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Swiss firm chosen to develop $840m power line in India

The 1,830km project is set to be among the longest of its kind in the world, transmitting thermal and wind power across the subcontinent’s central and southern states.

Zurich-based ABB has won a $640 million order to develop a long-distance electricity transmission line alongside Power Grid Corporation of India.

The Raigarh-Pugalur 800kV ultra-high voltage transmission system is designed to connect Raigarh in central India to Pugalur in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, delivering electricity to a population of more than 80 million. At 1,830km, it would count among the world’s longest, according to ABB.

With a capacity of 6GW, the line will transport electricity generated from thermal and wind power stations to high-consumption areas. Power will head south when wind strength is low. Clean energy will be transmitted to the north when too much wind power is generated.

Due to be completed in 2019, the project has a total value of more than $840 million. ABB will pursue it along with Bharat Heavy Electricals, a local partner.

ABB started working on high-voltage transmission networks in India 28 years ago, when it won the Vindhyachal project. The Raigarh-Pugalur scheme is the firm’s sixth high-voltage, direct-current system in India and the second installation with ultra-high-voltage technology.

The firm is also developing the North-East Agra link, which is partially operational and soon to be completed. The $1.1 billion project spans 1,700km, transmitting hydroelectricity to major urban centres.