ABB wins $50MM HVDC order in Mozambique

Source: ABB 

ABB (NYSE:ABB), the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth around $50 million from Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa, S.A. to refurbish the Songo high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter station in Mozambique

The converter station and associated high-power equipment are key components in the 1,920 MW HVDC link transmitting clean hydropower from the Cahora Bassa hydro plant in Mozambique over 1,417 kilometers to the grid in South Africa, where coal-based thermal power is the main source of electricity.

This refurbishment project entails replacement of key equipment, including high-voltage transformers and direct current (DC) smoothing reactors. It will help to enhance power availability and improve system reliability, enabling HCB to honor their Power Purchase Agreement with Eskom, the leading South African utility. Export of renewable energy to South Africa, is an important source of income for Mozambique.

ABB will also supply and install arresters and measuring equipment as part of the turnkey project. The commissioning will be completed in two parts, the DC equipment in 2013 and the transformers a year later.

“The Songo HVDC link supports the integration of renewable energy and helps meet the growing demand for electricity. We are delighted to contribute to the development of power infrastructure in the region,” said Brice Koch, head of ABB's Power Systems division. “This project also underlines our continued focus and commitment to growing our service business.”

ABB is a leading supplier for power infrastructure in Africa. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) power consumption is set to double between 2005 and 2040. ABB has more than 5,000 employees in Africa and expects to grow at least twice the rate of GDP growth between 2011-2015 driven by the power, mining, oil & gas industry and housing sectors.

ABB pioneered HVDC transmission technology almost 60 years ago and has extensive experience in both new installations and refurbishments. ABB remains the world leader in this highly-efficient technology, with over 70 HVDC projects around the world, providing a total transmission capacity of more than 60,000 megawatts (MW). This is the 16th upgrade project won by ABB since 1990.

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