Integrated communications eases transport of Songo Songo gas to Tanzania

By April 2004, natural gas from Songo Songo Island, off the coast of Tanzania, will be extracted, treated, transported by a new pipeline to the Mbungo power station near Dar es Salaam, and converted into electricity for the ever-increasing demands of this developing nation.

Nick Smart
Optilan

By April 2004, natural gas from Songo Songo Island, off the coast of Tanzania, will be extracted, treated, transported by a new pipeline to the Mbungo power station near Dar es Salaam, and con-verted into electricity for the ever-increasing demands of this developing nation.

Optilan Communication Systems in Kenil-worth, UK, has been appointed by CDC Globeleq as the EPC contractor responsible for telecommunications and information systems aspects of the Songas project. Optilan's brief was to design and supply an integrated communication system with the ability to allow telecommunications, Ethernet, and digital control signals to be interfaced at the nine block valve sites. These sites are situated along the 225-km mainland section of the pipeline, along which fiber optic cable will be installed.

A link is also needed to carry distributed control systems (DCS) data from Dar es Salaam to the gas plant on Songo Songo, and to a cement works 16 km from Dar es Salaam that will use the gas for its power source. Ethernet and telephony links to the island are being provided, together with a wireless system

The control of such a complex system will rely on robust, high-performance communication equipment, providing a combination of low-speed data interface at each block valve location and high-speed data communications for the Ethernet and telephony systems. According to the company. Optilan's 15-5Mbps SDH multiplexer solution is proven in such harsh and potentially hazardous environments.

At the Songas Operations Center (SOC) in Dar es Salaam, Optilan will be installing a CCTV system, a PABX, a LAN, and a Scada system to monitor all telecommunications-installed equipment, as well as satellite communication units and the TN1U multiplexer system.

The system will link to the gas plant on Songo Songo Island where a further PABX, LAN and server, and Scada system will be in place. To power the multiplexer and instrumentation, Optilan will install solar power systems at each block valve location, together with telephones and multiplexer equipment.

The multiplexer will provide the connections between the external telephones and the SOC's PABX system. The multiplexer will carry digital input and output from the block valve instrumentation to the SOC's DCS system, and Ethernet connection will extend the SOC LAN to each valve location.

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