ABB wins $18 million contract to upgrade power network on Barbados

Underground cables can protect island grid from hurricane blackouts

Zurich, Switzerland, November 8, 2005 - ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an $18 million contract from The Barbados Light & Power Company Limited to upgrade the power network in the north of the island and help protect it from damage by hurricanes.

Barbados lies in a hurricane belt in the Caribbean, so underground cables can increase the reliability and safety of its power grid, as well as reduce the environmental impact of new installations on the 431-square kilometer island.

"Severe storms like hurricanes and bad weather conditions are generally the most frequent cause of power blackouts," said Peter Smits, head of ABB's Power Technologies division. "ABB's advanced and proven underground cable system technology will help enhance grid reliability on the island." ABB booked this order in the third quarter of 2005.

ABB will supply 132-kilovolt and 24-kilovolt underground power cables, as well as accessories, civil works and installation, for the Northern Underground Cable Expansion Project that was launched to upgrade the island's power grid and meet increasing demand for electricity in northern Barbados.

Cables and accessories from ABB production units in Sweden will begin the 8,000-kilometer journey to Barbados during the spring of 2006. Installation work will commence during the summer of 2006, and the project is scheduled for completion one year later.

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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    Bad weather conditions are often the cause of power blackouts. With underground cables the grid is less vulnerable to hurricanes.

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