When producing a reel that weighs around 50 tons, even the most experienced employees will encounter challenges that are diffi cult to overcome. Never before have the winders and unwinders had to hold reels of this weight. Each stage of the production process is agreed and followed to the letter. The dimensions are impressive: One cable drum holds over a kilometer of 380-kV extra-high voltage cable. Nineteen cable reels, all holding virtually the same length of cable, must be produced and tested by the end of October 2018.
Cable reels of this size are transported on ships from Basel to the Eurohafen Emsland port, where they are loaded onto a 10-axle low-loader and driven directly to the construction site. The underground cable is then laid into the empty conduit in the cable trench using a special truck. Laying cables in moorland areas requires a horizontal trench (dug using an HDD, or horizontal directional drilling process) up to six meters in depth. The 30-kilometer journey between the port and the construction site is approved at night time only; the trucks set out at 3:00am with a police escort.
In addition to 19 kilometers of high-voltage cable (VPE cable: 2XS[FL]2Y 1 x 2500 mm2), the project also involves the installation of 12 outdoor end caps and 12 MPCC sleeves, as well as four cross-link boxes and a fi ber-optic cable to monitor the cable system. Brugg Cables was appointed as the general contractor for this challenging project, and is also responsible for the supply and installation of a fi ber-optic cable
system for data transmission.
TenneT is building the 380-kV line between the converter plants at Dörpen- West and Niederrhein to increase transmission capacity across the network. The new line will primarily be used to transport wind energy generated in the north-western state of Lower Saxony and in the North Sea to the energy-hungry south of the country.
Brugg Cables was selected from a group of eight contractors on the basis of its detailed and thorough bid. Transmission network operator TenneT has already planned and put a number of other 380-kV cable systems out to tender. In winning the contract for this pilot project, Brugg
Cables has made an important contribution to the initial phases of the energy
transition in Germany. The cable system is scheduled to be put into operation in summer 2019.