ICPE ACTEL S.A., 65 years of excellence

Romanian brands

by Ion Potarniche

ICPE ACTEL S.A., 65 years of excellence

The year 1950 is the start for electric drives department work of the Institute of Electrical Engineering Bucharest, known as ICPE, special established in that year to serve the young Romanian energy system, activity that is continued in the present by ICPE ACTEL’s team. 

In 2015 ACTEL celebrated 65 years of uninterrupted activity in the field of electrical power drive systems, dedicated to onshore and offshore drilling, energy and also industrial sectors, certified by the national pioneering and beyond, from the earliest years of existence.

Who is today ICPE ACTEL?

In 1992, ICPE ACTEL is separated from ICPE and becomes an independent company through privatization and in 1999 acquired the status of open joint stock company with 100% Romanian capital.

Starting with 2006, the export of electrical drive equipment for offshore and onshore drilling and also for power plants becomes the predominant activity of ICPE ACTEL S.A. (approx. 70% of turnover).

Details of the product range

Products manufactured by ICPE ACTEL include high tech solutions highly customized, techniques with modern digital control and data acquisition systems, especially appreciated by users in order to increas energy efficiency and energy security. The equipment is accompanied by attractive services from consulting, commissioning, maintenance, up to training.

Representative types of equipment made by ICPE ACTEL are:

  • Electric equipment for supply, command and control for offshore  and onshore drilling rigs
  • Specifically controlled electrical drives by D.C. and A.C. motors
  • Static excitation equipments for power plants
  • Charger storage battery rectifiers
  • Capacitors automatic battery derivation low voltage

The products are certified on the regular domains accredited by local institutions and European notified.

ICPE ACTEL's products & services - dedicated fields

The areas in which today ICPE ACTEL produce turnkey solutions and products are of strategic importance to any national economy, namely: generating, transport and controlled supply with electrical energy of the equipment for offshore and onshore drilling, genera­ting, transport and distribution of electricity for industry, providing energy efficiency throughout the chain from producer to consumer. The company holds certifications assigned by Romanian authorities for domains as energy, railway and naval.

Existing facilities details, components used  

ICPE ACTEL is provided with a modern production area which is equipped with  stands for factory tests in order to establish the compliance of the final product.

Subassemblies of the product are professional components, they have European CE marking and are purchased from the European Community. Partnership relations, have become traditional, with companies such as Schneider, Siemens, Moeller, Logstrup, Allen-Bradley, BARTEC Group, recommends ICPE ACTEL products for compliance, availability, maintainability, flexibility and high efficiency.

About the team 

The highest force of ICPE ACTEL is the team of 74 employees with an average age of 35 years. 40% are university graduates, all researchers, including 3 PhD engineers and 2 PhD-students engineers. The other 60% are persons with secondary education, complemented with post-secondary training.

  • Equipment for onshore drilling, Siberia (Russia) 

  • Equipment commissioning on offshore drilling rig, ATLAS

External partners

Besides indirect exports, made through-out drilling equipment constructors or drilling contractors or constructors of power plants, ICPE ACTEL has exported to firms like: Alstom Grid, Washington Group International, OMV Petrom, Arcellor Mittal, Logstrup, etc.

Geographical areas and special characteristics 

ICPE ACTEL equipment destinations are the most diverse: Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Libya, Indonesia, France, Iraq, UAE, India, Iraq, Turkey, Moldova, Kenya, Thailand and Nigeria. Almost every location means standards conditions, to which are added the specific climate conditions.

Exports of high-security equipment made in onshore or offshore areas with very different climatic conditions imposed specific additional features to the standard product. The presence of complex systems for onshore drilling located beyond the Arctic Circle in Siberia (Russia), in collaboration with UPETROM 1 Mai  Ploiesti, imposed the need for components to withstand temperatures -550C, when the equipment delivered for Iraq and Kenya have been designed for extreme climatic conditions specific to the desert, aiming including maintenance. 

Interview with Mr. Ion Potârniche, Ph.D. Eng., ICPE ACTEL General Manager

T&T : What recommends the pro­ducts of ICPE ACTEL?

Ion Potârniche: In the '80s, how many European countries could be proud to have 7 offshore platforms which was whole build with Romanian technology? Lets remaind them: GLORY, FORTUNE, HORISONT; JUPITER; PROMETEU, ATLAS, SATURN. More than likely none!

How many same prophile companies  can assert  that have in their  product portfolio full iterative solutions set  of traditional areas, which crossed related revolutions in the field of power electronics, started from magnetic amplifier, followed by thyristor converters and finally IGBT? Not so many!

