Nexans: a 51 million Euros project with Statnett

The Group signed a letter of intent for the deep-water section of NorNed, the world's longest submarine power transmission link

Paris, 14 February 2005 – Nexans, the worldwide leader in the cable industry, has concluded an agreement with Statnett, the Norwegian national transmission system operator, to manufacture the cables for the deep-water section of NorNed, a highvoltage direct current (HVDC) transmission link connecting the power grids of Norway and the Netherlands.

The letter of intent signed by Nexans and Statnett outlines an economic framework worth around 51 million Euros for the manufacture of two 156 km deep-water cables, as well as a shorter length of cable to bring the link ashore in Norway.

The two Nexans cables will be 450 kV HVDC cables that will be laid in water depths up to 410 m. “We’ve a lot of experience of manufacturing deep-sea cables. That’s why we’ve been chosen to supply the section of the NorNed link that’s to be laid in the Norwegian Trench”, says Yvon Raak, Nexans’ Executive Vice President, Europe Area.

The world’s longest submarine high-voltage link

At 580 km, the NorNed link between Kvinesdal, Norway and Eemshaven in the Netherlands will be the world’s longest high-voltage submarine power transmission link. Statnett and TenneT, the Dutch national transmission system operator, will each own 50 percent of the link, which is estimated to cost 560 million Euros. The NorNed link will have a maximum power capacity of 700 MW and an operating current of 824 A. In order to reduce cable costs and losses, it will feature two fully insulated 450 kV cables, even though it is a monopolar link. This enables the current to be kept small and the cable losses low, but requires a higher converter voltage.

The principal reasons for building the NorNed link are to improve electric power supply reliability in both countries and to reduce price fluctuations. Since Norwegian generation is almost entirely hydropower, below-normal precipitation can affect its power system. On the other hand, power production in the Netherlands is based on fossil-fuel-fired thermal generation.

The NorNed interconnector will boost the reliability of the power system in both countries as well as operating to ensure that power is always delivered from a lowercost area to a higher-cost area. So in ‘dry’ years in Norway, the cable will be mainly used to import power. But in years with higher than average precipitation, surplus power will be exported to the Netherlands. In years of normal precipitation, Norway will export power during the daytime and import power at night.

The Nexans element of the NorNed link is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2007. The engineering work is already under way and Nexans’ factory at Halden, Norway will start manufacturing the cable in the spring of 2005. The NorNed link is expected to enter service in early 2008.