African power

ABB has won an order worth $180m from the Namibian national power utility to connect two parts of the country’s power grid.


ABB has won an order worth $180m from the Namibian national power utility NamPower to connect two parts of the country’s power grid and strengthen electricity networks in southern Africa.


NamPower is building a 350kV, 300MW transmission link between the northeastern Caprivi region and the power network in central Namibia. The link will also interconnect the electricity networks of Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and South Africa to create an alternative route for power imports and exports to and from neighboring countries.


The link, which can be upgraded to handle 600MW, will use ABB’s HVDC Light system, a high-voltage direct current transmission technology.


‘The new Caprivi Link Interconnector will enable the establishment of power trading in the expansive region of southern Africa,’ said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. ‘It will allow a more efficient use of power resources in the region, including renewable energy.’


ABB is responsible for system engineering including design, supply and installation of the two converter stations and earth electrodes. This project extends the voltage for HVDC Light to 350kV and marks the first time the technology will be used for long overhead transmission lines.


The system is scheduled to be in operation by the end of 2009.