Transforming Belgium

ABB has won an order worth $32 million for three phase-shifting transformers from the Belgian grid operator Elia that will control power flow between Belgium and The Netherlands.

It is ABB’s largest single order for this kind of technology. The throughput rating of 1,400 MVA (Megavolt amperes) makes the transformers among the largest in the world.

“Our transformers will be critical components for an important part of the Belgian and European power grid,” says Peter Smits, head of ABB’s Power Technologies division. “They will stabilize the grid and increase its transmission efficiency.”

Phase-shifting transformers control the quantity and direction of electricity between power networks, which means the networks can be kept stable.

The three ABB transformers each weigh 1,200 tons, and will be deployed at the substations of Zandvliet and van Eyck in Belgium for Elia’s 400 kV transmission grid. The transformers will be loaded onto a pontoon at the ABB factory in Germany and transported to Belgium along the River Rhine and canals.

The contract was awarded in late 2004. ABB’s most recent installation for phase-shifting transformers was with the Italian grid company TERNA for its site at Rondissone in 2003.

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