A key component in the 1920MW HVDC link from Cahora Bassa hydropower plant in Mozambique to South Africa has been successfully refurbished by ABB.

At the Songo High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) converter station, ABB replaced the existing equipment with new DC converter transformers, smoothing reactors, arresters and measuring equipment. The installation houses the first re-connectable converter transformers to go into operation worldwide. They allow the system to operate at different voltage levels, between 533 and 600kV, enabling it for any future upgrade. ABB previously upgraded the Apollo converter station, at the South African end of the HVDC link, in 2008.

"We are pleased that our innovative HVDC solution will bring clean renewable energy from Mozambique to the people of South Africa in a reliable and efficient manner" said Patrick Fragman, head of ABB’s Grid Systems business, a part of the company’s Power Systems division. "This refurbishment boosts power availability and strengthens the transmission infrastructure in the region."

The HVDC link serves the power utilities Hidroele┬┤ctrica De Cahora Bassa (HCB) in Mozambique and Eskom in South Africa.