ABB to connect transmission systems in Angola, Namibia

Power equipment manufacturer ABB has received contracts totaling US$225 million to connect transmission grids in Angola and Namibia, part of strengthening electricity networks for delivery of hydropower within southern Africa.

ABB said November 21 it won a US$45 million contract from Angola’s Empresa Nacional de Electricidade to connect the grids in the northern and central parts of the country. The work is to support economic development and to contribute to reduction of carbon emissions from fossil fuels by enabling more hydropower generated in the north to be fed into the central grid.

The Angola system will comprise two substations, in Gabela and Quileva, and a series compensation system to be installed at Gabela. The system will be controlled and monitored with a MicroSCADA supervisory control and data acquisition system.

Earlier in the month, ABB won a US$180 million order from Namibia national utility NamPower to connect two parts of its grid and boost regional networks. NamPower is building a 350-kilovolt, 300-MW transmission link between the northeastern Caprivi region and the power network in central Namibia.

That link also will interconnect the networks of Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, and South Africa to create an alternative route for power imports and exports with neighboring countries. The design allows for an extension to 600 MW.

The Namibia link is to use ABB’s HVDC Light system, a high-voltage direct current transmission technology that will stabilize the two weak networks and increase grid reliability in the region. ABB is to supply two converter stations and earth electrodes. The system is scheduled for operation by the end of 2009.

Nations of the Southern African Development Community have been promoting measures to stem regional power shortfalls, including transmission upgrades to allow international trading of hydropower. (HNN 4/30/07)

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