Nexans has been awarded a €1.6bn contract to design, manufacture and install a 335 km subsea HVDC cable system for Ariadne Interconnection S.P.S.A, a subsidiary of IPTO, the Greek state grid operator. The interconnector will link the electricity network on mainland Greece to Crete,and is scheduled to come on line in 2023.
It is intended to provide security of supply for the island and enables the transition from fossil fuel generation to renewable wind and solar energy resources.
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands, and relies mainly on older fossil fuel plants. The interconnection will reduce emissions, and help it to develop its own renewable energy resources by enabling excess generation to be exported back to the mainland.
The cable will span a subsea distance of 335 km from the Attica region on the Greek mainland to the Herakleion area in Crete. Over a 35-month project, Nexans will provide one 500 MW HVDC subsea cable system to form half of the total 1000 MW bipole interconnection.
The Nexans cable, rated at 500 kV, is based on its established mass impregnated non-draining (MIND) design for HVDC cable systems and will integrate fibre optic elements for sensor applications. The near-shore sections of the cable, to be installed at water depths down to 100 metres, will feature an aluminium conductor core with a cross-section of 1800 sq mm. The deeper sections of the cable, installed at depths down to 1200 m, will feature a 1500 sq mm cross-section aluminium conductor. The cable will be protected by trenching into the seabed using the Nexans Capjet water jetting system down to 600 m water depth
The cable will be manufactured in the Nexans plant in Halden, Norway, or the company’s plant in Futtsu, Japan, or both. It will be installed by one of Nexans’ own dedicated cable vessels – Nexans Skagerrak or new Nexans Aurora.