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New key stage of the safety net for the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region: cable-laying begins

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New key stage of the safety net for the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region: cable-laying begins

  •  Release date: 26 April 2013
  •  Reference: 2013-056-EN

A new key stage has been reached in the work on the three future underground 225 kV connectors, which began ten months ago: transported in a special convoy, the first cables were laid today at the Malpasset site in Fréjus in the presence of Dominique Maillard, Chairman of RTE's Executive Board, and Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB). Once commissioned in 2015, this safety net will put the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) region on the same level of power supply reliability as the other French regions. This major project aimed at optimising the French power transmission network is receiving financial support from the EIB under a EUR 500m loan agreement.

World record-breaking underground technology

The electricity safety net will by 2015 eliminate a historically vulnerable point in the transmission network. Apart from Brittany, PACA is the only region that finds itself on a peninsula in power supply terms. is the only region which constitutes a peninsula in the electricity grid. Three underground 225 kV connections will be constructed to back up the existing single 400 kV axis that crosses the region. By creating alternative power routes, this safety net represents a sustainable supply solution when the main route is cut off.

The technical innovations and advanced know-how incorporated in the project will enable it to break the world record for the longest underground 225 kV AC electricity cable at this power level:  the section between the substations of Boutre, south of Manosque, and Trans, south of Draguignan, will span 65 km.

Moreover, the 25 km route between Fréjus and Biançon, the starting point for the cable-laying and assembly work, exceeds by 4 km the longest underground 225 kV connection currently in operation in France. With a conductive core of up to 2500 mm2, compared to 1600 mm2 in previous systems, the selected cables have an unprecedented transmission capacity of up to 800 MW.

Network in 2015

 

Réseau en 2015

At its peak, an exceptional undertaking

The first kilometres of cable were laid today along the forest track of the Malpasset site,  one of only a few existing roads between the substation of Fréjus and that of Biançon on the edge of the St Cassien Lake. After the civil works were completed in March 2013, the first cable reels arrived in a special convoy over a week ago.

Construction work on the electric safety net will reach its peak during 2013. For the civil works and now the installation and connection of the cable links over a total distance of 107km, it is often necessary to coordinate more than 15 sites simultaneously and up to 200 workers on several sections of the three lines.  

Financial support from the European Investment Bank (EIB)

The overall investment in the PACA’s safety net amounts to EUR 170m. It is receiving support from the EIB under a 500m global loan for the improvement of the power transmission network in France. This EIB loan is helping to finance seven major RTE projects in several French regions, including PACA’s safety net, which accounts for 15.5% or EUR 78m of the total financing operation. As a guide, the cost of the work for the safety net in 2013 amounts to EUR 82m.

At a time when the EIB is stepping up its activities in support of job-creating projects thanks to its capital increase, this long-term loan on attractive terms owing to the EIB's "AAA" rating is vital for RTE. The EIB and RTE are thus continuing their partnership which began in 2009 and was consolidated in 2011, in particular, by the financing of the new power interconnector between France and Spain.






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http://www.eib.org/projects/press/2013/2013-056-bei-nouvelle-etape-cle-pour-le-filet-de-securite-electrique-paca.htm