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Swissgrid chooses Lamifil for unique AAAC upgrade project

Swissgrid, the national transmission grid operator in Switzerland, has chosen Lamifil to provide the overhead conductors for a vital grid upgrade in the South of the country. The company’s extensive experience with AAAC conductors and its ability to address the challenging transportation requirements favoured the choice for Lamifil. It is Lamifil’s first project in Switzerland.

A new power line is to be constructed in between the Swiss substations of Mörel and Ulrichen. This new 380 kV line is necessary for the transport of the electricity production from hydroelectric plants in Valais. It will link Valais with the Swiss and European extra high voltage lines. Moreover, the new line will be constructed outside of residential areas and open agricultural land, which will improve the overall existing landscape situation.

The existing power line between the Swiss substations of Mörel and Ulrichen

The design of the new line posed some specific challenges. As the site is situated in partially impassable terrain, transport of materials would need to be done by helicopter. The short summer installation window makes the project even more challenging. Swissgrid issued a public tender to find the right partners for the project.

Lamifil was chosen to provide the overhead conductors for this unique project. The company’s extensive experience with AAAC conductors allowed it to be cost-effective while providing a high-quality solution meeting all the customer’s needs. In addition, Lamifil addressed the logistic and installation challenges proposing specially designed drums for the longest spans of cable, weighing up to 8 tons each.

The main installation of a new 380 kV transmission lines covers a 30 km stretch between the Mörel substation and Ulrichen. It has been plotted to avoid any special natural habitats and disturbance of wildlife. A 132 kV railway power line and a 65 kV line will be laid down along the same route as the overhead line to minimise environmental impact. The existing 220 kV line will be dismantled and pylons painted green to protect against corrosion and minimise visual impact.

The pylon and cable assembly is set to take place between April and November this year, 2018. The construction materials for the pylons and the different lines will be transported by helicopter. In spite of the challenging terrain, Lamifil’s approach will allow for a fast commissioning of the project. It is providing 242 km of AAAC 1000, 50 km of AAAC 800 and 62 km of AAAC 600 conductors, for which type testing will be done upon the first delivery. These high-performance conductors will prove an excellent solution for the additional power supply requirements and will perform reliably for years to come.

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The existing power line between the Swiss substations of Mörel and Ulrichen            Lamifil AAAC conductor example