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ABB to apply new technology in Estonia-Finland power link

US$ 100-million link to improve efficiency, reliability, environmental performance of Baltic, Nordic power grids

Zurich, Switzerland, September 8, 1998 - ABB, the international engineering company, said today it has signed a Letter of Intent to take part in an HVDC (High-Voltage Direct Current) submarine power link between Finland and Estonia. The value of the project is about US$ 100 million. ABB’s partners in the project are Eesti Energia AS, an Estonian state-owned utility, Graningeverkens AB of Sweden, as well as Pohjolan Voima Oy (PVO Group) and Helsinki Energy, both of Finland. EkonoEnergy Ltd (Jaakko Pöyry Group) of Finland will act as an independent engineer on the project. Construction is planned to begin in mid-1999 and take approximately 15 months.

The 200-megawatt link across the Gulf of Finland consists of a high-voltage submarine cable and two converter stations. The system will be based on ABB’s HVDC Light technology, which uses a new generation of converters to significantly reduce the size of HVDC installations. As a result, the system can be built in a series of smaller steps, a more economical approach especially in a period of growing deregulation and the need for more competitively-priced power transmission systems.

By linking into the Nordic grid, Estonia will be able to export electricity and generate revenues for improving the quality of its power plants. Under the terms of the project, the electricity produced for sale into the Nordic grid will conform to the environmental requirements of the European Union. At the same time, the link-up is intended to improve the overall efficiency, reliability and environmental performance of northern, central and eastern European power grids as they head into an era of deregulated power markets.

The ABB Group serves customers worldwide in power generation, transmission, and distribution; automation; oil, gas, and petrochemicals; industrial products and contracting; financial services; and rail transportation. The Group reported orders in 1997 of $35 billion and employs about 220,000 people. (End)

For more information contact Mr. John Fox
ABB Corporate Communications, Zurich Tel: +41 1 317 7371 Fax: +41 1 317 7958

Mr. Pentti Nuutinen
ABB Finland, Vaasa Tel: +358 10 22 42408 Fax: +358 10 22

Original Press Release at ABB.com
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