By Submarine Cable NewsFeed

Nexans has been awarded a contract worth around 150 million Euro by Fingrid Oyj, the electricity transmission system operator in Finland, and Svenska Kraftnät, a state utility which runs the national electrical grid in Sweden. The contract is for the manufacture and installation of a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) submarine power cable for Fenno-Skan 2, the new power interconnector between Finland and Sweden.

The Fenno-Skan 2 HVDC project will create a new 800 MW, 500 kV submarine electricity transmission connection between southern Finland and Sweden, following a 200 km route across the Gulf of Bothnia. It will form a bipolar arrangement with the existing 550 MW, 400 kV Fenno-Skan link, commissioned in 1989, providing a 40 percent increase in power transmission capacity between the two countries. This will help improve the functioning of the Nordic electricity market and the new cable will also reduce losses in the Nordic transmission grids and improve power system security.

Nexans will supply around 200 km of specialized solid, oil-impregnated MIND (Mass Impregnated Non-Draining) cable for both the submarine and land based elements of the Fenno-Skan 2 interconnector. With a copper cross-section of 2,000 square millimeters, this will be the largest capacity HVDC cable manufactured by Nexans to date.

Nexans will manufacture the Fenno-Skan 2 cable in its plant based in Halden, Norway, starting in autumn 2009. The installation of the submarine cable, at a maximum sea depth of 100 m, will be carried out by Nexans own cable laying ship – the CS Skagerrak, and this is scheduled for spring 2011. The cable will be supplied in two continuous lengths of around 100 km, so just one offshore joint will be required.

“This major contract for the Fenno-Skan 2 project reinforces Nexans' position as a key manufacturer and installer of high-technology cables for subsea power interconnectors” said Patrick Barth, Managing Director of Nexans' High Voltage activity. He added: “This new project underlines the fact that international power interconnections are today one of the most important drivers in the energy market worldwide”.