T&D World Magazine

Nexans Wins Contract for the Malta to Sicily Power-Interconnector Project

Nexans has been awarded an ambitious 178 million Euro turnkey contract by Enemalta Corp., the state-owned energy authority in Malta, to design, manufacture, install and provide seabed protection of the new high-voltage AC submarine power link between Malta and Sicily. The contract includes a 220-kV substation on Malta.

The 100 km subsea cable, with a capacity of 200 MW, will provide Malta with its first power interconnection with mainland Europe, reducing the island’s reliance on local generation and increasing its security of electrical power supply. The interconnector will be operational in 2013. The 220-kV interconnector will provide the capability to deliver continuously at least 200 MW at the receiving end in any direction, to allow the import and export of power between Malta and Sicily as required. The subsea cable will run for 100 km from Qalet-Marku in Malta to Marina di Ragusa on the coast of Sicily, where an additional 25 km of underground cable will complete the connection to the Ragusa substation.

The design of the interconnector cable and the compensating elements located in the terminating substations at Maghtab – Malta and Ragusa – Sicily will ensure the safe and efficient operability of the interconnector with the 132-kV network in Malta and the 220- kV UCTE network in Sicily. The contract awarded also includes the construction of the terminal station in Malta and the implementation of protection and control systems. The entire system has been designed to allow the construction of a second 200-MW interconnector by the end of 2015.

“Winning this contract with Enemalta for the Malta to Siciliy interconnector confirms Nexans as the partner of choice for strategic subsea power links,” Yvon Raak, Nexans Senior Corporate Executive Vice President, said at the signing ceremony held in Malta yesterday. “A key factor in our favor was the proven capability to deliver a complete turnkey solution, not just for the cable but for all the technical aspects of the project.

The 220-kV 3x630mm2 submarine cables with XLPE insulation will be manufactured in Nexans’ specialized submarine cable factory in Halden, Norway. Installation will be carried out by Nexans’ own cable ship, the C/S Nexans Skagerrak. The cables will be installed in the Malta-Sicily channel at water depths of 150 m and the cables will be buried to around 1 m below the seabed.

The submarine cable includes two fiber optic elements each with 36 fibers. The FO elements will be manufactured in the Nexans factory in Rognan, Norway. The underground cables for the land sections of the interconnector will be manufactured by Nexans in France.

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