Nexans wins a 26.5 million Euros high voltage underground cable contract for Victorian Desalination Project in Australia

Posted: Tuesday 9th February 2010

Project will set the record for the world’s longest high voltage AC underground cable link rated at over 140 MW.

Nexans has won a 26.5 million Euros contract to supply the high voltage underground cable link that will power Australia’s largest seawater desalination plant, currently under construction in the state of Victoria. The contract covers the supply of around 260 km of 220 kV XLPE cable, made and tested as a 275 kV cable, to Thiess Degrémont which is contracted to design and construct the 2.2 billion Euros Victorian Desalination Project to deliver up to 150 billion litres of water a year to Melbourne and regional communities.

The Victorian Desalination Project includes an 84 km underground pipeline to connect the reverse osmosis plant to a transfer main and then back to the reservoir. The electric power required by the new plant will be supplied by the 87km long underground cables co-located with the pipeline – creating the world’s longest high voltage AC underground link operating at this power level. An underground link was the preferred option for the project since it is both more energy efficient and secure than overhead lines, and will also have the least impact on landowners, farmers and other people living and working in the area.

Olex to manufacture the cable inAustralia

Olex, a Nexans company which serves the Australia and Asia Pacific markets, will produce 225 km of the underground cable locally at its Tottenham facility in Victoria. It will be manufactured on equipment recently installed as part of a 12.5 million Euros upgrade that now enables Tottenham to produce XLPE (cross-linked polyethylene) cables up to 500 kV. The remaining length of cable will be supplied by the Nexans factory located in Charleroi, Belgium.

The cable will be supplied progressively throughout 2010.

“Olex is very proud to have won this prestigious and important project for the people of Victoria,” says Andrew Stobart, Olex managing director and CEO. “Together with our recent major investment in high voltage cable manufacturing facilities, it consolidates Nexans as a leading regional player in this high technology market”.

Victorian Desalination Plant

The Victorian Desalination Project will deliver the largest desalination plant in Australia. Located near the town of Wonthaggi, it will be capable of providing more than one third of Melbourne’s annual water supply from a source that is independent of rainfall. Construction commenced in September 2009 and will be complete by the end of 2011.

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