Integrated BIM and geospatial modeling provide greater value to projects that involve not just design and construction but also operations and maintenance for an extended period after construction. At the Year in Infrastructure 2017 (YII2017) in Singapore the winner of the Be Inspired Award for BIM Advancements in Utilities was a Malaysian construction company that chose geocoordinated 3D digital design for a transmission and substation project. A contributing factor in the decision to use geocordinated digital modeling was the requirement of the project to operate and maintain the substation for 25 years before handoff to the utility.
There are more and more projects that require maintenance or operations and maintenance for an extended period after construction. I blogged previously about projects in the Netherlands initiated by Rijkswaterstaat called design-build-finance-maintain (DBFM) projects. The Rijkswaterstaat (RWS) board is convinced of the benefits of BIM and BIM/geospatial integration and rolled out BIM/geospatila for four DBFM projects with the intention to require BIM on all DBFM-contracts in the future. PESTECH International Berhad, the winner of the Be Inspired BIM Advancements in Utilities Distribution & Transmission award for its project Automation and Integration of Substation Design Project in Kratie and Kampong Cham, Cambodia, used geocoordinated digital design for the development of a new substation. The decision to use geocordinated design technology for this project was partially motivated by the requirement that the company would not only be responsible for designing and building the substation but also for operating it for a period of 25 years before transferring it to the utility.
Cambodia is a rapidly developing tourism spot and its major cities are also growing rapidly. Electricity pays a key role in this development. A major project initiated in 2015 was a 125km 230 kV transmission line from Kratie to Kampong Cham which required the construction of a new substation. This is in support of the 700MW Sesan Hydro Power Plant which is under Construction in the upper Mekong area. The first stage of the power plant is expected to be commissioned in December 2017 and the power will be transmitted to Phnom Penh, the Capital of Cambodia, through the Kampong Cham Kratie Transmission Line.
PESTECH was awarded its first build, operate and transmit (BOT) project in 2015 by Electrique Du Cambodge (EDC). This project is comprised of two stages. Stage 1 is to design, procure, construct and commission the transmission line and substation. Stage 2 is to operate and maintain the line and substattion for 25 years after the first stage which is scheduled for completion in November 2017. This is an important milestone for PESTECH because this is the first project where the company not only builds the facility but is also responsible for operating the power transmission system for a concession period of 25 years. During this period, the company will be accountable for the smooth operation and maintenance of the the power transmission system consistent with prudent utility practices.
The substation design tool integrates both 3D substation design, with 2D electrical protection and control schematics and panel design. Having everything unified in a single software application gave the entire engineering team a seamless view of the entire project starting with the substation layout, then allowing zooming into the control room and navigating individual panels. All of the software is geocoordinated (geospatially-enabled) which allows location to be used to index and organize project files, models, and documents.
During design PESTECH realized significant benefits from digitalizing the design process. These included requiring less than seven working days for schematic drawings each of which normally required 14-21 working days, automatically generating cable schedules which usually required three days to check and document each cable in the project, and component wastage for cables and electrical components reduced by 10-20%. Substation design which used to require two weeks of conventional CAD work required only three days with the digital tools. 2D and 3D project drawings could be generated as smart PDFs which reduced paper requirements and made it much easier fro drawings to be checked by the the supervising engineer and by the customer. Overall PESTECH estimated that up to 70% of design time was saved by utilizing geocoordinated 3D digital modeling.
This is still early days since the transmission line and substation are not scheduled to enter operation until December, but significant benefits of the geocordinated 3d modeling approach are expected during the 25 year operate and maintain phase of the project where the 3D models and other information collected during the design and build phase of the project will be reused to help maintain and operate the transmission line and substations.
The presentation by PESTECH International Berhad at YII2017 is available here.