ABB has won orders worth US$48 million for power projects to help mining group Rio Tinto increase capacity at its iron-ore mines in the Pilbara region of Western Australia from 163 million tonnes to 220 million tonnes.

The projects were awarded under a preferred supplier frame agreement between ABB and Rio Tinto which covers electrification relating to Rio Tinto’s power systems upgrade in the Pilbara region.

The projects are for the turnkey high-voltage substations including the construction of a 220 kV switching station at the Seven Mile power station and a 220/33kV bulk supply substation at Cape Lambert. The order also includes all design, equipment, civil and electrical works, and project management. The installations are expected to be operational by the end of 2009.

ABB will also supply power transformers, instrumentation transformers, disconnectors and a range of high- and medium-voltage switchgear in the first of eight projects to be awarded by Rio Tinto in connection with its power systems upgrade in Pilbara.