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ABB Ability upgrade for UAE cement operations

Star Cement

Process control systems and cement grinding units upgraded across multiple sites in UAE

ABB have installed their ABB Ability System 800xA distributed control system (DCS) automation platform to upgrade three grinding units at Star Super Cement in Dubai, UAE, and ensure optimized operations with the Star Cement clinkerization plant in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.

Both companies are subsidiaries of Ultratech Cement of India, with Star Cement operating the 3 million tonnes/year clinkerization unit at Ras Al Khaimah, and Star Super Cement operating four cement grinding units – a 2.2 million tonnes/year unit at Jabel Ali, a 1.4 million tonnes/year unit at Abu Dhabi and a 1.1 million tonnes/year unit at Ajman, in UAE, as well as a 1 million tonnes/year unit in Bahrain.


ABB were the electrical and automation partner for the Star Cement clinkerization plant 10 years ago and deployed their DCS for the three UAE cement grinding units when these plants were installed, each of which had a different generation of DCS depending on the plant commissioning period.

All the grinding units have now been upgraded to ABB Ability System 800xA, which can implement advanced process control methods and is ranked by the ARC Advisory Group as the world’s number one DCS platform over the last 22 years.

‘Star Cement will benefit from improved operator visibility, easier maintenance and minimum downtime with the new upgraded systems and uniformity across the various clinkerization and grinding unit locations,’ said Max Tschurtschenthaler, global cement lead with ABB Process Industries.

‘We are pleased to have built on our longstanding relationship. The successful upgrade of three different systems to the latest platform will ensure overall interoperability and ease of operations.’

TVS Chidambaram, chief operating officer of Star Cement, said: ‘The DCS upgrade project handled by ABB ran very smoothly and barely disturbed the organization’s ongoing activities. Well-planned engineering and installation works during a holiday period helped us to continue our sales without any disturbance. We’re now in a much better position for future operations.’

The scope of work undertaken by ABB included the upgrade of all previously installed central processing units (CPUs) and controllers to the latest version of ABB Ability System 800xA. The project also involved the erection and installation of new panels, which were manufactured and delivered locally, whilst keeping the field wiring intact. In addition, minerals libraries were introduced to the system.


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