ABB wins bid for underground power link between Estonia and Finland

Unique HVDC Light technology helps to expand Trans-European Network

Zurich, Switzerland, February 4, 2005 - ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, said today it has won the public procurement for a project to design, build and install a new link connecting the power grids of Finland and Estonia. The project is worth $110 million for ABB.

The Estlink project is the first European Union interconnection with one of its new member states since EU enlargement in mid-2004. ABB expects early EU approval of the link, as it is on the EU’s agreed list of priority projects for the Trans-European Network.

The project will use ABB’s HVDC (high-voltage direct current) Light technology, which offers maximum security of supply and minimal environmental impact. The approximately 100-kilometer line will be oilfree and has no magnetic field. The link will be operational in a record time of less than 20 months.

“This selection of ABB underscores the significant role that our technology can play in creating vital links between power grids in an expanded Europe,” said Peter Smits, head of ABB’s Power Technologies division. “HVDC Light will help integrate electrical systems in the Baltic region, and stabilize grids on both sides of the interconnection.”

The power link is jointly owned by Finnish and Baltic power companies. Under the terms of the contract, ABB will supply a 350-megawatt HVDC Light cable link beneath the Gulf of Finland to connect the Finnish and Estonian grids, as well as converter stations at both ends of the link. About two-thirds of the cable will be underwater and one-third underground.

HVDC is a cost-efficient technology for power transmission, invented by ABB, with different applications to meet clients’ needs. ABB has installed more than half of the HVDC systems in the world, transmitting 44,000 megawatts of power in more than 50 projects.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 103,000 people.

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    The Estlink cable link will run 100 kilometers undergound and underwater connecting power grids in Finland and Estonia.

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