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ABB bags contract to upgrade two HVDC transmission links in Australia

EBR Staff Writer Published 27 March 2018

ABB has been awarded a contract to upgrade two vital high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission links in Australia to secure future power reliability and energy exchange.

Under the $30m contract, ABB will replace the control and protection systems for Murraylink and Directlink HVDC transmission links with the latest ABB Ability MACH control system.

The MACH control and protection solution, which acts like the brain of the HVDC transmission system, is designed to monitor, control and protect the sophisticated technology in the converter stations in order to ensure power security and reliability and efficiency.

The 220MW Murraylink HVDC interconnector connects the Riverland region in South Australia and Sunraysia region in Victoria through converter stations at Red Cliffs in Victoria and Berri in South Australia.

ABB said that the underground cables were selected for Murraylink link to minimize visual and environmental impact.

The 180MW Directlink underground connects the New South Wales and Queensland electrical grids in Australia.

The two transmission links, which were installed by ABB nearly two decades ago, will be upgraded to further improve power and grid reliability, and extend the operational life.

ABB’s Power Grids division president Claudio Facchin said: “We are delighted to implement our latest MACH control technology to upgrade these important HVDC transmission links.

“The project reiterates our strategic focus on service and digital technologies and reinforces our HVDC market and technology leadership, as a partner of choice for enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid.”

ABB will undertake the upgrade work for the Australia’s energy infrastructure company APA Group, which is responsible for managing Directlink and Murraylink facilities owned by Energy Infrastructure Investments (EII).

ABB said in a statement: “The Directlink transmission system was commissioned in 2000 and marked the first interconnection of the regional electricity markets of the Australian states of New South Wales and Queensland.

“Two years later, the 180-kilometer Murraylink transmission system became the world’s longest underground HVDC power transmission system when it was put into service, connecting the states of South Australia and Victoria.”