PlanetWire: Sudan removes ‘killer line,’ Uganda to double power grid’s length

The September issue of TransmissionHub’s PlanetWire monthly column highlights such transmission happenings as the installation of subsea cables in deep waters, creating a new high voltage power link for Scotland, as well as the Sudanese government replacing “one of the most deadly power lines” in Africa for large migratory birds, known as the Port Sudan “killer line.”

Prysmian Group to connect island of Capri and Torre Annunziata in Italy

Prysmian Group said on Sept. 24 that it has been awarded a new contract worth about €70m for the connection of the island of Capri and Torre Annunziata in Naples by Terna Rete Italia S.p.A., which is fully owned by Terna S.p.A., the Italian transmission system operator.

The link is part of a wider scope project planned by Terna and known as “Progetto Insula,” to connect the main Italian islands, Sardinia, Sicily, Elba, the islands of the Gulf of Naples, and the Venetian Lagoon – to the mainland, with “state-of-the-art technology” submarine cables.

Prysmian also said that the project involves supply and installation of a high voltage alternate current (HVAC) 150-kV power cable connection comprising of 30-kilometer submarine route and one kilometer of land cable, as well as related network components and specialist civil works on either ends, running from the mainland to Terna’s power station with low environmental impact and sustainable design criteria located in Capri’s Gasto Ecological Island.

The cables for the Capri-Torre Annunziata link will be manufactured in the Arco Felice plant in Naples, Prysmian added, noting that marine cable laying will be done by its “Giulio Verne” cable-laying vessel. Project completion is due by 2015.

Prysmian added that the purpose of the power link is to strengthen Capri’s entire power system and make it safer and cost effective. The project will help increase the reliability and security of the power resources of the island with the goal of minimizing risks of blackout, mostly during the summer period when tourism, and therefore also power consumption, increase.

More than US$400m being invested to complete 500-kV project in Peru

The company, Transmantaro, will invest more than US$400m to complete the 500-kV Mantaro-Marcona-Socabaya-Montalvo transmission line and the associated substations in Peru, El Comercio reported on Sept. 26.

Project construction will take up to 38 months, El Comercio reported, adding that the project will allow the energy generated in central Peru to be transferred to the country’s southern region.

The line will go through Huancavelica, Ica, Arequipa y Moquegua in Peru and will be built in three sections: the 500-kV Mantaro Nueva and Poroma (Marcona) section of about 350 kilometers in length; the 500-kV section that will join the substations of Poroma and Socabaya Nueva of about 445 kilometers in length; and the 500-kV section from Socabaya Nueva to Montalvo of about 105 kilometers in length.

Transmantaro, which belongs to the Colombian firm ISA, signed 30-year contracts with the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Peru, the report added.

A Transmantaro representative said planning has begun and the company hopes to obtain all the necessary licenses and environmental permits in a timely fashion, according to the report.

“Killer line” to be removed in Sudan

The Migratory Soaring Birds Project, which is supported by such organizations as the United Nations Development Program, said on Sept. 22 that one of its workshops has prompted the Sudanese government to replace one of the most deadly power lines in Africa for large migratory birds, the Port Sudan “killer line.”

The 31-kilometer power line is estimated to have killed hundreds and perhaps thousands of Egyptian vultures since it was built in the 1950s. A recent survey found, in September alone, the carcasses of 17 Egyptian vultures along the line, the project said, adding that all of the carcasses were found under power poles, 15 under metal poles and two under concrete poles, making electrocution the most likely cause of death.

The project also noted that the March workshop was presented by the Sudanese Wildlife Society, which is the local non-governmental partner in the project.

The new power line will run parallel to the existing line, with 510 new poles to be insulated with XLPE insulated (AAC) aluminum conductors. The work is expected to take two months, after which the existing line will be removed, the project added.

Nexans to install subsea cables, creating high voltage power link for Scotland

Scottish Hydro Electric has awarded Nexans a subsea cable contract of more than $160m to install subsea cables in deep waters to create a new high voltage power link for Scotland, PennWell’s PennEnergy reported on Aug. 27.

