Mortenson Construction and Siemens consortium wins over CAD 800 HVDC contract in Canada

October 22, 2014

Image: The picture shows the converter station of a comparable project in Australia. Photo: Courtesy of Siemens.

As part of a consortium, Siemens Canada was selected to design, supply and install the High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) equipment and buildings required for the Bipole III HVDC Project's two converter stations for Manitoba Hydro. In a consortium with Mortenson Construction, Siemens will be supplying both converter stations for the Bipole III HVDC project.

The project will have a transmission capacity of 2,300 megawatts (MW) and is expected to be commissioned in the summer of 2018. "This project is critical to ensure reliable power to Manitobans, and this contract is one of the cornerstones of the project. It has been five years in preliminary design work, and over a year of working with Siemens and Mortenson on developing their solution to this contract. We are excited to move into the next phase of the project. " says Rob Elder, Division Manager Bipole III Project, Manitoba Hydro.

Siemens is supplying the complete HVDC core technology, based on the well-proven thyristor-technology, while Mortenson Construction will be responsible for the construction of the converter stations. This HVDC link is approximately 1,400 kilometers and will connect the Keewatinohk Converter Station, in northern Manitoba near Hudson Bay with the Riel Converter Station, in south Winnipeg, by a +/-500 kilovolt (kV) overhead line. 

This new HVDC link will enhance Manitoba Hydro's existing system by increasing overall system reliability. It will transport electricity generated by hydroelectric generating stations in the northern part of the province, to southern load centers and Winnipeg. "When it comes to energy-efficient and low-loss transmission of electricity over considerable distances, we're the right partner. Our partner's local expertise, coupled with Siemens' proven HVDC technology, allows us to offer tailored solutions to our customers' requirements", says Faisal Kazi, head of the Energy Management division at Siemens Canada.

The scope of the contract includes the design, engineering, manufacturing, supply and commissioning of all HVDC core components, such as converter valves with direct light-triggered power thyristors, converter transformers, smoothing reactors, protection and I&C equipment, and AC and DC filters. This new HVDC link will bolster the power supply grid in the province and ensure that the rising demand for energy is met by linking environmentally-friendly hydro power plants to the power grid.