ABB wins $30 million order for HVDC power link upgrade in Africa

2017-05-05 - Automotive World article - May 4, 2017
ABB has won an order worth more than $30 million from Société nationale d’électricité (SNEL), the national electricity company of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for a partial upgrade of the Inga-Kolwezi high-voltage direct current (HVDC) power transmission link. The contract is part of the FRIPT project financed by Glencore and managed by Congo Energy, a subsidiary of Forrest Group International. The link transmits power from the Inga hydropower station on the Congo River to the mining district of Katanga in the south-east of the country. It also exports the excess power to the Southern African Power Pool countries.

The 1,700 kilometer link was built by ABB in 1982 and was, at the time, the world’s longest transmission line. ABB upgraded the link in 2009, installing new thyristor valves, high-voltage apparatus and its MACHTM control and protection system. ABB’s advanced MACH system, supports the company’s ABB AbilityTM based digital offering and acts like the brain of the HVDC link – monitoring, controlling and protecting the sophisticated technology in the stations, managing thousands of operations to ensure the reliability of power supply.

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