Powering Argentina’s largest PVC-producer

Bahia Blanca, Argentina


Solvay Indupa S.A., one of Argentina’s largest PVC producers, needs 95 MW of electrical energy for its industrial facilities. To achieve complete autonomy from the public grid and increase its power supply reliability, the company decided to upgrade their own generation and transmission capacities. Due to the upcoming winter season and fixed power supply obligations, the project had to be completed within a very tight time frame.


Siemens Argentina provided a tailored turnkey solution from a single source. At its heart, there is the new 132-kV GIS facility with a substation automation and protection system based on the IEC 61850 standard. In addition, Siemens retrofitted Solvay’s existing substations and a Transba substation for the protection system. The solution also includes reporting to the dispatch control center of the electricity market administrator, Cammesa, and Transba’s regional control center.   The substation automation system also includes SIPROTEC protection devices and bay control units. Via IEC 61850, they communicate with the SICAM PAS server and HMI, both of which are redundant. Additional protocols such as IEC 60870-5-103 and Profibus DP were implemented as well. The solution also includes reporting to Cammesa and Transba third-party control centers in DNP 3.0 and Solvay’s third-party process control system Yokogawa in OPC. This was the first implementation of a SICAM PAS full server-redundant with an RTU GE 200 in DNP 3.0 serial.


The project was completed two months ahead of schedule – in plenty of time for the winter season and to meet all power supply obligations.   Solalban Energía, the joint venture which managed the entire project, also benefits from high performance, better monitoring of substations, modern protection, and a fast and reliable telecontrol system. These features support a safe power supply for Solvay’s future expansion as well as a profitable feed-in into the grid.   Solvay’s open cycle now delivers 120 MW, with plans to expand in the future with a closing cycle 45 MW steam turbine. The combined cycle power plant will deliver a total of 165 MW. Requiring 95 MW for its own use, the company now feeds an excess of 25 MW into the grid. The excess electricity will be traded in the unregulated market under the “Energía Plus” incentive program. This additional business opportunity helps to boost the company’s competitiveness.