Siemens offers cyber security solutions to power firms

Business Saturday 28/October/2017 17:21 PM
By: Times News Service
Siemens offers cyber security solutions to power firms

FINSPONG (Sweden): Siemens is well placed to deliver cyber security solutions to the power sector across the globe as more and more countries are increasingly introducing digitalisation and grid connectivity.
As a global company with expertise in operational technology, Siemens is well placed to deliver cyber security solutions to the industry.
“Earlier, power projects were simple and predictable. Now, we are going to a completely connected grid. Several projects are connected to each other,” said Aymeric Sarrazin, senior vice president, Control and Digitalisation, Siemens Energy Inc.
“Digitalisation will help to get more reliability and the equipment will run better and faster,” he added, while addressing a meeting on shaping energy in the digital era for a visiting media delegation in Finspong, where the company has a manufacturing base for gas turbines. “Digitalisation is as important as the technology we develop.”
Digitalisation in the energy sector brings a convergence of Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) connectivity so that data can travel from the field to the control room to the enterprise network. The crossover between IT and OT has underscored the need for a unique set of solutions. Connectivity and interconnectivity bring increased risk across the whole energy value chain—from upstream to distribution and retail.
Sarrazin said 75 to 80 per cent of cyber attacks in the power sector come from inside the plant.
Siemens has developed a cyber portfolio, which closes the gap this type of threat poses and protects the customers. By learning the ‘pattern of life’ for every network, device, and user across both OT and IT networks, the companies expect artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms can identify and automatically take action against emerging attacks that other tools miss. “Artificial intelligence is incorporated to see different behaviours on the network.”
If it is not normal, it will alert and the company can take action.
Referring to the advantages of digitalisation, Sarrazin said the maintenance costs in plants came down to 30 per cent. Also, the plant will be faster and less people are required for less time. “We can also enhance fleet efficiency and it allows us to produce more electricity.”
The digitalisation of the power sector also helps in selecting the plant for dispatch, as well as the right time for maintenance.
Siemens recently signed an agreement with China Resources Power Holdings Company Co. Ltd. (CR Power) to implement the setup of an integrated and connected Remote Operation Centre (ROC) for CR Power’s fleet.
Digitally connecting its power generation assets will give CR Power real-time insights into the operational conditions of its fleet. Based on those insights, Siemens’ advanced data analytics will make recommendations for improved performance to help extend the operational lifetime of the power plants. The ROC project will begin with CR Power’s Jiangsu Branch. The connection of the 19 units (9.6 GW) is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. Siemens has similar projects in Bolivia and Australia.
Sarrazin also said there has been growth in renewable energy sector and many of these are located in remote places.
Looking for business opportunities in Oman
Siemens is looking at business opportunities in the power sector in Oman as the Sultanate plans to build several gas-fired power plants, besides strengthening energy from renewable energy sources, according to a senior company official.
Marafiq, the Sultanate’s first centralised utilities provider catering to industrial zones, is in the process of selecting a company for building a 183 megawatt power and 9.5 million imperial gallons of water per day capacity desalination plant in Duqm.
“Our gas turbines are fit for this kind of project. I am sure that Siemens is looking into this project,” said Hans Holmstrom, president and chief executive officer - Site Management Finspong – of Siemens.
“Oman is a growing country and when the economy grows, there is a new need for additional power capacity,” added Holmstrom, on the sidelines of a conference on shaping energy in the digital era for a visiting foreign media delegation. Oman is also planning a major power plant with an envisaged capacity of 800 MW. However, OPWP recently said that it would be tendered after one year.
“There are many initiatives in Oman on renewable energy front. Oman is a perfect country for developing solar power projects. It is a perfect balance to have renewables in Oman,” added Holmstrom. The Sultanate plans to build its first major solar project as an independent power project and the tendering process is expected to start next year.
He said that renewable power projects are growing across the world and this needs investments in grids. “That is driving our business opportunities as well.”
However, he said that the business opportunities in oil and gas sector have come down after a decline in oil prices two years ago. “The focus of oil companies is on reducing cost,” he added.