Enemalta inaugurates new electricity network control centre
Enemalta plc launched a new Network Planning and Operations Control Centre equipped with new technologies that will help its engineers provide better quality electricity services to its customers.
This new centre, within the Company’s Administration Building in Marsa, forms part of a €5 million Enemalta investment to upgrade the control and automation systems of the national electricity distribution system. The Archbishop of Malta Mons. Charles. J. Scicluna and Inġ. Fredrick Azzopardi, Executive Chairman of Enemalta plc, inaugurated the new control centre a few days ago, in the presence of the centre’s employees.
A team of engineers operate this centre 24 hours a day to monitor and control the electricity distribution system, including the Company’s 132kV and 33kV distribution centres and several other network installations. These engineers are trained to swiftly respond to network difficulties by remotely switching on alternative high voltage connections and restore electricity supply to customers in the affected areas in the shortest time possible. The control centre also coordinates ongoing maintenance, repair and upgrade works that are carried out by other engineers and technicians throughout the year.
Another team of engineers at this centre conducts technical studies to analyse electricity consumption changes in different areas and plan the upgrades required to make sure that network capacity continues to meet customers’ demands.
Until a few weeks ago, these engineers worked in an older control room within the same building. These facilities had become too small to operate the network, as it continues to be upgraded and extended to serve new customers. The development of the new Network Planning and Operations Control Centre started in December 2016. All works were planned and implemented by employees of Enemalta plc and its subsidiary International Energy Service Centre, with the support of several suppliers and contractors.
The engineers at the new centre can now make use of several new systems that are being added to the electricity distribution network across Malta and Gozo. These include an innovative automation system that started being rolled out in 2015 to remotely control over 1,300 11kV secondary substations spread across all localities in Malta and Gozo. It allows the engineers to respond to network difficulties in a shorter time, as they won’t have to travel to the substation to operate it. The network engineers are also introducing new ICT tools to obtain further technical data for the ongoing analysis and optimisation of network operations.
Ing. Fredrick Azzopard, Enemalta plc Executive Chairman, thanked the employees who planned and developed this new control centre. “In the last few years, we invested over €100 million to consolidate the country’s electricity distribution network, to meet increasing demand and to reduce the difficulties that lead to power cuts. We have, in fact, reduced electricity supply disruptions to our customers by over 60%. This centre brings together the control of our ongoing nationwide network investment, securing new resources to continue improving the quality of service to our customers.”