The link will form part of an upgrade in the electricity transmission network between the Kintyre peninsula and mainland coast in southwest Scotland.

The upgrade, which is part of SHE Transmission’s plans to invest up to $8bn in its electricity network between 2013 and 2021, will release up to 150 MW of additional grid capacity for renewable projects signaling a boost for the Kintyre economy.

Nexans will create a twin subsea cable link, rated at 230 kV and 240 MVA, from a new substation on the peninsula to the mainland coast. PennEnergy also noted that the project includes the supply and installation of two 41-kilometer 3-core submarine cables along with six 5-kilometer single core underground cables for the land element. A fiber optic cable for control of the cable link will be integrated within the subsea cables and supplied separately for the land cables, the report added.

Due to the route, the installation of the subsea cables in water depths of more than 100 meters is one of the project’s key elements, PennEnergy reported.

Uganda to expand power lines from 1,700 kilometers to 3,400 kilometers in four years

Uganda plans to expand its power lines from 1,700 kilometers to 3,400 kilometers, the country’s state minister for energy said at the 15th annual East African Power Industry Convention held in Nairobi, reported on Sept. 27.

The country plans to spend US$500m to double the length of its power grid in four years, and wants to expand its electricity generation infrastructure before its planned start of crude oil production by 2017, according to the report.

Uganda has six transmission line projects being implemented concurrently, including lines serving domestic markets in Uganda as well as a separate line connecting it to Kenya and another one to Rwanda.

In June, the report added, Uganda signed a contract granting China’s Sinohydro a tender to build the 600 MW Karuma dam on the Nile River at a cost of US$1.65bn. Work on that dam started in August and it should be commissioned in about 60 months, according to the report.

Among other things, the report noted that the Ugandan government has established renewable energy feed-in tariffs to create a predictable business environment for renewable energy projects.

Alstom Grid to provide systems for power transmission projects in Brazil

Alstom Grid’s Power Electronics Systems unit has been awarded two orders – with the contracts’ total value being about US$32m – to provide systems for power transmission projects in Brazil, PennEnergy reported on Sept. 26.

Alstom will improve power transmission efficiency at the Taua II and Bom Despacho III substations by supplying Static Var Compensators (SVC) and their connections. The commercial operation is scheduled for May 2014.

The projects will be implemented by the Power Electronics Systems units located in Tampere, Finland, and in São Paulo, Brazil.

The first order is for Chesf, a transmission utility in Brazil, to extend the Taua II substation in northeastern Brazil and the contract includes a SVC and its respective 230-kV connection bay on a turnkey basis, PennEnergy added. The project is part of Brazil’s Energy Research Company improvement plan aimed at reinforcing electricity transmission across the country.

The second order is for the Energy Company of Minas Gerais (Cemig) to provide systems to enhance power transmission in the Bom Despacho III substation, located in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Alstom will supply a SVC with a power rating of -200/300 MVAr, as well as network connection equipment with nominal voltage of 500 kV, PennEnergy added.

Sterlite to build lines in India

ElectricNet reported on Sept. 25 that Sterlite Technologies subsidiary Sterlite Grid was awarded two contracts worth nearly US$104m by Power Finance Corporation to build electric transmission lines.

The company expects to commission the lines in 28 months, and will operate and maintain them for 35 years.

Under one contract, Sterlite Grid will build a network of around 200-kilometer, 400-kV double circuit line to transfer power from the Rajasthan Atomic Power Project’s units 7 and 8 near Kota in Rajasthan to Shujalpur in Madhya Pradesh, the report added.

The other contract includes building two 400-kV multi-circuit lines between Ranchi and Chaibasa in Jharkhand and between Kharagpur and Purulia in West Bengal with a total length of about 450 kilometers.

According to the company, the projects strengthen its presence in the eastern and western regions, as well as mark its entry into the states of Rajasthan and Jharkhand, the report added.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3111 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at