TenneT Awards Contracts Worth $6.03 Billion for Installation of 525 kV HVDC Cable Systems

May 11, 2023
NKT, Nexans, and consortium led by Jan De Nul to implement large-scale grid connection projects, advancing offshore energy transmission.

TenneT recently awarded contracts to NKT, Nexans, and a consortium consisting of Jan De Nul, LS Cable, and Denys for the installation of 525 kV HVDC cable systems in 10 projects. The total value of the contracts, covering production and installation, amounts to approximately €5.5 billion ($6.03 billion). This agreement marks the completion of TenneT’s large-scale tender cable process initiated in November 2022, targeting grid connection systems for a total of fourteen offshore projects and one onshore corridor project.

NKT will be responsible for the connections of Nederwiek 3, which will land either at Geertruidenberg or Moerdijk, as well as the connections for Doordewind 1 and Doordewind 2, which will land at Eemshaven. Nexans has been awarded the contract for cable connections for BalWin3 and LanWin4, to be connected at Wilhelmshaven, and LanWin2 in Lower Saxony, which will be connected in the Heide area of Schleswig-Holstein.

The consortium formed by Jan De Nul, LS Cable, and Denys will handle the cable connections for BalWin4 and LanWin1 in Lower Saxony, both to be connected in the Unterweser area, as well as LanWin5 in the Rastede area. Additionally, this consortium has secured the contract for the TenneT portion of the onshore 525 kV DC corridor NordOstLink in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, which is a collaborative project with 50Hertz.

The contracted work includes cable design, engineering, production, delivery, project management, as well as onshore, offshore, and nearshore installation of the 525 kV HVDC cables. It also encompasses all jointing works in the submarine and on-land sections. The selected parties anticipate commencing activities throughout 2023. Onshore cable laying activities are expected to start after 2025, while offshore cable laying activities are planned for 2026. The aim is to have all 2 GW offshore projects fully operational by 2031, while the NordOstLink project is targeted for operational status in 2032.

“After recent awarding of the first five cable connections and the announcement of the suppliers for the sea- and land-based converter stations, we are again very proud to announce the partners for the multi-year agreement to produce and install the cables for these crucial and innovative grid connection systems for the energy transition”, said Tim Meyerjürgens, COO TenneT. “Together, we will deliver around 7,000 kilometres of HVDC cable for fifteen on- and offshore grid connection systems in Germany and the Netherlands by 2032 with this award alone.”

 “We are very satisfied to once again be selected as a key partner for the ambitious 2GW Program which confirms our strong position in the high-voltage DC power cable market”, said Alexander Kara, NKT President and CEO. We recently announced the contract award from TenneT for Ijmuiden Ver and Nederwiek 2, which are also part of the 2GW Program and will be some of the world’s first offshore wind farms to apply the 525 kV XLPE HVDC technology to offshore power cables. With this framework agreement, we continue our close collaboration with TenneT and apply this innovate cable technology to additional projects in the North Sea.”

An important aspect of the newly implemented 2 GW direct current (HVDC) solution based on 525 kV is that it requires only one cable system, thereby minimizing the environmental impact on nature and the seabed. A cable system will consist of four cables, including a ‘plus’ and ‘minus’ pole cable, a metallic return cable, and a fiber optic cable.

Recognizing the significance of collaboration in the success of the energy transition, TenneT, together with market parties, began a research and development initiative for the 2 GW, 525 kV HVDC grid connection system in 2020. This innovative HVDC system, with double the size of current connection systems, necessitates an offshore cable system operating at a 525 kV HVDC voltage level and utilizing advanced extruded insulation types. The certification of cable suppliers in 2022 reflects the constructive and intensive dialogue between TenneT and the relevant market participants, providing valuable insights into the required functionality and performance of this groundbreaking HVDC system.

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