Synch­ing S. Amer­ica with world

State Grid Corp takes lead by building Brazil hy­dropower plants with UHV tech­nol­ogy

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By ZHENG XIN zhengxin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

State Grid Corp of China, which runs the ma­jor­ity of the na­tion’s elec­tric­ity dis­tri­bu­tion net­work, has big plans to play a key role in the clean en­ergy in­dus­try in South Amer­ica.

“The com­pany’s land­ing ul­tra high-volt­age elec­tric­ity trans­mis­sion projects in Brazil marks a ma­jor break­through in China’s ‘go­ing global’ strat­egy in the field of UHV tech­nol­ogy,” said Li Le­quan, deputy di­rec­tor of State Grid In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment Co Ltd, SGCC’s sub­sidiary for global op­er­a­tions.

“The first phase of the Belo Monte UHV DC Trans­mis­sion Project, which is ex­pected to start com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions by Fe­bru­ary 2018, will cre­ate more than 36,000 lo­cal jobs. It’ ll also use Chi­nese elec­tri­cal equip­ment worth 5 bil­lion yuan ($720 mil­lion).”

UHV tech­nol­ogy pro­vides large-scale power delivery over long dis­tances and can re­duce en­ergy loss dur­ing trans­mis­sion.

Ac­cord­ing to Li, the project is the first over­seas UHV di­rect cur­rent trans­mis­sion project op­er­ated by a Chi­nese power en­ter­prise. It is also the first UHV DC project in South Amer­ica.

A group led by SGCC won the bid to con­struct the hy­dropower trans­mis­sion lines for the Belo Monte project, a hy­dropower plant in the Ama­zon re­gion, in Fe­bru­ary 2014.

So far, ma­jor equip­ment like con­verter sta­tions has ar­rived on-site, and 40 per­cent of the con­struc­tion of the sub­sta­tion, and 95 per­cent of land ac­qui­si­tion, have been com­pleted, he said.

In July 2015, the com­pany won the bid for Phase 2 Belo Monte UHV Trans­mis­sion Project in­de­pen­dently and re­ceived the con­ces­sion for 30 years.

The project, which will in­te­grate in­vest­ment, con­struc­tion and op­er­a­tion of UHV trans­mis­sion projects, in­cludes an 800KV UHV DC trans­mis­sion line with con­verter sta­tions at both ends.

The con­struc­tion pe­riod

China is a coun­try with rich ex­pe­ri­ence in building largescale power trans­mis­sion in­fra­struc­ture, so it has be­come the first choice for other coun­tries in need ... ” Han Xiaop­ing, an an­a­lyst at Bei­jing-based cnen­ergy.org

will last for 50 months and is ex­pected to start com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions by December 2019.

An­a­lysts said China’s UHV tech­nol­ogy has be­come key to the com­pany’s pres­ence and ex­pan­sion in Brazil, where dis­tances of thou­sands of kilo­me­ters sep­a­rate hy­dro­elec­tric dams and the com­mu­ni­ties they serve.

Han Xiaop­ing, an an­a­lyst at Bei­jing-based cnen­ergy.org, said the tech­nol­ogy helps trans­mit large amount of power over long dis­tances. That is what Brazil needs, given its vast and var­ied ge­og­ra­phy.

In hy­dropower po­ten­tial, Brazil ranks third in the world af­ter Rus­sia and China. Eighty per­cent of the en­ergy con­sumed in the coun­try orig­i­nates from hy­dro­elec­tric plants, he said.

“The up­com­ing UHV line will sig­nify Brazil’s, even South Amer­ica’s, first ‘elec­tric­ity su­per­high­way’. Be­sides, State Grid’s UHV tech­nol­ogy will gain lead in the global power plant and dis­tri­bu­tion grid con­struc­tion mar­ket,” Han said.

In­suf­fi­cient power and its un­even dis­tri­bu­tion have put new pres­sures on eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment the world over. Statis­tics show the price of elec­tric­ity for home use in­creased by 50 per­cent last year, ac­cord­ing to Xin­hua News Agency.

“China is a coun­try with rich ex­pe­ri­ence in building large-scale power trans­mis­sion in­fra­struc­ture, so it has be­come the first choice for other coun­tries in need,” Han said.

UHV is a world-class Chi­nese in­no­va­tion with in­tel­lec- tual prop­erty rights. State Grid man­ages hy­brid grids with the world’s highest volt­age level and on the largest scale, said Li.

“It owns ad­vanced large grid op­er­a­tional con­trol tech­nol­ogy and sys­tem pro­tec­tion tech­nol­ogy and is the world’s sole grid type with no ma­jor out­age.”

SGCC, which was set up in 2010, has so far erected power lines stretch­ing 6,748 kilo­me­ters in Brazil, with 6,054 kilo­me­ters more un­der con­struc­tion.

SGCC’s over­seas arm also has a pres­ence in the Philip­pines, Por­tu­gal, Aus­tralia and Italy. Its over­seas in­vest­ment has reached $9.8 bil­lion; its over­seas as­sets are worth $29.8 bil­lion.

The par­ent com­pany plans to use its do­mes­tic mar­ket ex­pe­ri­ence to win more ex­port or­ders for its tech­nol­ogy and equip­ment.

Last year, it inked frame­work deals with Rus­sia and Kaza­khstan for cross-coun­try elec­tric­ity trans­mis­sion lines.

The par­ent com­pany has in­vested more than $10 bil­lion over­seas so far, with gross value of as­sets reach­ing $40 bil­lion, all earn­ing profits, said Lv Shi­rong, deputy di­rec­tor-gen­eral of the Depart­ment of In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion, SGCC.

“The com­pany has suc­cess­fully in­vested in and op­er­ated key back­bone en­ergy net­works in six coun­tries and re­gions, in­clud­ing the Philip­pines, Brazil, Por­tu­gal, and Italy.

“Its over­seas busi­ness has ex­tended from de­vel­op­ing coun­tries to emerg­ing economies and de­vel­oped coun­tries.”

Ac­cord­ing to Lv, SGCC highly val­ues the key role of stan­dards in in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, while en­hanc­ing China’s voice and in­flu­ence in the power sec­tor world­wide.

“State Grid leads the world in a num­ber of grid tech­nolo­gies. It’s the first in the world to es­tab­lish a com­plete UHV DC/AC power line and smart grid tech­nol­ogy sys­tem. It also has a pres­ence in new en­ergy and large grid op­er­a­tion,” he said.

“State Grid will work on its in­ter­na­tional busi­ness and ma­jor projects cen­tered around the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, and strongly pro­mote China’s ‘go­ing global’ push in tech­nol­ogy, equip­ment, man­age­ment and power in­dus­try stan­dards.”

WANG WEN / FOR CHINA DAILY

Tech­ni­cians in­spect a power line in a res­i­den­tial area of Huaibei, An­hui prov­ince.

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