Nexans wins a 20 million euro contract in Brazil to supply overhead conductors for the world’s longest power transmission link

Nexans overhead conductors will be used to construct the first transmission line for the Madeira River Power Interconnection project consisting of a 2,375 km HVDC link between the new Rondônia hydroelectric plant and the city of São Paulo, across five Brazilian states and 86 towns and cities.

Paris, May 26, 2011 – Nexans, a worldwide leading expert in the cable industry, has been awarded a 20 million euro contract by the IE Madeira consortium to deliver the overhead lines for the world’s longest power transmission link, Brazil’s Madeira River Power Interconnection.

Nexans wins a 20 million euro contract in Brazil to supply overhead conductors for the world’s longest power transmission linkThis new HVDC (high voltage direct current) link, the first of two, will transmit 3,150MW of power produced by the Rondônia hydroelectric plant in northwest Brazil to São Paulo, Brazil’s main economic centre, over a distance of 2,375 km. HVDC transmission at 600kV is being used to minimize transmission losses over the long distance and the link will eventually comprise two parallel overhead lines. Nexans has been selected to provide the conductors for the first circuit by IE Madeira, a consortium comprising the utilities Furnas, Chesf and CTEEP.

Advanced aluminium conductors

The Madeira River Power Interconnection is a bipole circuit, with each pole comprising four overhead conductors. Overall, Nexans is supplying some 6,700 km – equivalent to 21,120 tonnes – of its special All-Aluminium Conductor (AAC) for the project. Each conductor features 91 bare wires, with a diameter of 44.4 mm.

AAC conductors are well established as part of the Nexans overhead line portfolio. However, a bespoke cross-section has been developed specifically for the Madeira River Interconnection project to provide the desired electrical and mechanical properties (breaking stress, elongation, linear thermal expansion coefficient for example) by taking into account the line's construction conditions, such as topography and climate. The typical span between the towers will be 500 metres.

Evaluation programme

To ensure the total safety and effectiveness of the Nexans solution, an extensive evaluation programme, including creep, stress and stretch tests, among many others, was conducted in close consultation with IE Madeira.

The cable is being manufactured at three Nexans plants in Brazil, located in Americana (São Paulo State), Lorena (São Paulo State) and Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro State). The first transmission line is scheduled for installation in the last quarter of 2011, while the entire project should come on line by 2013.

“Nexans is proud to be involved in this major project for the energy and utilities industry in Brazil, as the Madeira River Interconnection will help create 43,500 direct and indirect jobs, as well as supplying nearly nine percent of the country’s energy requirement”, said Jorge Tagle, Nexans Executive Vice President South America Area. “The AAC conductors we are supplying are a perfect example of Nexans’ proven global capability to develop high technology transmission solutions to suit specific project requirements and to support them with local manufacture and service.”

Editors note – world’s longest transmission links

The Madeira River Interconnection will set a new record as the world’s longest power transmission link, with a route length of 2,375 km across five states in Brazil and 86 towns and cities. The current record for an operational HVDC project is also in Brazil – the 900 km line from Itaipu Dam to Ibiuna in São Paulo State. The overall world record is for the 1,700 km AC (alternating current) line between Inga and Saba in Zaire.

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About Nexans

With energy as the basis of its development, Nexans, worldwide leading expert in the cable industry, offers an extensive range of cables and cabling systems. The Group is a global player in the infrastructure, industry, building and Local Area Network markets. Nexans addresses a series of market segments: from energy, transport and telecom networks to shipbuilding, oil and gas, nuclear power, automotives, electronics, aeronautics, material handling and automation.
Nexans is a responsible industrial company that regards sustainable development as integral to its global and operational strategy. Continuous innovation in products, solutions and services, employee development and engagement, and the introduction of safe industrial processes with limited environmental impact are among the key initiatives that place Nexans at the core of a sustainable future.
With an industrial presence in 40 countries and commercial activities worldwide, Nexans employs 23,700 people and had sales in 2010 of more than 6 billion euros. Nexans is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris, compartment A. For more information, please consult or