Transgrid, the operator of the high-voltage electricity transmission network in New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory, has signed a $100 million (USD 65 million) contract with the Australian arm of China-headquartered ZTT Group for the supply of high-voltage conductors.
The new conductors are to be used on the multi-billion dollar Humelink project that will connect Snowy Hydro 2.0 to the grid in southern NSW and the VNI West project that will connect the NSW and Victorian electricity grids.
Transgrid Executive General Manager, Delivery, Craig Stallan, said the transaction is part of the company’s ongoing push to de-risk a highly competitive global supply chain as energy companies look to secure the specialised equipment needed to deliver major transmission projects.
“Our major transmission projects involve a long shopping list for big kit, and we are competing with the likes of Europe, the USA and the United Kingdom to secure highly sought after slots on production lines,” he said.
“By securing supply now, we can deliver projects faster and cheaper. It’s also reducing risk as we compete with other energy companies and nations to secure critical, large-scale equipment, materials and skilled labour to deliver the projects Australia needs.”
ZTT Australia General Manager Dean Farrar said the conductors will be produced at the group’s manufacturing campus in Hekou, in China’s southeast, and will be delivered to Australia in 2024 and 2025.
Transgrid Chief Executive Officer Brett Redman said the contract with ZTT is part of the network operator’s Powering Tomorrow Together program which bundles procurement for major projects including HumeLink, VNI West and the tri-state EnergyConnect project.
Over the next decade, Transgrid plans to invest $14 billion to build new transmission infrastructure and Redman said the procurement program allows the operator to purchase materials like substation equipment, earlier and at a lower cost, enabling limited resources to be used across multiple projects.
Redman said Transgrid has this year already secured 15 shunt reactors and 25 single-phase transformers worth approximately $150 million, with arrival commencing in late 2024.
“We are also finalising a separate contract with another Australian company to supply other locally-produced conductor elements,” he said.
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