July 3, 2002 ABB said Wednesday it has won a US$ 93 million order to refurbish a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system which will increase the reliability of electricity supply in California.

Under the terms of the contract awarded by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, ABB will design, manufacture and install a 3100 MW system to overhaul the current installation located at Sylmar near Los Angeles. ABB will deliver new converter transformers, HVDC thyristor valves and control and protection equipment.

“In recent years, investments in transmission systems have not kept pace with investments in power generation,” said Richard Siudek, executive vice president and head of ABB’s Utilities division. “Refurbishing this vital power corridor will improve electricity transfer capability and reliability.”

The current system, one of two major electricity interconnections linking southern California to the northwestern United States, is now reaching the end of its operational life, and was damaged by an earthquake in 1994. The system is critical for the reliable transmission of power from hydro power plants in Oregon to the Los Angeles area.

The installation is to be completed in 30 months and will combine new, state-of-the-art seismic-resistant transmission materials with existing equipment.

ABB built the original terminal at Sylmar during the early 1970s, and upgraded it twice in the 1990s to its current capacity of 3100 MW. Its uses HVDC, a technology commercially developed by ABB, which enables large amounts of electricity to be transmitted with relatively low line losses.