Paraguay is strengthening its electricity infrastructure with the addition of a new transmission line and substation at the Itaipu hydropower plant.

Itaipu Binacional, the operator of the 14 000 MW power plant, has placed an order worth $80 million with ABB for the construction of a new substation and expansion of an existing one.

The new air-insulated substation will connect the electricity generated by the Itaipu hydropower plant to a new 500 kV transmission line that is currently being built. An existing 500 kV substation in Paraguay will be expanded to enable the connection.

“The new substation and extension will enhance transmission capacity and support the development of Paraguay’s power infrastructure,” said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “In addition to bringing clean hydropower to meet growing electricity demand, it will also strengthen grid reliability and improve power stability in the region.”

ABB will design, engineer, supply, erect, and commission the substations, including the civil works and provide customer training. Major products to be supplied include power transformers, high- and medium-voltage AIS, instrument transformers, surge arresters, cables and auxiliary systems.

The new substation will be equipped with a telecommunications system for the existing 220 kV transmission line, including installation of about 100 km of optical ground wire – while the line is in service.

The new Villa Hayes substation, located some 350 km from Itaipu, is expected to be completed in 2013 and will be operated by ANDE (Administración Nacional de Electricidad), the national power utility of Paraguay.