ABB continues expansion into Houston market with recent E-House order

20 March 2017

ABB’s Packaging group won a new order from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America (MHIA) for four E-Houses to be supplied in 2017 and 2018. The E-Houses are for a large petrochemical expansion project.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Source: Texas leads the nation in energy production, primarily from crude oil and natural gas. The petrochemical market is expanding rapidly due to the increasing production of shale gas. Lower natural gas prices are also driving expansion. With energy demand rising in the oil and gas industry, combined with these lower gas prices, the energy market in Texas is rapidly expanding.

As part of a recent expansion project in the Gulf Coast region, MHIA faced unique challenges that needed addressing. From sourcing equipment from multiple suppliers to meeting an aggressive schedule, there were many things to be considered. It was also very important that the equipment used for this expansion project be reliable and safe. And with facilities for different industries included in the project scope, there were complex technical requirements.

To address these challenging demands, MHIA worked closely with ABB to supply four E-Houses in the Gulf Coast region for this large petrochemical plant, with plans to supply them in 2017 and 2018. As part of the overall scope, MHIA sought a partner that could provide strong project management and project engineering in order to deliver a completely integrated system. Combined with a local project team to assist throughout the project, MHIA felt working with ABB would be a natural fit.

One of the unique benefits that ABB provided was delivering a complete integrated system. As part of the order, ABB provided low- and medium-voltage switchgear, medium-voltage motor control centers (MCC), and low-voltage drives. ABB’s switchgear offered the highest operational reliability while also ensuring personnel safety. The MV MCC was also designed with safety in mind, as it is equipped with mechanical interlocks between the draw-out contactor truck and the front door to increase operation and maintenance. The LV MCC also provided the highest degree of safety, ease of installation and maintenance, reliability, and flexibility. It was designed with a multifunction wall that provides a fault-free and touch-safe zone that doesn’t require bus shutters. The low voltage drives also offered energy efficiency and flexibility, as they can be built-to-order to meet more complex requirements. ABB’s service group also offered a factory test plan that will ensure the E-Houses meet the customer functional requirements before they leave the factory.

ABB was also able to plan for successful energization, as it has done in the past, by coordinating with its service organization. By collaborating with local service team members, ABB was prepared for both start-up and commissioning services, along with coordinating with sub-contractors. This will improve start-up time while helping to streamline communications.