ABB claims $400-M contract on Maritime Link

Company will build converter stations in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia

Ashley Fitzpatrick
Published on July 11, 2014

A large contract has been awarded to ABB as part of the roughly $1.6-billion Maritime Link project — the power connection to be built between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Valued at about $400 million, it makes ABB responsible for construction of two converter stations, one at either end of the 500 megawatt high voltage direct current (HVDC) link. The company will also be tasked with creating two 230-kilovolt alternating current (AC) substations in Newfoundland; one 345 kilovolt AC substation in Nova Scotia; and two cable transition stations.

The pieces are scheduled for commissioning in 2017, maintaining pre-existing timelines for the completion of the Maritime Link.

The Link is to be connected to the new infrastructure of the Lower Churchill Project, the undertaking within Newfoundland and Labrador that includes the building of a hydroelectric dam at Muskrat Falls on Labrador’s lower Churchill River and creation of infrastructure allowing power from the dam to be brought to and across the island of Newfoundland.

The Lower Churchill Project is led by Newfoundland and Labrador’s Nalcor Energy. The Maritime Link project is led by Emera. In both cases, subsidiaries have been created for the day to day requirements of the project.

NSP Maritime Link Inc., a subsidiary of Emera Inc., awarded ABB the latest package of work for the link on July 9, according to online procurement information.

"ABB pioneered HVDC and is a global leader in this key transmission technology which is being increasingly deployed across a range of applications," said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, in a statement.

"Our innovative solution for this project will help integrate clean renewable energy, facilitate the efficient transmission of electricity, improve grid stability and enable power sharing."

As previously reported, the HVDC lines between the island and the Nova Scotia mainland will be created by Nexans.

Nexans is also creating and installing the link between the island of Newfoundland and the Labrador mainland.

Nexans is looking at a total of roughly $382 million in work on the Lower Churchill Project under contracts awarded.

Maritime Link construction is expected to employ about 250-300 workers at its peak, expected in 2015-16.