French cable manufacturing company Nexans has secured a contract from German transmission service operator (TSO) Amprion to supply cables for an underground transmission project.
As part of the contract, Nexans will be supplying Amprion with 31.8km of 400kV cable for a major project at Legden on the route between Wesel and Meppen. The 5.2km Legden route is made up of 2.1km of tunnel and 3.1km of pipes.
Nexans will supply the cable for one double circuit with a 2500 mm2 copper cross-section. The section of cable installed in the tunnel will feature a halogen-free flame-retardant (HFFR) sheath and Nexans is also providing the steel support structures.
Amprion has a transmission grid of about 11,000km to transmit electricity to more than 29 million people across an area from Lower Saxony down to the Alps. While the majority of its high voltage routes include overhead lines, at some environmentally sensitive sections Amprion is taking the route underground.
Nexans subsea and land systems sales manager Ralf-Michael Menger said: “This major contract for Amprion is a very important reference for the partial undergrounding concept that Nexans has pioneered.
“TSOs no longer have to make an either-or choice between overhead lines or underground cables. Instead they can specify the most appropriate technology to meet their environmental and financial objectives appropriate for each section of their transmission routes.”
Amprion is strengthening its network as part of the country’s energy transition plan known as ‘Energiewende’, under which there is a target to meet 80% of of the country’s annual electricity needs from renewable energy by 2050. Under the transition plan, the country’s transmission service operators need to upgrade their high voltage (HV) power transmission networks to transport electricity generated by wind farms in the north over long distances to the main areas of consumption in the south.
Nexans will supply the cables from its Benelux plant based in Charleroi, Belgium and the steel support structures will be subcontracted to a specialized company. Delivery of the cables is scheduled for July 2022 and installation will be completed in 2023.
Last month, the company announced that it secured over €190m contracts for supplying medium and low voltage cables in Europe and Latin America.