The State Power Corporation of China has awarded a $360m contract to Swiss power and automation group ABB to build a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system linking hydropower plants in the country’s centre to Guangdong province.

ABB will design and erect a 3000 MW system to transmit power 940 km to the industrial region of Guangdong on the coast.

The company said in a statement that it planned to complete the two-stage project in 32 months, about 30 per cent faster than the average timeframe for a job of this scale.

Equipment for the order, which includes two power converter stations, 28 power transformers and six smoothing reactors, will be supplied by ABB’s transformer factory in Sweden, and China’s state-owned Xi’an transformer works, an ABB licensee.

“This is our second major order in China in two years. It is further evidence of ABB’s desire to support Chinese economic development by offering advanced technological solutions, and by working directly with Chinese partners in the utility and equipment manufacturing industry,” ABB president and chief executive officer Jorgen Centerman said.

ABB is already supplying converter stations for an 890-km HVDC power link between the Three Gorges power plant and Shanghai.

ABB pioneered HVDC transmission technology, which is an efficient and cost effective way of moving electricity over long distances. An HVDC system converts alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC) and transmits it to a distant location, where it is converted back to AC and distributed to consumers.