GIS Upgrade

110kV switchgear automation renewal well ahead of 2019-2022 schedule in Tornio

In order to ensure high availability of Aurora’s 110kV gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) for years to come, its automation and control system was deemed to need an update in 2018. The execution was planned to be performed in four different phases over the years 2019-2022. Mimizing the impact of the works on our customer’s production. The 110kV GIS switchgear feeds the entire Outokumpu Tornio mill.  Therefore one longer shutdown to perform such works, is impossible to come across. The switchgear bays were renewed on the terms of the customer’s production shutdown schedules and not vice versa.

“The project is a good example of Aurora customer orientation when renewing equipment. We seek every possibility to ensure our customers’ production can maintain high utilization rates despite our works. In addition to good pre-planning, for this project we even built a temporary commissioning simulation system next to the switchgear together with Siemens in order to minimize testing and commissioning times”, says Tornio Site Manager Pentti Alatalo.

“Projects in an industrial environment require special flexibility and adaptability to changing circumstances. As the works have proceeded well during the project and us taking advantage of some changing circumstances, we have together with Siemens already been able to commission 14 bays out of 15. This demanding project is now ahead of original project schedule despite of having workforce from Germany participating on-site in Tornio during these abnormal COVID-19 times. Now we are just waiting for the last opportunity to finalize the project”, concludes Pentti Alatalo.

Aurora was once again given credit by its suppliers during last week’s shutdown, for the safe and efficient COVID-19 working arrangements. Siemens project manager highlighted the following in particular:

Minimizing contacts: Even though we did not have access to the canteen, we had our own resting space equipped with a toilet, drinks and food
Testing: Our workers got access to the site after corona tests and measuring their temperature on site
Distancing: Works had been arranged in order to maintain a safe distance to co-workers and personal face protection masks had been arranged by Aurora!
Efficiency: Despite the exceptional circumstances, the works proceeded very well and the protective measures taken did not really limit efficiency.


Temporary commissioning simulation system
Temporary commissioning simulation system next to the switch-gear
Made by Tremedia