ABB supplied power transformers in record time to limit the consequences of the energy crisis in Brazil

Electricity for 3.2 million people in the São Paulo region

Zurich, Switzerland, September 4, 2001 - ABB, the global technology group, supplied two extra high-voltage (765 kV) power transformers to the Brazilian Utility Furnas in record time. The period between the placing of the order and the delivery was just six months. Normally, delivery periods of over a year are quoted for products of this level of complexity. The two transformers allow the additional transmission of 1,500 MW of electricity from the world's largest hydro power plant, Itaipu, to the region of Brazil around Sao Paulo. This is enough power to supply 3.2 million people.

Brazil is currently undergoing a serious energy crisis. The volume of energy available cannot keep up with the fast rising need for power; on the contrary - the Brazilian government has already been forced to limit the consumption of power by law. Electricity has been rationed in Brazil since June 2001. And the low production capacities of the power plants can only be expanded very gradually.

In order to counter the threat of a blackout, the Brazilian power companies depend on reliable technology for the transmission of power. "Above all, we are proud that we were able to help our customer so quickly with the right technical solution", says Peter Smits, head of the ABB Division Power Technology Products. Because every day of the energy shortage reduces the productivity of industry and restricts the quality of life of the people, he continued.

The two power transformers are now a part of the Tijuco Preto substation. Each unit has a rated power of 550 MVA and a voltage level of 765 kV. The extra-high-voltage transformers, which weigh around 280 tonnes each, were produced in ABB's Guarulhos factory. They are the largest transformers ever produced by ABB in Brazil.

A team of 35 engineers and fitters worked around the clock on the products for about six months. "During this time, our Brazilian colleagues were able to access the wide-ranging expertise of our world-wide technology and production network", says Joakim Olsson, who is responsible at ABB for power transformers: "The unusually short production time was only possible because of the very efficient planning and design process and the smooth teamwork with the customer." The ABB engineers saved more time by using a special transport concept (taking three instead of 30 days) and an innovative installation process on site (13 instead of 40 days).

ABB ( is a leading supplier of power products, automation products and financial services, as well as industry-specific products, solutions and services - to the utilities, manufacturing and process industries and the energy sector. The group has 160,000 employees in more than 100 countries.

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