Montenegro: Electricity export connection with Italy, TERNA underwater power cable and contracted companies Toshiba, Prysmian and Nexans

5. March 2015. / SEE Energy News

The story is about two cables, each 415 km in length, of which 22 km per cable (total 44km) are on the ground, two times 16 km in Italy, and two times 6 km in Montenegro. In a word, Prysmian Group’s factory at Arco Felice near Naples and Norwegian Nexans will make a total of 830 km of electric cables, of which 786 miles is undersea. Of course, two specialized ships are also needed, and they will be used for placing of the pipes to a depth of up to 1,200 meters in the Adriatic Sea.

The construction of an undersea electrical cable that should connect two coasts, Italian and Montenegrin, more specific Pescara and Kotor, is causing great public attention because it is an immense and important project. Recently, the Italian side started infrastructure works in Villanova on the beach Porta Nuova south of Pescara, which was reported by Montenegrin media as well. But little is known about the details like – who produces cables, where the factory is located, who will set the cables and how…

The story is about (under) sea distance of 393 km to be bridged, but in both directions. Together with part of the cable that crosses on the ground, two times 16 km in Italy, and two times 6 km in Montenegro, it is a total of 830 km of high voltage cable whose undersea part will be laid at a maximum depth of 1,200 meters!

Also, it is interesting to mention that the distance between the cables down in the sea is app 500 m, and there are precise technical reasons for this.

For this enormous, worth around 800 million euros, project of manufacturing and placing the cable, Italian company Terna has hired two producers – Italian Prysmian and Norwegian Nexans. And when we say “cable” in this case this does not mean the very pipe only, it also means all the “wires” that are going to be carried inside and that will transmit the electricity.

Prysmian Group, a world leader in cable manufacturing: Who is the Prysmian Group, which already has an office in Podgorica? (We are dealing here with Italian party for two reasons – because this Italian, domicile partner of Terna is bigger than Norwegian, but also simple because their data are easily accessible to us. But surely some parts of this story may illustratively refer to the Norwegians as well, only with other parameters.)

The job to manufacture the cable for connecting of the Italian and Montenegrin side, the Group was awarded in October 2012 by winning the public competition announced by the Italian Terna. It is a part of the project, run under the name “MON.ITA” for obvious reasons, and which includes the manufacturing and placing of the system of cables for transmission of continuous high voltage electricity (500kV) with a maximum power of 1000 MW. This, though immense and costly job, is only a part of a series of highly professional tasks necessary for completion of this interstate connection. Japanese “Toshiba” is in charge of the two “terrestrial” stations, one near Pescara and another near Kotor. Two stations included, the cost of the project is around one billion euros.

In addition to the cable, as stated on Prysmian’s website, the company will, alongside with Norwegians, provide sea electrodes that ensure functioning of the system without restrictions in the event of a failure of one or the other cable and other undesirable situations.

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