Prysmian secures the highest value cable project ever awarded, worth €800 million
The Western HVDC link, connecting the scottish and the english power grids, sets a record
in terms of voltage (600 KV) and has a currently unmatched transmission capacity for long-haul systems of 2200 MW
The new state-of-the art HVDC submarine cable link is strategic for the UK, allowing power transmission from renewable sources in Scotland to consumption centers in England.
Prysmian, which won the contract in consortium with Siemens, reconfirms its undisputed prominent role in the submarine cable sector in terms of market share, track record, technology and know-how.
Prysmian Group, world leader in the energy and telecom cables and systems industry, has been
awarded a record contract worth approximately 800 million Euro, the highest value ever awarded in
the cable business, for the development of Western HVDC Link, a new submarine High Voltage Direct
Current (HVDC) interconnector between Scotland and England. The whole turnkey project will be
executed by a consortium of Prysmian and Siemens who will be responsible for the HVDC converter
stations. Total value of the contract awarded to the Consortium by NGET/SPT Upgrades Ltd, a JV set
up by the system operator National Grid Electricity Transmission and its Scottish counterpart
Scottish Power Transmission, is around 1.1 billion Euro. Commissioning is scheduled by late 2015.
The Western HVDC Link interconnection is strategic for the upgrade of the entire British
transmission grid, as the UK is heading towards a low carbon economy with a massive utilization of
power from renewable sources. The project represents a milestone not only for its value but also in
terms of technological features, setting new industry records. The interconnection, designed as a
low loss High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission system, will operate at the record voltage
level of 600 kV, the highest ever reached by an insulated cable (to date the record is 500 kV) with
a rating of 2200 MW - both currently unmatched for long-haul systems. The main purpose of the cable
link is to connect renewable generation sources in Scotland to the consumption centers in England,
although it also allows bi-directional flow of power. The choice of a submarine cable link versus a
land interconnection offers remarkable benefits in terms of project approval and execution time.
“This milestone reconfirms our undisputed prominent role in the submarine cables sector –
states Fabio Romeo Executive Vice President Energy Business - both in terms of market share and
track record and in terms of know-how and innovation capabilities. In addition, I would also like
to highlight our ever-increasing commitment to the renewable energies sector, with a wide range of
high-end products and technologies available to support the development of greener and smarter
The project requires full turnkey provision of an HVDC link (design, manufacture,
installation, testing and commissioning) and considers a bi-pole of cables using PPL (Paper
Polypropylene Laminate) insulation, with enhanced electrical and thermal performance. Prysmian has
been a forerunner in bringing on the market Mass Impregnated PPL cables an innovative material
technology that allows reaching higher voltage classes, reduced cables dimensions for equivalent
transmission capacity and optimized power losses. The undisputed expertise in the field of MI PPL
cables represented a key success factor for Prysmian in winning the award.
With a route length in excess of 400 km the link includes a short land section in Scotland
and a significant land portion in England-Wales; the submarine part will be installed in the Irish
Sea. Offshore installation will be performed by Prysmian's own cable ship Giulio Verne.
Prysmian has been taking part in the development of some of the most strategic submarine
power interconnections worldwide, supporting the global upgrade of power grids for a better use of
available resources with its state-of-the-art cable technology. In particular, the Group is
currently involved, in the USA, in the execution of the Hudson Transmission Project which will
bring clean power to about 600,000 new homes in Manhattan, New York, and has commissioned the
Transbay Cable Project in San Francisco. In Europe, Prysmian is playing a key role in the
development of power connections for offshore wind farms, with projects either completed or ongoing
in Denmark, Holland, UK and in Germany. In particular, Prysmian can boast its valuable contribution
within the most important programme for the development of renewable energies in Europe launched by
the German government, with multiple contracts for offshore HVDC grid connection awarded over the
last 18 months, namely BorWin2, HelWin1, Helwin2 and SylWin1.
The Group is also strongly committed to the promotion of largest scale initiatives like “
Friends of the Supergrid”, for the development of a new concept of Pan-European power grid, and
Medgrid for the future submarine grid to bring renewable energy from Northern Africa to Europe.
Prysmian Group is world leader in the energy and telecom cables and systems industry. With
sales of some €7 billion (pro-forma 2010 Prysmian/Draka) and 22,000 employees across 50 countries
and 98 plants, the Group is strongly positioned in high-tech markets and provides the widest range
of products, services, technologies and know-how. In the Energy sector, Prysmian Group operates in
the business of underground and submarine power transmission cables and systems, special cables for
applications in many different industrial sectors and medium and low voltage cables for the
construction and infrastructure industry. In the Telecom sector, the Group manufactures cables and
accessories for the voice, video and data transmission industry, producing optical fibres, optical
cables and connectivity. Prysmian is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange in the Blue Chip