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NKT develops low-voltage power cable using low-carbon materials

Dec 14, 2022

NKT is ready to design, produce and install a 1 kV cable using low-carbon aluminium and polyolefins in the Swedish power grid. The initiative will reduce the carbon footprint of the power cable significantly and is part of NKT’s ambition to become a net-zero emissions company.

NKT continues the journey to reduce the carbon footprint of its products and solutions with an innovative project in Sweden comprising production and installation of a low-carbon 1 kV power cable. The cables will be manufactured with low-carbon aluminium and polyolefins at the NKT factory in Falun, Sweden, which is running on 100% renewable electricity. For NKT, the project is yet another important step in reducing the carbon footprint of its power cable solutions after also having announced the production of the world's first HVDC power cable using low-carbon copper.
- This is a game changer in the development of an energy infrastructure built with innovative, low-carbon solutions. We see a growing market demand for more environmentally friendly products and solutions and are proud to be among the first to deliver an innovative low voltage cable after a close collaboration with our customers and suppliers, says Will Hendrikx, Executive Vice President and Head of Applications in NKT.
The new low-carbon cable has been developed in close cooperation with the Swedish power grid company Ellevio, which will also be the first customer to use it.
- As the electricity grid provider for around one million homes and businesses in Sweden, our company plays a key role in the transition to an electrified, fossil free society. As we are preparing the grid for the energy transition, we want to turn every stone to reduce our own footprint. Emissions from the manufacturing of cables and overhead lines account for approximately 60 percent of our carbon footprint. It is one of our most prioritized improvement areas, and NKT’s innovative cable is an important initiative. We’re honored to be the first customer, says Karolina Viksten, Sustainability Manager at Ellevio.
The innovative power cable is the result of close collaboration between Nordic suppliers and will be manufactured with low-carbon aluminum from Norwegian company Hydro. The aluminum is produced using an efficient electrolysis technology and renewable energy sources during production. This ensures that the aluminum has a carbon footprint of 4 kg CO2 per kg aluminum - less than a quarter of the global average*. The material for the cable insulation and jacketing are delivered by Borealis and are made with low-carbon polyolefins manufactured with renewable feedstocks.
With the project in Sweden, NKT continues to strengthen its sustainability efforts and be a key partner in enabling the European transition of renewable energy.
Facts: Components of the low carbon 1 kV cable
  • Conductor - Hydro REDUXA low-carbon aluminium with 4.0 kg CO2e per kg of aluminium, less than a quarter of the global average* 
  • Insulation and jacketing – Bornewables material** from Borealis having -0.5 kgCO2eq/kg. per kg of polyethylene (PE) showing a reduction of at least 130% compared to conventional fossil-based polyethylen
The production of the cable is based on lean production processes using 100% renewable electricity * **
Pelle Fischer-Nielsen
External Communications Officer
Pelle Fischer Nielsen