France’s RTE trials Nexans’ innovative carbon fibre composite overhead line technology in a European first

RTE, France’s electricity transmission system operator (TSO), is trialing a new type of overhead power line using Nexans’ carbon fibre composite technology in Haute-Vienne, in the Limousin region. If the RTE trial is successful, this innovation will provide TSOs with opportunities to adapt their high- and extra-high voltage networks to meet the needs of tomorrow’s energy landscape for redistribution of power generation, especially with the development of renewable energy resources.

Paris, 30 October 2013 – Nexans, a worldwide expert in the cable industry, and RTE, France’s electricity transmission system operator (TSO), are collaboratively conducting a field trial of the innovative Lo-Sag™ conductor technology which uses a carbon fibre composite core. This field trial involves about 1 km of high voltage – 90 kV – overhead line being upgraded between Bellac and Saint-Martin-Terressus. This is the first time that this new conductor design is being deployed in Europe.

RTE has undertaken the trial of this innovative cable to meet its ongoing objective of continuously improving the quality of its power delivery infrastructure.

If the trial is successful, such overhead line technology could be deployed to upgrade power grids for optimum performance because this solution makes it possible to control costs while minimizing environmental impacts.

In contrast with conventional steel-core overhead line conductors, Lo-Sag™ features a carbon composite core with a much lower coefficient of thermal expansion, which allows higher power transmission capacity.

The three-phase 90 kV Limousin trial installation replaces older steel cables while making use of most of the existing infrastructure such as pylons, thanks to the light weight and low expansion of the new conductors.

Comprehensive testing of the Lo-Sag technology will take place throughout the course of the year, with the objective of checking compatibility with the existing grid as well as reviewing its mechanical properties and the capability to withstand France’s variable climate, including combinations of wind, ice and snow. The aim is also to evaluate the ageing of this new cable compared to a “conventional” conductor.

The conductor for the RTE trial was manufactured at Nexans’ factories in France, Belgium and Germany. Nexans has the manufacturing capability in place to ramp up Lo-Sag™ production as orders for major projects in Europe are received.

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About Nexans

With energy at the basis of its development, Nexans, worldwide expert in the cable industry, offers an extensive range of cables and cabling solutions. The Group is a global player in the energy transmission and distribution, industry and building markets. Nexans addresses a wide series of market segments: from energy and telecom networks to energy resources (wind turbines, photovoltaic, oil and gas, and mining) to transportation (shipbuilding, aerospace, automotive and automation, and railways). Nexans is a responsible industrial company that regards sustainable development as integral to its global and operational strategy. Continuous innovation in products, solutions and services, employee development and commitment, customer orientation and the introduction of safe industrial processes with limited environmental impact are among the key initiatives that place Nexans at the core of a sustainable future. With an industrial presence in 40 countries and commercial activities worldwide, Nexans employs 25,000 people and had sales in 2012 of nearly 7.2 billion euros. Nexans is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris, compartment A.

About RTE

RTE is the French electricity transmission system operator. A public service company, its mission is to operate, maintain and develop the high- and extra-high voltage network. It guarantees the reliability and proper operation of the power network. RTE transports electricity between electricity suppliers (French and European) and consumers, whether they are electricity distributors (ERDF and the local distribution companies) or industrial sites directly connected to the transmission system. With 100,000 km of lines between 63,000 and 400,000 volts and 46 cross-border lines, the network operated by RTE is the biggest in Europe. In 2012, RTE posted turnover of €4,529 million and currently employs some 8,400 staff. For more information, please consult: