Electricity Today

Energy Sector / Renewable Energy Division 
Siemens well on track to become one of the world’s top three providers of wind turbines 
New factories in China and the U.S. secure strong footprint in the most important wind markets 

Erlangen, Germany, 2010-Dec-03

Siemens continues to expand its international manufacturing network in the rapidly growing wind power business: This week, the technology company opened in Shanghai its first rotor blade manufacturing plant in China, a new nacelle production in Hutchinson, Kansas, and has selected Tillsonburg in Ontario for its Canadian rotor blade manufacturing site. The investment volume for the three new locations is approximately EUR100 million. The company has already announced the construction of other wind turbine production facilities in the UK, India and China, and a joint venture for the production of wind turbine components for the Russian market.

The picture shows the new wind turbine nacelle assembly facility in Hutchinson, Kansas. Siemens celebrated the facility's grand opening on December 3, 2010. The 300,000-square-foot facility will produce nacelles for the Siemens 2.3-MW and 3.0-MW wind turbines.source: Siemens

“Ecofriendly energy sources such as wind power offer excellent prospects,“ said Wolfgang Dehen, CEO of the Siemens Energy Sector. “The global wind power market will grow from about EUR30 billion annually to as much as EUR216 billion by 2030. We see major growth potential in particular in the U.S. and China.” Over the last five years the average annual growth rate of wind power installations in the U.S. was 39 percent. With 10,000 MW in newly erected wind turbines and a total installed capacity of 35,000 MW in 2009 the U.S. was the world’s most important wind market, followed by the Chinese market, which grew from approximately 14,000 MW to 26,000 MW. Since 2005, the installed wind generating capacity in China has doubled every year. By 2020, China wants to have wind turbines with a combined capacity of 150,000 MW on line which equals three times the installed wind power capacity of all of Europe today. “With a record order backlog of more than ten billion Euros and the rapid expansion of our international manufacturing network, we have an outstanding setup up to become one of the world’s top 3 wind turbines providers by 2012,” added Dehen.

Internationalization is one of the main pillars of Siemens´ wind power strategy. “In two to three years time we’ll have twelve wind turbine production facilities in seven countries. We’ll thus have even closer customer intimacy,” said RenĂ© Umlauft, CEO of the Siemens Renewable Energy Division. Currently, the company has seven manufacturing facilities in three countries. “We’re also working intensively on further reducing costs through the industrialization of production processes and innovations such as our direct drive wind turbine. Over the last two years we’ve tripled our wind power R&D budget and, in 2011, we’ll continue to increase it significantly. Our mid-term aim with wind power is to achieve full grid parity with fossil fuels,” said Umlauft.

Wind turbines are part of Siemens’ Environmental Portfolio. In fiscal 2010, revenue from the Portfolio totaled about EUR28 billion, making Siemens the world’s largest supplier of ecofriendly technologies. In the same period, our products and solutions enabled customers to reduce their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 270 million tons, an amount equal to the total annual CO2 emissions of the megacities Hong Kong, London, New York, Tokyo, Delhi and Singapore. 

Processing potash from the Dead Sea

2011-01-21 - ABB process automation systems are helping Arab Potash Company expand its extensive potash production and port facilities at the Dead and Red Seas in Jordan to become one of the most productive and efficient in the world.

By ABB Communications
The upgrades are based on ABB’s flagship automation platform, Extended Automation System 800xA, and are part of a comprehensive modernization and expansion project at Arab Potash Company’s (APC) extensive potash processing and warehousing facilities in Jordan.

APC is one of the world’s major suppliers of potash, a vital plant and crop nutrient used in agricultural fertilizer all over the world. The company’s vast salt ponds extend over 112 sq.km at the southern end of the Dead Sea, and its potash refinery at Safi on the banks of this hypersaline mineral-rich lake is capable of producing 2,500,000 tons.

Satellite image of the southern basin of the Dead Sea, with the APC salt ponds on the right and the Israeli salt ponds on the left, separated by a central canal that is also the international border between the two countries. The Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, with a salinity level of 33.7 percent, about ten times that of the average sea or ocean. Source: NASA.

Processing potash from saltwater is a long and complex process that takes around 12 months to complete. The highly saline water in the APC salt ponds is slowly evaporated by the heat of the sun to produce a mineral-rich slurry called carnallite, which is then processed into potash at the Safi refinery.

APC recently completed a large modernization and expansion project at Safi to enhance the efficiency of the refining process and boost capacity by 25 percent from 2 million tons to 2.5 million tons a year. The existing hot leach and cold crystallization plants were upgraded and a second cold crystallization plant was built.

The three plants are the heart of the refinery. There, the carnallite is dewatered, crystallized, leached, dried, and screened into three grades of potash. Each stage of the refining process at the new plant is controlled and optimized by a state-of-the-art System 800xA distributed control system that monitors and manages process information from 3,500 input/output channels.

The project at Safi follows the recent modernization and expansion of APC’s warehousing facilities at Aqaba by the Red Sea, where the potash is stored, ready for loading onto bulk carriers for shipment to markets all over the world.

ABB provided an electrical, control and instrumentation package to help boost capacity at Aqaba and make the storage and loading process faster and more efficient. The long conveyor system, three stackers and two reclaimers are now controlled by a System 800xA distributed control system that helps deliver a loaded product of consistent quality..

As a result of the two System 800xA automation systems at Safi and Aqaba and the ongoing modernization of existing facilities APC will have a leading-edge process automation system that integrates all automation functions at the sites into a single engineering and operations environment that enables all facilities to operate more efficiently and with considerable cost savings.

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