APA Group

Power Station Control System Upgrade and Engineering Services

Mipac has provided control systems and electrical engineering services to the Diamantina Power Station since 2014. During this period many varied projects have been taken from concept/scoping through design to commissioning, integration and support to develop the power station asset capability.

Road sign pointing to Katherine, Darwin and Mount Isa on red soil beside a black road.

Site overview

Within the Gulf Country region of Queensland’s northwest lies the city of Mount Isa, and near it, APA’s Diamantina Power Station (DPS) a modern, high-efficiency power station that services the power needs of Mount Isa and surrounds. As this region is not connected to the National Electricity Market (NEM) and relies on the Northwest Power System to power both industry and residences, this power station is an extremely important asset to the region. 

Background

Mipac was first engaged by APA DPS in 2014 as an owner’s representative for the installation and commissioning of the power plant. We were involved in the preparation of an AVEVA PI Historian and assisting APA DPS to bridge the gap between the existing control system, delivered by Siemens, and what was required for the operation. Our engagement covered project management, engineering and procuring.   

For close to a decade Mipac has continued to provide control systems and electrical engineering services to the DPS across several varied projects. These included concept/scoping, design, commissioning, integration and support services to develop the power station asset capability. 

Lead Control System Engineering Services

For close to a decade, Mipac engineers have been acting as the lead control systems engineers for APA DPS. During this time, Mipac has worked collaboratively with APA and played a critical role in stabilising the plant and enhancing its capacity. 

Over multiple small-scale projects, Mipac has been helping bring the plant to specification and adding value to the client. This has included:  

Challenges

The Mipac team has overcome numerous challenges over the course of its work with the DPS, including: 

Outcomes

Over the course of this work, Mipac has: 

Results

Increased stability of the plant

  • Load sharing on the generators ensured that these could better cope with variable loads.  
  • Mipac’s work resulted in a consistent operation, minimising operator input and providing additional operational flexibility and stability. 

Decreased maintenance requirements

  • Mipac’s work introduced more documentation and better diagnostics for the control system. It also provided a back-up system for the data collected. As a result of this, maintenance time and required effort decreased, with operators having more time to get on with their work. 

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