ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth about $110 million from Litgrid AB, the state owned electricity transmission system operator to supply and install a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter station in Lithuania.
The 500 megawatt (MW) back-to-back HVDC converter station will help connect the 330 kilovolt (kV) Lithuanian grid to the 400 kV Polish grid, thereby integrating the electricity networks of the Baltic states with the continental European power grid and contribute to the development of an EU electricity market. At present, the Lithuanian electricity system is connected only with the grids of Latvia, Estonia and the countries to the east. The new link will also bolster the NordBalt HVDC connection with Sweden, currently under construction by ABB.
“In addition to facilitating energy trading between Poland and Lithuania, this link will strengthen grid stability and security of power supply in the region,” said Brice Koch, head of ABB's Power Systems division. “Our leading global track record in HVDC technology was pivotal in winning this order.”
ABB will design, engineer, supply and install the converter station including high-voltage equipment, such as power transformers and thyristor valves. The station will be built near the city of Alytus in Lithuania and is expected to be operational in 2015. A 160 kilometre-long 400 kV alternating current (AC) overhead line will link the HVDC station in Alytus with a substation close to the city of Elk in Poland.
ABB pioneered HVDC technology almost 60 years ago and remains the world leader in this highly-efficient technology, having completed around 90 HVDC projects around the world with a total transmission capacity of more than 95,000 MW.