Prysmian Group has been awarded a framework contract worth around €1.71 billion by Terna Rete Italia, a subsidiary of Terna SpA, the Italian electricity grid operator. The framework contract includes the Tyrrhenian Link project, envisaging the design, supply, submarine and land installation, and commissioning of a total of over 1500 km of submarine cables to support the power exchange among Sardinia, Sicily and Campania, thus reinforcing the Mediterranean energy hub.
The Tyrrhenian Link project involves the turnkey installation of three 500 kV HVDC links each up to 500 km long, each comprising single-core cables with mass impregnated insulation and double wire armouring. The aramidic armouring (aramid armour is a kevlar-like polyamide) recently developed by Prysmian Group and the new cable-laying vessel Leonardo da Vinci will enable the installation and maintenance of the Tyrrhenian Link at a water depth of 2000 metres, the deepest ever reached with a power cable. The framework contract also includes an electrode system and an optical fibre cable for system monitoring, as well as land civil works and landfall HDD (horizontal directional drilling).
The submarine and land cables will be manufactured at the Arco Felice plant in Naples, Prysmian Group’s centre of excellence for submarine cables. With the aim of aligning the plant’s production capacity and developing a new R&D centre to support the energy transition, the Group has already approved a major investment plan of approximately €80 million. Cable laying will be mostly performed by the Leonardo da Vinci, the world’s largest cable-laying vessel, entered into operations in August 2021. Delivery and commissioning are expected in 2025-2028.
The new 1000 MW submarine link is expected to help Italy reach its energy transition goals, enabling three regions to increase their solar and wind power exchange capacity generated locally. This will therefore support the development of renewable energy through better use of energy flows and a more efficient market.
Among other power transmission links that Prysmian is developing worldwide are the Viking link, three strategic HVDC land cable projects for power transmission in Germany, and the recently secured HVDC SOO Green link, considered a milestone in developing a clean power grid in the USA.