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Caprivi Link

A 350 kV ABB HVDC Light transmission system that stabilizes weak power networks in Namibia also enables power trading in the expansive region of southern Africa.

The Namibian transmission system operator, NamPower, selected ABB to build an HVDC Light overhead link to electrically connect the northeastern and central parts of the country. The 350 kV, 300 MW transmission system comprises a 950-km long overhead line connecting the Zambezi converter station in Namibia's Caprivi region near the Zambian border with the Gerus converter station in central Namibia. HVDC Light technology helps to stabilize these weak power networks.

The Caprivi Link Interconnector joins electricity grids in Namibia and Zambia to ensure reliable power transfer capability between the eastern and western regions of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP). It is the first electrical connection between the Namibia's Caprivi region and the rest of the country, and can supply power to Caprivi region if normal supplies from Zambia are disrupted. Even larger islanded parts of the Namibian and Zambian grids may be supplied by this DC link, which maintains frequency control of power transmissions and avoids power outages.

ABB was responsible for system engineering including design, supply and installation of the two converter stations and earth electrodes. The Caprivi Link Interconnector extended HVDC Light`s voltage rating to 350 kV, marking the first time the technology was used for overhead transmission.

Main data

Commissioning year: 2010
Power rating: 300 MW
No. of poles: 1
AC voltage: Gerus: 400 kV 
Zambezi: 330 kV
DC voltage: 350 kV
Length of overhead DC line: 950 km
Main reason for choosing HVDC: Long distance, weak networks
Application: Interconnecting grids

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