National Advanced Transmission & Automation Centre
Where failure fears to tread
NATA is the core and crux of our control over the grid. It is our smart choice to put the best innovation to work in the national gas grid through a group of integrated systems providing perfect professional performance for safe gas supply .GASCO has built NATA from bricks to clicks to maintain utmost control of the grid through the use of the following technologies, systems and programs:
- Supervisory control and Data Acquisition Systems (SCADA)
- Gas Grid Analysis
- Gas grid upgrading, maintenance and development systems
(SCADA) Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system
A tool to match our performance, the SCADA system is a highly sophisticated integrated system bringing the fields to the field of vision while masterminding co-ordination and control of gas transmission & distribution, analysis for failure or leakage via an advanced bundle of software applications making remote processes visible to everyone from control room operators to contingency management team, and decision support systems. The SCADA system comprises the following:
Providing direct and timely information, the remote terminal units (RTUs) are responsible for collecting data from field devices at sites of the company. Control commands to different devices, such as valves with actuators, can be issued via RTUs.
The control centers work 24 hrs. a day, 7 days a week, based on sophisticated emergency scenarios. It represents the master terminal unit which is composed of hardware components and software components integrated to comprise a full control system. Hardware components include Real time servers, historical servers, operators, workstations, storage drives and media devices, Computer Networks and communication channels. Software components include servers and workstations operating systems real time and historical database systems, Data acquisition module for polling RTUs to get Field operational data.
- Great Control Center
The National Advanced Transmission and Automation (NATA) is the Main Control Center It represents the global scope for the operation of the National Gas Grid.
- Local Control & monitoring Centers
There are 6 local control centers in Cairo, Alex, Suez, Muqattam, Talkha, Tina and Aswan in addition to 7 monitoring centers in port said ,el-aresh , East of Alex,10th of Ramadan city, Sharqawya, Damietta, and East of Alex (El-Mahmoudia)
- Emergency Control Center
The system is designed to allow one of the local control centers (Talkha) to work as emergency control center in case of failure.
GASCO Telecommunication network has significant role in maintaining connectivity between different components of the SCADA System, its role is to keep a continuous flow of data in the normal as well as in the up normal conditions even in catastrophic ones there must be a path for the SCADA Data to flow.
GASCO has one of the largest Fiber Optic Networks in the middle east with a total length that exceeds 8000 Km, serving as the main communication media in almost all the new gas pipeline projects, it has a very large bandwidth enabling GASCO transfer an unlimited chunks of data packets.
GASCO also has a Digital Microwave Network working in the 7 Giga Hz frequency band and is used to connect the main control center to the local control centers. This network is backed by a group of VPN links through landline telephone network in order to maintain the connectivity between control centers in case of any failure that may take place
VSAT or satellite communications is the newest communication Media to be implemented by GASCO, it is reliable and cost effective, and currently it is used to transfer the SCADA data from more than 150 sites.
As long as the Egyptian natural gas grid expands it is our responsibility to follow it, to spread our coverage all over our working territories, to pursue the rapid evolutions in the field of communications.
A number of software applications are applied in system controlling:
SCADA SOFTWARE: is the basic software of control centers it’s a package of software modules responsible for:
1- Gathering stations data
2- Human machine interface (HMI) and supervisory Control
3- Generating alarms after inspecting gathered data.
4- Generating events
5- Historical Database (events, timeline, trends)
7- Synchronization with other control centers
Gas Grid simulation software has two modes of operation,
First mode is connecting to the SCADA providing integrated & leveraged estimated real time data of the whole national gas grid, it is capable of predicting leaks, while providing quantitative and qualitative analysis of the National Gas Grid and its facilities specially valves maintaining utmost control over the grid.
Offline simulation acting as network analysis tool, which helps in handling contingencies while maintaining optimum mode of operation.
GASCO achieves its main mission of supplying gas to all consumers through a grid of pipelines with different diameters. In 1997 the length of the national grid was 2800 Km and a capacity of 37 million m3/day. Due expansion projects and constructing new pipelines, the national grid has reached 7485 km in length (Trunking pipelines) and a capacity of 225 million m3/day
Database information for all the grid pipelines is used as an input data to the program. The usual approach is to make estimates and closely follow trends in load growth, updating the network at regular intervals to effectively determine the flows and pressures in all pipelines and pipe junctions.
Network analysis, a flexible visualizing tool using the most state-of the art computer software, has the following applications in the national gas grid:
- Analyzing existing loads of the grid and the peak load expected while determining the rate of growth and the positioning of different rate of growth accurately within the network putting the big picture before the eyes of NATA operators.
- Testing the network under specific conditions such as the effect of adding a new load. This will determine whether the existing system is capable of taking the new load and, if not, the extent of additional work required to accommodate it.
- Identification of reinforcement schemes to determine the minimum pressure areas within an existing network and hence the requirement for reinforcement of these areas verifying that load data and load growth rates are accurate and there are no interruptible loads within the system.
- Pressure optimization to minimize the requirement for compression in high pressure pipelines.
GASCO is proceeding with the action to replace the existing GASCO-SCADA system to a new centralized architecture State-of-the-Art SCADA system through to accommodate the new emerging requirements of technologies, information security and new Egyptian regulatory conditions " GAS Law, GAS regulatory authority) to consolidate all national grid information in addition to the continuous expansion and new operation needs of existing and new sites of the transmission part of the national gas grid.
The new SCADA system shall deploy the latest technologies in a scalable and reliable architecture to meet conventional SCADA functions and features in addition to well-engineered, advanced diagnostics, network management, information security, system disaster backup and recovery and administration functions