energy resources to be integrated into the country’s energy network.

This in turn would help provide consumers with affordable energy, help reduce carbon emissions and improve customer services through reductions in power outrages.

To develop the LDS, Hitachi ABB Power Grids is providing its supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) application and energy management and distributed generation management platform Network Manager for greater observability, real-time monitoring, remote control and optimisation of the power grid.

The SCADA will be deployed at NTDC’s national control center in Islamabad and at a backup control facility in Jamshoro.

From the control centers, NTDC workers will be able to monitor all power plants and grid stations in near real-time.

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In addition, a fiber-optic communication network will be installed to provide fast and secure connectivity for the new system and a microwave network will be installed as backup.

The network infrastructure comprises 4,085km of optical ground wire. The communications network will have increased protection from cyber threats through tele-protection and near real-time encryption of operational data and signals, according to a statement.

The new LDS will provide key features including optimal power flow, load forecasting, and automatic generation control, which will automate the process of deciding the most efficient use of power plants to meet the energy needs of the country.

The project is anticipated to help Pakistan to expand its renewables portfolio form 4% today to 30% by 2030.

Engr. Azaz Ahmad, Managing Director, NTDC, said: “This hallmark project for NTDC, financed by Asian Development Bank (ADB), will open new horizons through automation and sustainable international best practices to achieve a safe and reliable grid.”

He Wei, Deputy General Manager of Complete No.1 Plants Division of China Machinery Engineering Corporation, adds: “The current SCADA system does not cater to the ever-expanding network, and an upgrade is essential to efficiently manage the new generation capacity.”