NKT and Prysmian secure €4.6 billion in cable contracts for German grid connections

German transmission system operator (TSO) 50Hertz has awarded several contracts to power cable manufacturers NKT and Prysmian. Valued at around €4.6 billion in total, the contracts include offshore wind farm export cables, onshore energy connections, and interconnection for an energy island.

NKT and Prysmian secured the orders following the tender procedure that 50Hertz launched in December 2022 for the engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of 525 kV cables covering seven onshore and offshore grid connection projects currently under development, as well as future projects.

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Denmark-headquartered NKT has been awarded a multi-year framework agreement with five firm contracts that have a combined value of approximately €3.5 billion and represent a new record for the company, according to NKT.

The five projects will see NKT providing several 525 kV XLPE high-voltage direct current (HVDC) onshore and offshore power cable systems. These include onshore connections and offshore wind farm export cables SuedOstLink+ (SOL+), Ostwind 4, DC32 (NordOstLink+), LanWin 6, as well as a hybrid interconnector for the German part of the Bornholm Energy Island project.

NKT’s cable orders for the five projects cover some 2,500 kilometres of core cables, the company said.

The cable manufacturer will produce the power cables for 50Hertz at its high-voltage factories in Cologne and Karlskrona, in order to reduce carbon emissions, which is in line with Environmental Cost Indicators that were key selection criteria in the projects awarded to NKT, according to the company.

“Both sites are operating on renewable electricity and are located close to the installation sites in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and in Germany thereby reducing the carbon footprint from transportation. Furthermore, NKT will complete the offshore cable installation using the cable-laying vessel NKT Victoria, which is one of the most energy and fuel-efficient in the industry, and/or the new market leading cable-laying vessel operational from 2027”, NKT said in a press release on 29 September.

Furthermore, 50Hertz has awarded Italy-based cable manufacturer Prysmian with long-term EPCI contracts for HVDC cables for the NOR-11-1 subsea and DC31 onshore cable connections that will link offshore wind farms to the onshore grid and transfer the energy generated in the North Sea to consumers in the eastern and southern regions of Germany.

Prysmian’s contracts for the two projects are worth €1.1 billion in total.

Under its agreements with 50Hertz, Prysmian will be responsible for the design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the NOR-11-1 and DC31 projects with an overall cable length of around 1,000 kilometres.

With a power transmission capacity of 2 GW, NOR-11-1 is a 525 kV HVDC export cable connection that will utilise a subsea cable and an underground cable along the route that is planned to connect the N-11-1 offshore wind farm to the German grid in the Heide/West area. The DC31 project is a 525 kV HVDC underground cable connection and is planned to transmit power from the Heide/West area to Klein Rogahn.

Prysmian has also been awarded as a primary supplier for the same lot, which consists of a framework provision allowing 50Hertz to contract future 525 kV offshore and/or onshore projects with a cable core length volume of up to 2,700 kilometres within an agreed period, the company said.

The subsea cables will be produced at Prysmian’s centres of excellence in Pikkala in Finland, Arco Felice in Italy, and Nordenham in Germany, while the underground power cables covering both the DC31 and the underground part of the NOR-11-1 project will be produced in France.

Prysmian also says it will leverage its fleet of state-of-the-art cable-laying vessels to perform marine installation operations, including the laying and burial of offshore cables.