Swiss heavy electrical equipment-maker ABB has secured a contract to supply high voltage direct current (HVDC) converter stations for a $330m consortium project with Cobra, to bring hydropower in Pakistan.


Image: ABB to help connect HVDC interconnector in Central Asia. Photo: Courtesy of ABB.

The contract secured by ABB is part of a World Bank-supported order, which will be executed as a consortium project with Spanish engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) company, Cobra.

Cobra will be responsible for the construction and installation of the associated substations for the transmission project.

The HVDC converter stations are part of the CASA-1000 project, which will enable the transmission of hydropower over a distance of 800km from the generation sites in Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to high consumption areas in Pakistan. The CASA-1000 link will have a capacity to transmit 1.3GW of electricity at 500 kilovolts (kV).

The CASA-1000 Project supports the Pakistani government’s initiative to cater to the increasing demand for electricity in the country and will also enable the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to better utilize their hydropower resources.

By putting in place commercial and institutional arrangements and transmission infrastructure required, the project is expected to facilitate electricity trade between Central Asian and South Asian countries. Afghanistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan and Tajikistan are the participating countries in the project.

ABB power grids division president Claudio Facchin said: “ABB’s advanced HVDC solution will bring much needed and clean electricity to consumers and enable the sharing of resources by interconnecting the region.

“This project is another example of our commitment to integrating renewables and reinforces ABB’s position as a partner of choice for enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid.”

In July, the Swiss company secured an order from Transpower New Zealand to upgrade its HVDC link which interconnects the transmission grids of the North and South islands. This link will help in balancing the energy between the two islands.

The HVDC interconnector link between the two islands is 600km long and will enable smooth transmission of clean power, where there is high demand for electricity. It is also expected to play a key role in the New Zealand electricity market by allowing power trading between the two islands.