ABB rushes transformer delivery to assist with Brazilian power shortage

ABB, the global technology group, has supplied two large power transformers to the Brazilian Utility Furnas in record time, it said Tuesday.

The period between the placing of the order and installation was eight months. ABB said that normally, delivery periods of over a year are quoted for products of this level of complexity. The two transformers allow the additional transmission of 1500 MW of electricity from the world’s largest hydro power plant, Itaipu, to the region of Brazil around Sao Paulo. This is enough power to supply 3.2 million people.

Brazil is currently undergoing a serious energy crisis due to the drought that has affected its hydro-dependent power system. The Brazilian government has already been forced to limit the consumption of power by law. Electricity has been rationed in Brazil since June 2001.

In order to counter the threat of a blackout, the Brazilian power companies depend on reliable technology for the transmission of power. “We are proud that we were able to help our customer so quickly with the right technical solution”, says Peter Smits, head of the ABB Division Power Technology Products.

The two power transformers are now a part of the Tijuco Preto substation. Each unit has a capacity of 550 MVA and 765 kV. The extra-high-voltage transformers, which weigh around 280 tonnes each, were produced in ABB’s Guarulhos factory. They are the largest transformers to be produced by ABB in Brazil.

ABB said that a team of 35 engineers and fitters worked around the clock on the products for more than six months. “During this time, our Brazilian colleagues were able to access the wide-ranging expertise of our world-wide production network”, says Joakim Olsson, who is responsible at ABB for power transformers. The ABB engineers saved more time by using a special transport concept (taking three instead of 30 days) and an innovative installation process on site (13 instead of 40 days).

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