Siemens group nabs €1bn BorWin 3

Transmission system operator (TSO) TenneT has awarded the construction of the 900MW BorWin 3 offshore grid link in the German North Sea to Siemens, in a consortium with oil service provider Petrofac.

TenneT awarded the cabling works to Italy’s Prysmian.

Total investment for the grid link to be commissioned in 2019 amounts to more than €1bn ($1.38bn).

The order is a huge win for Siemens, which now has received its fifth German offshore grid link order from TenneT.

The TSO had fuelled some competition when awarding the also 900MW DolWin3 offshore grid link to Siemens' rival Alstom last year, raising hopes at the French company of winning more of the lucrative offshore orders.

"We can now fully apply our broad experience gained in our first four pioneer projects in the North Sea to this project,”says Karlheinz Springer, chief executive at the power transmission division at Siemens Energy.

Siemens will supply the technology for direct-current transmission for the BorWin3 grid connection as the consortium leader, while Petrofac will be responsible for the construction and offshore installation of the project's converter platform.

It converts power in alternating current (AC) coming from several offshore wind parks into direct current (DC) that can be transported more easily to land via 130km of submarine and 30km of on-land cables to be supplied and laid by Prysmian.

The scope of supply includes the entire high-voltage equipment of the grid access system as well as the complete on-land station, Siemens said. The industrial giant supplies two power transformers per station at a rating of about 670 MVA as well as the entire air and gas insulated high-voltage switchgear equipment.

TenneT said once BorWin3 is operational, the company will have provided 7.1GW in German offshore grid links.

“Our tasks are not limited to technology and schedule design, but also include the financing of these billion-euro investments in the energy transition,” says TenneT chief executive Mel Kroon.

“Over the next 10 years, around €7.5bn will be invested in the expansion of the offshore grid in the German North Sea. For all projects scheduled at this point, both offshore and onshore, we are well on top of things.”

Financial bottlenecks at TenneT and delays at Siemens and its partners had caused lengthy and costly delays in many German offshore projects in the past years. TenneT says since 2010, it has already invested €4bn in offshore projects.

Petrofac since 2009 has already been providing maintenance and services for other German offshore platforms, but for the first time now also will be responsible for the construction of an entire converter platform.

“Petrofac is involved in a number of projects with TenneT in the German North Sea in which we are supporting the development and maintenance of offshore transmission systems,” says Marwan Chedid, chief executive at Petrofac’s engineering, construction, operations and maintenance business.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Siemens on this significant contract, which deepens a relationship with an important customer and allows us to utilise our vast experience of operating in the North Sea and delivering large scale, complex projects.”