Geographic Locations Electrical Installation Differences

This is not a catch phrase nor something about racism. This is about the differences of electrical installation practices or methodologies. This is about different geographic locations, different acceptable codes of practices.

Recently, a concept select study for a gas project was completed by an EPCM company from a first world country. The project has the same geographic location as the EPCM company thus their knowledge of local practices and regulations is beyond question. The client is a local subsidiary of one of the biggest players in the oil and gas industry.


As part of the quality assurance process, the study was distributed to different offices of the client worldwide for review and comments. One of the recipient was a client's office from a third world country.

When the comments were received and read by one of the authors of the study, his reaction was unbelievable. He was fuming in anger. Why? That is the reason why I am writing this article.

In the study process, all external issues were considered. Environmental and community issues were the foremost considerations eliminating the all options that could affect them. Technical and economic considerations were only secondary in the selection process. This was the reason why underground distribution system was selected eliminating the possibility of overhead distribution system. These reasons were explicitly pointed out in the concept selection report.

Why was the author fuming? The comments from the client's office located in a third world country, to summarize, were to used overhead distribution system as it is more economical.

In the reviewer's perspective, he is right. Probably in their country, overhead distribution system is the way to go. That is the practice and acceptable by the community. But considering the sensitivity of the project, where the community are against it, installing a power pole in their backyard will be a big issue. Constructing a transmission tower that will destroy the view the community have been used to seeing since their birth will be bigger. Economy is not the main consideration here, community relation is.

If the reviewers only knew the local scenario, then the comments would have been different.

About the Author

Ver Pangonilo

A Filipino Engineer, Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) – Australia and Professional Electrical Engineer (PEE) – Philippines with extensive experience in concept select, front-end engineering, HV & LV detail design, construction and commissioning of Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Area electrical installations in water and waste water pipeline and pumping facilities, offshore platforms, hydrocarbon process plants and pipelines including related facilities. Hazardous area classification and design certification (UEENEEM015B, UEENEEM016B, UEENEEM017B).

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