Paris, October 5, 2011 — Alstom Grid opened a new 800 kV test laboratory, designed for the testing and production of power transformers at its factory in Canoas, Brazil.
This $32 million investment extends the capabilities of Alstom Grid's Canoas factory to be able to design, manufacture and test alternating current and high voltage direct current transformers up to 800 kV, the highest direct current voltage level in operation.
As in other parts of the world, Latin America is experiencing a growing need to interconnect transmission grids and to transmit power over very long distances from remote points of generation, which require the use of HVDC technologies.
An example is the Rio Madeira project for which Alstom Grid is currently delivering a 600 kV HVDC bipole. This bipole will be integrated with the world's longest transmission line — 2,375 kilometres — to connect the new hydro power plants of the Madeira river (Santo Antônio and Jirau) to Brazil's Southeastern region, which has the largest power consumption in the country. Several transformers for this project will be supplied by Alstom from its Canoas site.
Alstom's Grid sector has 1,300 employees in Brazil, located in three sites (Agua Branca, Itajuba and Canoas).