ABB and Siemens nail $1.7bn in German offshore-link deals

European engineering giants ABB and Siemens have won separate contracts to build high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) transmission lines for offshore wind farms in the German North Sea.

ABB secured a $1bn order from Dutch-German transmission system operator TenneT to design and install the 900MW Dolwin2 link, which will harness power from PNE Wind’s 400MW Gode Wind 2 and other as-yet undecided projects.

Separately, Siemens and Italian cable maker Prysmian won an order in the region of €600m ($710m) to build the 690MW Helwin2 link, which will accommodate the Amrumbank West project, part-owned by E.ON

Prysmian says its share of the deal is worth about €200m. Both the Dolwin2 and Helwin2 links are scheduled for completion in 2015.

TenneT is building four grid-clusters in the North Sea, known as Sylwin, Helwin, Borwin and Dolwin. Each cluster will have several offshore substations, which will harness the adjoining projects and feed their electricity to shore.

Siemens, ABB and Alstom are among a small group of companies globally supplying HVDC links, which are critical for reducing transmission losses from distant offshore wind farms.

Siemens and ABB have already secured major HVDC orders from TenneT for German projects.

Last summer ABB won a contract for the 800MW Dolwin1 cluster – which has now been supplanted by Dolwin2 as the largest power-transmission order in the company’s history – while Siemens and Prysmian bagged orders for Borwin2 and Helwin1.

Siemens has now nailed-down orders to connect offshore wind farms with a combined capacity of more than 6GW.