How many companies can say that currently upgrading the equipment they were developed decades ago with the status of national and even world premieres? Very few!

ICPE ACTEL's professionalism is well known in Romania and abroad, and for which the customes in various fields turn to our experience  for advice and diagnosis of technical phenomena that arise problems. Knowledge of technological processes and studying their most hidden details directly from beneficiaries, is the source of "inspiration" who are always on the basis of new custom solutions developed by ICPE ACTEL.The full range of services accompanying our products, from consulting, commissioning, maintenance, to traning, enhances the beneficiary trust in the real competence  of  ICPE ACTEL’s  specialists.

T&T :What can you tell us about the achievements of ICPE ACTEL?

I.P.: The common characteristic of all types of products made by ICPE ACTEL is improved efficiency energy, accomplished for the whole chain, from producer to end user. This was achieved through fine analysis of all processes, complete with new subassemblies and assemblies electric diagrams,  practically with new types of products, integrated into the classics.

The results were translated into higher yields, minimum vo­­lu­me, flexibility, adaptability, easy maintenance, ergonomics, financial, energy and resources savings. The result consists in new products, with new features.

Here that, in recent years, ICPE ACTEL has been involved in upgrading of the mentioned offshore drilling rigs, for promoting the use of A.C. motors, at the expense of D.C. motors, for many advantages, long expected.

Reviewing the specific of supply with (2 ... 5) isolated micropower plants or electric lines 6, 10, 20 kV and / or dual, the main engines of the technology types  under the user equipment, which can vary in number 2-11 for a drilling site, it led to a complex new electrical system with new blocks and new functions, such as Power Management System, Motor Control Center, equipment for power factor correction and filtering harmonics, distribution modular flexible, desks and  chief driller ergonomic cabin, etc. Also, if the team since 1960 achieved the outfitting chain of hydropower plants on the Bistrita Valley, a few years ago current team engaged in replacing old equipment still in working order but the old parameters project, by the new technique equipment, with numerical control and increased energy efficiency.

It can be estimated that 90% of the Romanian energy system is achieved with ICPE ACTEL's equipment as static excitation systems for synchronous generators and numeric rectifiers for charging stationary batteries, under the hydroelectric power plants or substations. Also largely exported of these are appreciated in France, India, Iraq, Turkey, Moldova, Kenya, Thailand.

We believe that regular contact with traditional and prospective beneficiaries is absolutely necessary for the viability of the ICPE ACTEL brand. In this respect, the annual symposium organized by ICPE ACTEL, with international participation, which invite users, businessmen, professors in higher education, representatives of the relevant authorities is a framework for constructive dialogue since 2004.

T&T :What are your goals for the future?

I.P.:We are prepared for future challenges. We are confident in our team of scientists, specialists, including marketing, that is using innovation as a tool for real progress, based on the degree of experience and know-how. Consequently, we maintain our current market and development of new pro­ducts and new markets.

Ensuring energy efficiency remains a strong purpose. It is the reason that ICPE ACTEL’s voice is considered an important guiding mark in the spectrum of the areas it serves.

Important premises are created that ICPE ACTEL actively participates in the project to implement smart grid concept.

A goal required for a strong economy is the generalization of power plants using different types of biomass. We have all advantages to start the partnership actions in this area.

We always consider creating new partnerships and widening bridges with specialists in related fields.

Ion Potarniche

Conf. dr. ing. Ion POTÂRNICHE, Director General al ICPE ACTEL din 1994, peste 38 de ani de activitate de cercetare aplicativă în cadrul ICPE

  • Autor al: 12 invenţii brevetate, 76 lucrări publicate în reviste de specialitate, 60 lucrări practice elaborate, 119 lucrări publicate în sesiuni de comunicări ştiinţifice, 5 cărţi publicate.
  • Experienţă în managementul proiectelor de cercetare naţională, coordonator al 19 contracte de cercetare aplicativă din cadrul PNCDI
  • Membru al: Consiliului Inovării - AMCSIT, CT 36-Electronica de Putere al Comitetului Electrotehnic Român, AGIR, Patronatelor din Energetică
  • Membru de onoare al CNR-CME
  • Vicepreşedinte al APREL
  • Vicepreşedinte al A.P. ENERGIA
  • Consultant ştiinţific al Federaţiei Patronale din Construcţii de Maşini
  • Activitate didactică la U.P.B. şi Universitatea Valahia
  • Membru al ASTR