ABB to reinforce S. Africa link to 2,040-MW Cahora Bassa

South Africa utility Eskom has awarded a US$62 million contract to ABB of Switzerland to strengthen the transmission system linking South Africa consumers with a giant hydroelectric project in Mozambique.

ABB said August 24 it is to refurbish the high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter station near Johannesburg to improve reliability. Completion is expected in May 2008.

The HVDC system helps integrate hydropower produced at the 2,040-MW Cahora Bassa plant in Mozambique with the transmission grid in South Africa. (HNN 6/28/06) The refurbished HVDC Apollo converter station will boost transmission reliability, increase power flow, and prepare for any future upgrades.

ABB is to supply new thyristor valves with a unique outdoor design that will minimize the interruption of supply from Cahora Bassa during the upgrade. The entire control and protection system will be replaced using ABB’s computerized Mach 2 system. ABB also is to supply new alternating current harmonic and direct current filters using DC capacitors.

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