Cape Town power

ABB has been awarded $53m by South African power utility Eskom to strengthen the transmission network in the Western Cape.


The order, which was booked in the fourth quarter of 2008, is expected to be completed by 2010.

ABB said that it will design, manufacture, install and commission six 765kV capacitor banks at the Alpha, Beta, Mercury and Perseus substations.

The installations, which form part of an initiative to increase power capacity in Cape Town and the surrounding areas, will give Eskom more flexibility and reduce its reliance on Koeberg power station.

The compensators used in the project are part of a family of technologies known as Flexible Alternating Current Transmission Systems (FACTS).

‘ABB’s FACTS technologies allow more power to be delivered more efficiently using existing infrastructure,’ said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s power systems division.

‘This reduces the need to build additional transmission lines, lowering environmental impact and minimising cost.’

The project includes ABB’s Mach2 technology, which the company says is an advanced control and protection system, and the most widely applied platform for HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) and FACTS solutions.