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Joint Press Release by Siemens, Amprion and Elia
Amprion and Elia have signed yesterday with the winning contractor Siemens who will deliver the two high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) converter stations for the first electricity interconnector between Germany and Belgium. The order volume for Siemens including a five-year maintenance agreement amounts to €273 million. The German Transmission System Operator Amprion and the Belgian Transmission System Operator Elia join forces to deliver the Aachen Liège Electricity Grid Overlay (ALEGrO), a major infrastructure project, part of the European electricity highway system. Using 90 km long underground cables ALEGrO will connect the Belgian and German high-voltage electricity systems. The converter stations will transform AC to DC and DC back to AC on the other side of the link. Siemens will be responsible for the system design and the supply, installation and commissioning of all components for both converter stations using HVDC Plus technology, which is highly controllable and brings operational benefits to both transmission systems. ALEGrO is scheduled to commence commercial operation in 2020.
The European Commission has designated the ALEGrO project as one of its projects of common interest. ALEGrO contributes greatly toward helping the European energy markets grow closer together. The renewable energy sources should also encounter fewer bottlenecks on the grid and maximize their production. The high voltage link can transport energy up to 1,000 MW to either Belgium or Germany with a high degree of controllability of the energy flow. It will transport enough electricity to power half a million homes.
Klaus Kleinekorte, Managing Director of Amprion:
"ALEGrO will make the European electricity network even more secure and powerful. We can control the power flow of the cable with a high degree of accuracy and adjust the volume of electricity and flow direction."
Markus Berger, Elia Chief Officer Infrastructure:
"Inteconnections based on innovative convertor technology will allow bottlenecks in the European transmission network to be gradually decreased. Allowing for more flow exchanges will improve the working of the market and should lead to lower energy prices."
Ralf Christian, CEO of the Siemens Energy Management Division:
"ALEGrO will feature state-of-the-art converter technology. The HVDC Plus solution from Siemens assures highest reliability and efficiency in transmitting power independent from specific weather or grid conditions. HVDC Plus masters the growing challenges from fluctuating renewables."
ALEGrO will increase energy security for both countries and support the integration of renewable energy. On top of the additional transport capacity ALEGrO is offering, the fast control and protective intervention in the power converter will allow the TSOs to adjust the volume of electricity and flow direction, for a better efficiency of the electricity grid.
On September 29 Elia and Amprion already signed a €125 million contract with Silec Cable to build the 90km underground cable.
Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years. The company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world's largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of efficient power generation and power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry. The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT. In fiscal 2016, which ended on September 30, 2016, Siemens generated revenue of €79.6 billion and net income of €5.6 billion. At the end of September 2016, the company had around 351,000 employees worldwide. Further information is available on the Internet at www.siemens.com.
Amprion GmbH operates Germany's longest extra-high voltage grid, with a circuit length of 11,000 km, and is an important transmission systems operator in Europe. The Amprion grid supplies power to a population of over 27 million from Lower Saxony to the Alps. As an innovative service provider, Amprion provides industrial customers and network partners with maximum security of supply. Its network, with voltage levels of 380,000 and 220,000 volts, is accessible to all players in the electricity market on a non-discriminatory basis and on competitive and transparent terms. Amprion is also responsible for coordinating the interconnected system within Germany and the Northern section of Europe's extra-high voltage network. Further information is available on the Internet at www.amprion.net.
The Elia Group is organised around two electricity transmission system operators (TSOs): Elia Transmission in Belgium and 50Hertz Transmission (in which Elia has a 60% stake), one of the four German transmission system operators, active in the north and east of Germany. With 2,000 employees and a transmission grid comprising some 18,000 km of high-voltage connections serving 30 million consumers, the Elia Group is one of Europe's top 5 TSOs. It efficiently, reliably and securely transmits electricity from generators to distribution system operators and major industrial consumers, while also importing and exporting electricity from and to neighbouring countries. The Group is a driving force behind the development of the European electricity market and the integration of energy generated from renewable sources. The Group operates under the legal entity Elia System Operator, a listed company whose core shareholder is municipal holding company Publi-T. Further information is available on the Internet at www.elia.be.
Reference Number: PR2016110076EMEN
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