ABB has signed an order worth $390 million to build a power link from the Three Gorges hydropower plant in central China to the coastal city of Shanghai. The order is the world’s largest power transmission project for several years.
ABB, working with Chinese manufacturers, will build a 1,100 kilometre, 3,000MW high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission link under the terms of a contract that has been awarded by the State Grid Corporation in China.
The long-distance project is due to be completed in only three years – one year ahead of the industry norm – and work will start immediately.
The order includes two HVDC converter stations, 28 power transformers and six smoothing reactors, switchgear and advanced control equipment. The equipment will partly be manufactured by ABB factories in Sweden and Switzerland. Through technology transfer, equipment such as valves, some transformers and gas-insulated switchgear, will also be assembled or produced by Chinese partners.
In two other recent contracts, ABB delivered 3,000 MW converter stations for a 890 kilometre HVDC power link from the Three Gorges power plant to near Shanghai in 2003, and a 940 kilometre HVDC power link from the same power plant to Guangdong province in southern China. The Guangdong link, which was commissioned in June 2004, set a number of world records, including the fastest project completion time for such a project – just 31 months.
HVDC transmission reduces line losses and cuts the use of overhead lines because it can transmit twice as much power as conventional high-voltage alternating current technology.