ABB to connect UK and Netherlands

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ABB has won a $350m contract, its biggest cable order ever, for a high-voltage connection between the power grids of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

The deal for the 260km BritNed link, which will allow energy trading between the two countries and increase the reliability of electricity supplies to both, was awarded by National Grid in the UK and state-owned Tennet in the Netherlands.

Under the terms of the contract, ABB will supply the underwater and underground cables for the high-voltage direct current (HVDC) link. The system will have a total capacity of 1,000MW and will be commissioned in 2010.

HVDC technology is used to transport electrical power over long distances with low losses using underground or submarine cables. Power flow can be exactly controlled and the technology also prevents disturbances from spreading, making a significant contribution to the stability of the European grid.