Breaking records in power generation

2012-04-24 - ABB has delivered in record time a new Symphony plant automation system for a 500 MW supercritical unit at South Korea’s largest thermal power plant, enabling the unit to start production 11 days ahead of schedule. The unit holds the world record for running without unscheduled downtime.

By ABB Communications

Boryeong Thermal Power Plant, South Korea


The solution is the first of four new plant automation systems that ABB is contracted to deliver for units 3-6 at the Boryeong Thermal Power Plant in South Korea. All four units have been operating since 1994 and were the first supercritical coal-fired units to be built in South Korea.

Boryeong is South Korea’s largest thermal power plant. Owned and operated by Korea Midland Power Co (KOMIPO), the plant produces 4,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity from eight coal-fired units, 1,800 MW of power from four combined cycle units, and around 7.5 MW from hydroelectric and photovoltaic solar power plants.

Units 3-6 each have a generating capacity of 500 MW and are renowned for their high levels of plant performance. Unit 3 holds the world record for running without unscheduled downtime – this currently stands at 4,500 consecutive days of trouble-free operation and is still ongoing.

Replacement of obsolete multivendor control systems
To ensure that the four units will continue to operate at the same remarkable levels of reliability, KOMIPO selected ABB in early 2011 to replace the existing multivendor control systems with state-of-the-art Symphony plant automation systems.

Unit 6 was the first of the four systems to be modernized. ABB completed the project 11 days ahead of schedule, enabling the plant to start producing power and generating revenues earlier than expected.


ABB’s Symphony family of distributed control systems is the world’s most widely used DCS in the power generation and water industries. In all, there are more than 6,000 Symphony DCS installations in operation all over the world, more than 4,000 of which are in power and water applications.

ABB was responsible for removing the existing multivendor control systems and auxiliary monitoring systems for unit 6 and replacing them with a Symphony integrated control and monitoring system for the boiler, turbine, balance of plant, flue gas desulfurization system, and selective catalytic reduction system.

The Symphony solution handles some 17,000 I/O points. Huge amounts of logic had to be analyzed, converted into standard SAMA (Scientific Apparatus Makers Association) logic, and implemented in the Symphony DCS. The turbine control system includes triple redundant servo valve control.

ABB also remodeled and modernized the central control and electrical control rooms to provide a more ergonomic and productive operator environment to enhance operational performance, plant productivity and site safety.

Other customer benefits of the ABB solution include increased reliability for the turbine and boiler protection system, better operational flexibility thanks to the new state-of-the-art operator interface, improved diagnostics for plant availability, reduced maintenance costs, extended operating life of the unit, and the security of ABB’s unique commitment to protecting the long-term investment of customers in the Symphony platform.

ABB is currently installing an identical Symphony solution for unit 5 at Boryeong, with units 3 and 4 to follow. The modernization project for all four units is scheduled for completion in mid-2013.

Click here to read an interview with Korea Midland Power Co about the ABB solution.

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    The Symphony control room, Boryeong
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