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ABB powers in with big contracts
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Power grid equipment maker ABB Ltd has won orders worth US$440 million from China's national grid operator to provide high voltage equipment for the world's longest power transmission link.


The orders will help the Zurich-based company meet its target of growing sales by at least 20 percent annually in the coming years in China, which is already its largest market.


The orders, from the State Grid Corporation of China, the nation's largest grid operator, are for construction of a "power super highway" spanning 2,000 kilometers from resource-rich west China to the highly industrialized coastal areas in the east.


It's the first major order ABB has won in China's project to construct super high-voltage transmission lines, which began on a large scale in 2006 after a one-year operation of a pilot project. About 406 billion yuan (US$55 billion) will be invested in the ultra high-voltage power lines by 2020.


Previous media reports had said that ABB and other overseas firms could be barred from taking part in building the super high-voltage transmission lines as the government aimed to boost domestic firms' technological edge by awarding them the contracts.


Seven other Chinese firms have also gained orders in the project. The orders won by three of them were worth a total of 1.41 billion yuan, with required delivery time as early as 2009.


The line, connecting Shanghai with the Xiangjiaba Hydropower Station, China's third-largest hydropower plant which began construction last year, is set to be completed in 2011 and has a capacity of 6,400 megawatts.


(Shanghai Daily December 20, 2007)

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