ABB cables connect the world’s power systems
Sep. 4, 2008 - ABB
The orders are from an impressive cross-section of utilities,
grid operators and large industrial energy consumers. They
want stable grids, an efficient and reliable way to trade
energy, and the ability to deliver electric power in an
environmentally friendly and cost effective way, from the
mainland to consumers at sea, or from the sea to consumers
on the mainland. Some current projects using ABB high-voltage
- a 580-km long high-voltage direct current (HVDC) submarine
cable NorNed linking power networks in Norway and the
Netherlands enabling both countries to trade energy strengthen
each others power grids passed operational testing on
June 27, and will be officially innaugurated on Sept.
- a 2,000-km long ultra high-voltage direct current transmission
line Slinking Shanghai with the Xiangjiaba hydropower
plant in western China, with a 6,400 megawatt power capacity
that is double the most powerful rating in operation today;
- a 260-km long HVDC submarine and underground cable
that will link the Dutch and U.K. power grids and enabling
energy trades that strengthen each grid;
- a 58-km HVDC power link that will connect Denmark’s
western and eastern power grids and create the country’s
first ever nationwide power network;
- a 30-km submarine power cable that will connect 60
offshore wind turbines to the Belgian national power grid,
helping Belgium avoid the generation of 450,000 tons of
carbon dioxide emissions and meet one-third of its European
Union renewable energy targets;
- the world’s longest AC power link to a floating installation
- a 98-km submarine cable that will connect Statoil’s
Gjøa oil and gas platform to the Norwegian mainland and
avoid 230,000 tons of annual carbon dioxide emissions.
These recent orders show ABB remains the first-choice provider
of large-scale, high-voltage power system solutions for
customers investing in major infrastructure projects.
In September 2007, ABB was awarded a $400 million contract
from E.ON to supply the power equipment that will connect
the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Borkum-2, to the
German electrical grid.
The HVDC Light system will include 128-km of submarine
cables and 78 km of land cables. The park's emissions-free
generation capacity is equivalent to avoiding the 1.5 million
tons of carbon dioxide emissions that would be created by
generating the same amount of electricity using conventional
ABB can trace its roots in the power cable business back
to Sweden in 1870 and the manufacture of fuses for dynamite,
a recent invention of Alfred Nobel.
With the growth of electrification in the late 19th century,
ABB's ancestor companies developed the fuse technology into
copper conductors and electric wiring, and later power cables.
Over the decades, the ABB name has come to represent an
astonishing number of innovations in cable technology.
They range from the development of the lead extrusion process
and cable armoring in the 1920s (both of which are still
in use today) to the world’s first HVDC cable in 1954 and
the first cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) underwater power
cable in 1973.
ABB also holds the world record for the longest underground
and submarine power cables.
Many of these milestone projects were developed in collaboration
with customers like:
- Vattenfall (for the world’s first 400 kilovolt (kV)
low-pressure oil-filled cable in 1952 and the world’s
first HVDC system in 1954);
- TransEnergie U.S. (for the world’s first HVDC Light
submarine cable at Cross Sound in the United States);
- Statoil (for the world’s first power-from-shore installation
to an oil and gas platform using DC cables);
- ConEd and EPRI (for a new method of replacing old high
pressure fluid-filled cables with XLPE cables in challenging
urban environments like New York).
Complete cable range and turnkey capability
Hans-Åke Jönsson, head of ABB High Voltage Cables, points
out that it is precisely ABB’s long track record of innovations
and installations that have made it the world’s leading
provider of high-voltage cables and cable systems.
ABB offers a complete range of cable types and cable accessories
- all made at ABB manufacturing facilities in Sweden and
Russia – and a complete turnkey capability that encompasses
the entire delivery chain, from system studies and system
design to installation, final testing, commissioning and
Innovations are constantly in the pipeline at the Karlskrona
factory in Sweden. New materials and improvements in conductor
design that can reduce the use of costly raw materials like
copper and aluminum are continually being developed and
In HVDC cables, ABB has already tested and is ready to
deliver cables that can transport 1,000 MW of power at 500
kV and at a depth of 1,100 meters.
And ABB has launched a new 320 kV HVDC Light cable that
more than doubles the existing 150 kV limit of this revolutionary
and environmentally friendly technology.