ABB wins US$ 13 million contract to reinforce Panama’s power supply

Zurich, Switzerland, July 23 - New substations will strengthen link between the Estí hydroelectric project and Panama City

ABB, the global power and automation technology group, said today it has won a US$ 13 million contract in Panama to fortify the country’s transmission system and improve its interconnection with other Central American countries.

The contract, signed with Panama’s national power company, Empresa de Transmisión Eléctrica, S.A., (ETESA), is to supply three high-voltage substations which will be used to reinforce the grid connection between the Estí hydroelectric plant, now under construction in the west of the country, and Panama City.

Currently, Panama has a total generation capacity of 1,220-megawatts. The three 230 kV substations will form part of a new 429-kilometer transmission system, which is being constructed in parallel to an existing transmission system to provide vital grid reinforcement for when the Estí project comes on line with an additional 150-megawatts in November 2003.

"This project exemplifies how ABB can help a national utility quickly implement a needed improvement," says Richard Siudek, executive vice president and head of ABB’s Utilities division. "ABB’s local presence plus global capabilities in transmission substation supply will enable the timely completion of a project that responds to Panama’s urgent need to get new power sources connected to the national grid."

The complete turnkey substation contract, which ABB won in conjunction with CELMEC, a local civil construction and erection company, is worth a total of US$ 23 million. ABB and CELMEC also worked in consortium in 2000 to deliver a similar substation to ETESA in the Panama City area, where it now provides increased electrical switching capabilities for the national grid.

The project scope includes all high-voltage equipment, associated switchyard equipment and computerized protection and control equipment. ABB is also responsible for all electrical design for the substation and commissioning. The total project is scheduled for completion in August 2003.

ABB is a global leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering their environmental impacts. The ABB Group of companies operates in moe than 100 countries and employs about 150,000 people worldwide.

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