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The power of quality

July 9, 2015

A plan to safeguard electricity power lines in south-west Sweden is placing high demands on construction equipment such as generators and pumps – and contractor Skanska is leaving nothing to chance.

The electricity grid that supplies the south-western region of Sweden is being upgraded at a cost of more than EUR 750 million (USD 1 bn) and quality all down the line is paramount.

Called SydVästlänken (The South-West Link), the project involves the installation of new cables, both underground as well as above ground, stretching 250 km and some 270 km across open landscape.

Svenska Kraftnät, the Swedish national grid operator, is in charge of the project and has engaged the Swedish contractor Skanska to handle the bulk of the cable-laying work. Skanska, in turn, is using equipment from Atlas Copco to meet the project’s demanding specifications.

The package includes high quality Atlas Copco QAS 14 and QAS 20 generators and Atlas Copco WEDA 30 and WEDA 40 submersible dewatering pumps.

“When Skanska was awarded the major part of the underground cable laying work we knew that we would need suppliers that we could rely on to deliver the quality that we needed,” explains Magnus Johansson, SydVästlänken Project Manager, Skanska.

“The project takes us into remote areas without electricity and the requirements are demanding. After excavating almost one million cubic meters of rubble, we have to lay the cable. The base of each cable trench must be completely dry and laid with a special gravel of exacting specifications for compaction, drainage and cohesiveness.”

Meeting expectations

Johansson continues: “We are happy to report that the WEDA pumps have lived up to our expectations. As well as keeping the excavations completely dry, the lower start torque, and lower current requirements allow us to run more pumps on a single generator, improving productivity.”

“Atlas Copco portable equipment is made for this kind of difficult project,” agrees Abet Cantuba, Product Marketing Manager Pumps for Atlas Copco Portable Energy. “Skanska specifically needed equipment that could operate around the clock in a challenging environment, and that’s what we’ve provided.”

“Atlas Copco has delivered the reliability and performance Skanska is counting on for the South-West Link. We have been so impressed with the Atlas Copco equipment we have on site, that we are planning to increase our investment as the project proceeds,” concludes Johansson.

The aim of the South-West Link is to increase transmission capacity and robustness and to avoid disruptions in this part of the country when the weather is dry and consumption is low. This has resulted in incidents such as a major power outage in September 2003 that affected southern Sweden and Denmark’s Sjælland region.

The South-West Link will tackle these issues by transferring high voltage direct current (HVDC) electricity (300kV) through the 270 km underground cable and high voltage alternating current (HVAC) electricity (400kV) through the 250 km overhead power line.

The project got underway in 2012. It is due to be completed in 2015 and will increase transmission capacity by about 25 percent.

Europe Sweden QAS generators Productivity Value creation Quality WEDA submersible dewatering pumps Construction