Hitachi Energy signs agreement with Société Nationale d’Electricité to provide power for the Inga-Kolwezi high-voltage link.
Hitachi Energy, a Swiss power firm, has signed a long-term service agreement with Société Nationale d’Electricité (SNEL), the national electricity company of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to secure power supply in the Inga-Kolwezi high-voltage direct current (HVDC) link. This is the DRC’s most important power transmission asset.
The link supplies up to 1 000 MW of emission-free electricity from the Inga Falls hydropower plant in the far west of the country to the Kolwezi mining region in the south. At 1 700 km it is the longest HVDC link in Africa. It also allows the DRC to export surplus power to the member countries of the Southern African Power Pool.
Hitachi Energy and the DRC: An ongoing collaboration
The agreement continues the close collaboration between SNEL and Hitachi Energy over the past 40 years to ensure the link operates at maximum availability and reliability over its long operating life. The Swiss firm supplied the two converter stations at either end of the link in 1982 and has subsequently upgraded them and doubled transmission capacity.
As part of the agreement, Hitachi Energy will assess the precise service needs of the converter stations and develop a preventive maintenance program and supervise its implementation over the next five years. The agreement includes training, knowledge sharing and expertise enhancement of SNEL service personnel.
“We are delighted to continue our long collaboration with SNEL to protect the nation’s investment in its most important power transmission link,” said Andreas Berthou, HVDC and HVDC Service Global Product Group Manager of Hitachi Energy.
“Hitachi Energy has been a close partner of SNEL for almost 50 years, when we first collaborated on the design of what was then a ground-breaking HVDC link with the world’s longest transmission line,” said Jean-Bosco Kayombo Kayan, CEO of SNEL. “Since then, we have worked closely together to increase the capacity and maximize the reliability of this critical national infrastructure.”
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