ABB Ltd. and Prysmian Group have been awarded €620m contract for the ambitious 1GW IFA2 power link between the UK and France.
ABB will provide its HVDC transmission technology, whereas Prysmian will offer power cable links through submarine and land. While ABB’s contract is worth €270 million, Prysmian has got a €350 million contract.
Adoption of HVDC transmission is steadily gaining traction globally, with one report by consulting firm Future Market Insights projecting an 8.8% CAGR till 2026. The benefits of HVDC, including higher tolerability to electrical fluctuations and low operational costs will ensure stable supply to both the clients. ABB is a well-known HVDC provider, and has executed over 110 HVDC projects. Its forte lies in successfully transmitting thousands of megawatts of electricity over long distances without any significant loss of energy. The impressive performance has meant that ABB has offered above 10% returns to shareholders consistently.
The HVDC interconnection between the two countries will have a capacity of 1000 MW transmission. It is reported that the transmission will pass through subsea routes. It will land in UK near the Solent Airport, Fareham. “This order further strengthens our leading HVDC position and provides momentum to our transformational drive for profitable growth, as a partner of choice for enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid,” ABB power grids unit president Claudio Facchin said.
ABB has been a pioneer in the HVDC technology, and in 1990, it developed HVDC Light. ABB continues to be a dominant player globally, with its interconnectors enabling power transmission in over 15 countries.
ABB has been boosting its portfolio, and on April 4, it announced that it will be acquiring B&R, a leading provider of open-architecture solutions for machine automation. It was also in news recently after it enabled transmission over a 2,158 km link in Brazil.
The project is a joint venture between UK and France, and will run between Normandy in France to Hampshire in UK. The National Grid in the UK and Réseau de Transport d’Electricité in France are the clients of ABB and Prysmian in this project. National Grid is also working with Prysmian on another project, connecting UK’s power line with Norway. Known as the North Sea Link, along with the IFA2, are among UK’s futuristic power projects that will be linked with other networks around Europe.