T&D World Magazine

Prysmian to Supply Cables for the Offshore Greater Gabbard Wind Farm in UK

Prysmian has been awarded by Fluor Ltd a strategic contract worth a total value of 93 million euro, for the supply of high technology cables for the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm project under development by Airtricity, the renewable energy arm of Scottish and Southern Energy Plc (SSE). When completed in 2010 the Greater Gabbard will be the world’s largest offshore facility.

The scope of the project includes approximately 175 km of 132-kV XLPE cables, which will be used to connect the Inner Gabbard and Galloper offshore platforms, which are located approximately 26 km off the Suffolk coast, to the onshore cables at Sizewell substation. The cables will transmit 504 MW of power, generated from 140 wind turbine generators, each rated at 3.6 MW, and will be sufficient to power up to 415,000 homes. The cables will be manufactured at the Prysmian submarine cable factory based in Arco Felice, Italy and will be supplied during 2009 and 2010.

“Prysmian’s involvement in this milestone project further confirms the validity of the company’s know-how and state of the art technology for the rapidly expanding Renewable Energy sector. Customers place a large confidence also in our capability to deliver these large amounts of cables in such short delivery time”, declared Hans Nieman, Chief Executive Officer of Prysmian PowerLink, the HV and Submarine arm of the Prysmian Group. With this contract Prysmian further increases its strong order book in the strategic and growing sector of submarine cables and systems to link offshore wind farms to the mainland power grids.

Prysmian has also recently been involved by EON Netz and Dong Energy in the development of major offshore wind farms under construction in Germany and UK. With the purpose of consolidating its market leading position, Prysmian has recently planned new investments for production capacity increases matching the growing number of projects secured. Capital expenditure forecasted for the development of new off shore wind farms projects in Europe amounts to over 15 billion dollars in the 2008-2012 period (Source Douglas Westwood 2007), with governments continuously stimulating investments. The cable industry is characterized by a limited number of players able to supply power transmission/distribution solutions for this sector, with high entry barriers both in assets and know how.
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