Being the caretaker of a national grid comes with a large responsibility. In Jordan, that task rests with the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO). Founded in 1967, its main objective is to transmit electricity between power generation plants, distribution companies and large end-customers.
“We are also in charge of exporting electricity to and importing it from surrounding countries,” says Firas Hijazi, Senior Transformer oil Laboratory Supervisor at NEPCO. “Ensuring the well-being of the electrical system is the primary duty of NEPCO, so it is natural for us to attach great significance on the electrical transformer – which is the most important part of the substation – and not least the transformer oil.”
This includes continuous monitoring of the oil in NEPCO’s laboratory through a variety of tests. All NEPCO transformers undergo periodical insulating oil analysis, controlling performance and updating oil specifications to match international standards.
“In our lab we conduct regular transformer oil analyses of all NEPCO substations and monitor the performance of the insulating oil during service as well as checking compatibility between new and existing oil and treating the oil if necessary.”
NEPCO’s customers are the Jordanian electrical distribution companies, but also a handful of large consumers in the cement, iron, steel, potash and phosphate industries. The company’s long and successful partnership with Nynas dates back to the 1970s.
“It started when I was just a child,” notes Firas Hijazi with a smile. “We have many transformers in operation that are still filled with the original Nynas oil from 1982. The performance and specification of these oils are still within the limits of IEC60422 after 38 years of service.”
He explains that Nynas has played an important role for NEPCO’s development, not just as a supplier but also as a technical advisor that has helped their senior management understand the importance of only using high-quality transformer oils.
“Some years ago, we had problems with the transformers in some of our substations, which turned out to be a result of poor insulating oils that came from other suppliers with lower quality demands. At that time we did not have laboratory capabilities available to detect the inferior quality of these oils at an early stage. But we did notice large differences in performance depending on the type of oil used.”
Observing variations in oil colour and acidity, NEPCO was able to identify the problem although there was some uncertainty regarding their conclusions.
“We needed technical assistance and laboratory expertise. Employees from Nynas came to NEPCO and conducted a study of the results and examinations, the mechanism of the laboratory work and the methods used in the examination and presented a report to our management team.”
Nynas’ examination proved the reliability of NEPCO’s laboratory and staff by confirming the poor performance and quality of the oil.
“Nynas also helped us to build a process to establish specifications and standards for future oil purchases.”
Based on this, NEPCO now purchases only highquality transformer oils from leading suppliers, of which Nynas is the most important.
“I am very grateful for the continuous support from Nynas in ensuring highest possible performance of our transformers. To me, the company is not just a supplier, we are strategic partners and part of the same family,” concludes Firas Hijazi.