HV cable laying with construction workers

Corridor projects, Germany

NKT is a major supplier for two of the Corridor power link projects essential for the green transformation in Germany. SuedLink will be the world’s longest HVDC underground power link and SuedOstLink will be the world’s first large commercial 525 kV XLPE high-voltage DC 2GW transmission line.

Key facts – NKT sections of SuedOstLink and SuedLink

Principal - SuedOstLink

50Hertz

Principal - SuedLink

TennetT and TransnetBW

Location - SuedOstLink

Eastern part of Germany

Location - SuedLink

Northern, central and southern Germany

Quality of order - SuedOstLink

Cable, accessories and installation of 3 lots of 525 kV HVDC XLPE onshore cable systems with a power rating of 2 GW

Quality of order - SuedLink

Cable, accessories and installation of the Western section of 525 kV HVDC XLPE onshore cable systems with a power rating of 2 GW

Route length - SuedOstLink

Approx. 275 km

Route length - SuedLink

Approx. 750 km

Duration - SuedOstLink

Awarded in 2020 - completion in 2025

Duration - SuedLink

Awarded in 2020 - completion in 2026

The German Corridors

Underground HVDC cable systems for sustainable renewable energy integration

Germany’s electricity supply is becoming greener every year. The share of renewables in electricity consumption has steadily grown over the last few years. By 2030, 65% of electricity consumed in Germany is to derive from renewables and by 2050 it will be 80% generated by renewable sources.

The German Corridor projects are important contributors to the energy transition, also called the “Energiewende”.

The SuedLink is the largest of the three corridor projects, with a total length of almost 1,340 km. It connects to the interconnector NordLink in the north and transmit renewable power to the south via two power cable sections. NKT has been awarded the longest of the two; the Western section covering a total of 750 km.

The SuedOstLink will play an important role in securing the power supplies to the Southeast of Germany over the coming decades. In total the link comprises of 1,100 km cable divided in 5 lots. NKT has been awarded 3 of the lots, covering the northern parts of the link.

NKT President and CEO Alexander Kara says:  - The orders for the SuedLink and SuedOstLink corridor project underlines NKTs position as a major partner in the German transition to renewable energy and in connecting the national grids. Our power cables will ensure that renewable power can be transported all the way from Norway via the NordLink and SuedLink interconnectors to Southern Germany. I am excited that our leading expertise and know-how within 525 kV XLPE HVDC technology is once again recognized and as a market leading provider we are well positioned be part of future projects supporting the green transformation of societies.  

HV Cable drum
HVDC Cable
Cale laying in trench for NordLink with construction personell
HV cable drum on trailer
Cable drum with HV cable and NKT car

SuedLink

The 2 GW SuedLink HVDC project will cover a total of almost 1340 km – key for the green transformation of Germany.

NKT has been awarded the full Western cable link of the German SuedLink corridor by Tennet and TransnetBW. The contract comprises supply and installation of a 525 kV XLPE high-voltage DC (direct current) onshore cable system solution with a route length of approx. 750 km. This will be the longest DC underground cable system in the world when ready.

The Western SuedLink transmission line will be the world’s largest 525 kV XLPE HVDC 2.0 GW interconnector, connecting the federal states of Schleswig-Holstein and Baden-Württemberg. It forms part of the so-called German corridor projects aiming to significantly increase renewable energy supply for highly populated urban areas and energy-intensive industrial locations in the South. The power will increasingly come from wind farms off the coast in the windy North. The SuedLink transmission line starts in the Northern Germany, close to the areas for wind generation. It connects to the NordLink power line, which brings hydro power from Norway to Germany via a 525 kV high-voltage DC offshore power cable solution also provided by NKT. The corridor power link ends in southern Germany connecting to for example solar energy facilities.

The DC technology used for SuedLink enables more flexibility in the grid to react to the natural fluctuations of renewable energy sources by better controlling load flows in the power grid.

The power cable systems from NKT not only make the renewable power transmission possible, the cables themselves are sustainably produced in factories running on 100% green electricity. Furthermore, the order comprises a specially engineered solution for the transmission line to cross the Elbe and a salt mine. Production of the HVDC power cables and accessories plan to start early 2022 with expected project completion in 2026.

If you would like to read more about the NordLink project, please click here.

Germany map with corridor projects and NKT sections

SuedOstLink

The 2 GW SuedOstLink will cover a total of 580 km, from Saxony-Anhalt to Bavaria.

NKT has been awarded the cable and installation contract by the German transmission system operator 50Hertz. The world’s first large commercial 525 kV HVDC XLPE underground cable systems delivered by NKT will cover a route length of approx. 275 km. It will transmit up to 2 GW of power and is important to cover the need for electricity transport in southern as well as northern Germany. In the north of Germany electricity from wind-turbines is produced in large amounts while powerful nuclear power plants in southern Germany will phase out during the coming years.

High voltage DC (Direct Current) cables are ideal for efficient, long-distance power transmission with very low losses. By utilising a cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) insulation material for the extruded HVDC cable system, it enables power transmissions at significantly higher voltage levels than previously possible. This mean that more renewable power can be efficiently transmitted from the area of generation to the area of consumption.

NKT has a strong footprint in Germany, with facilities in Cologne, Nordenham and Berlin and is therefore ideally located to supply and install the needed solutions for these large corridor projects.

The NKT high-voltage cable factories are powered by 100% green electricity and NKT reduces the environmental footprint even further by mechanical recycling of XLPE material. This contributes to the low carbon footprint of the HVDC XLPE cables over the lifetime and a sustainable power transmission.

Being awarded a significant part of the SuedLink and SuedOstLink project underlines our role as a key partner in the green transformation of Germany. I am excited that our leading expertise and know-how within 525 kV XLPE HVDC technology is once again recognized by one of our key customers. Alexander Kara, President and CEO

Portrait shot of NKT CEO Alexander Kara

Innovation

525 kV extruded HVDC cable systems

Doubling power transmission over longer distances

Interior view of innovative testhall in Karlskrona power plant

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