By 2020, power plant operator EKW (Engadiner Kraftwerke AG) intends to replace the overhead line that currently runs from Pradella to Bever. This line, which supplies the valley region with electrical power, will be replaced by an underground cable supplied by Brugg Cables. To cover the entire stretch from Pradella to Bever, 232 km of power cabling will be required in total. The 16 kV and 110 kV power cables are being produced by Brugg Cables and installed in conjunction with partner companies.
As part of another overhead line project, Swissgrid – the national grid operator – is fortifying the 380 kV extra-high voltage line between Pradella and La Punt. It was within this context that the long-term development of EKW's valley supply grid was investigated. This revealed that the technical condition of the grid was clearly deteriorating due to its age. To ensure the future security of the power supply, extensive renovations and fortifications are having to be carried out on this section of the route as well.
The civil engineering work for the 16 kV and 110 kV underground cabling from Pradella to Zernez began in April 2017. In total, Engadiner Kraftwerke AG is investing around CHF 35 million in the project. By November 2017, the pipe block had been fully constructed for a distance of 33 km. In April 2018, the high-voltage cables started being moved into place and installed on the section between Pradella and Zernez, and the construction work for the second section between Zernez and Bever also began. For the purpose of completing this major Swiss project – which is truly extraordinary – Brugg Kabel AG has been commissioned by EKW to act as the contractual partner with overall responsibility. Other partner companies (such as Arnold AG, ERAG AG, and Tschudy AG) – are also involved in the project but
Brugg Cables is the company that is responsible for managing the project overall. Brugg Cables is also coordinating and carrying out assembly of the high-voltage fittings as well as production of the cables and accessories. In total, 280 cable drums – each carrying 1,000 meters of cable – are to be transported to the Engadin via the Julier and Flüela Passes. The cables are to be temporarily stored in Pradella before disappearing underground after a few months.