Under the C$800m ($709m) contract, the consortium will design, supply and install the HVDC equipment for the project’s two converter stations.

Siemens will deliver two converter stations and the complete HVDC core technology while Mortensen will be responsible for the construction of the stations.

Being developed by Manitoba Hydro, the 1,400km HVDC project will link the Keewatinohk converter station in northern Manitoba with the Riel station near Winnipeg by a +/-500kV overhead line.

Scheduled to start operations in the summer of 2018, the new transmission link will improve Manitoba Hydro’s existing HVDC system by increasing overall system reliability.

In addition to transporting energy produced by hydroelectric generating stations in the northern part of the province to southern load centers and Winnipeg, the link will make sure that the increasing demand for energy is met by connecting additional environmentally-friendly hydro electricity plants to the grid.

Manitoba Hydro division manager for Bipole III project Rob Elder said: "This project is critical to ensure reliable power to Manitobans, and this contract is one of the cornerstones of the project.

"It has been five years in preliminary design work, and over a year of working with Siemens and Mortenson on developing their solution to this contract. We are excited to move into the next phase of the project."