Nexans and INEO install 264 km of high voltage overhead lines in record time to reinforce vital power link in West Africa

The INEO-Nexans consortium has installed AERO-Z® high voltage overhead conductors in just 29 days to upgrade a vital power link between Nigeria and Niger, as part of a 7 million euros contract awarded by Société Nigérienne d’Electricité (NIGELEC)

Paris, February 28, 2008 – Nexans, the worldwide leader in the cable industry, and INEO (part of Suez Group), a leader in electric installations, communication and information systems and related services, have just completed a major project to install Nexans AERO-Z® high voltage overhead conductors in record time. This project is part of a contract to upgrade the capacity of the 264 km power line between Birnin-Kebbi (Nigeria) and Niamey (Niger). The 7 million euros worth contract was awarded by Société Nigérienne d’Electricité (NIGELEC). AeroZ Niger 1

At NIGELEC’s request, the INEO-Nexans consortium completed the project in just 29 days. “The deadline imposed by NIGELEC was a real challenge for both companies because the cable had to be installed in winter—a low demand period—so as to minimize service interruptions. The experience and flexibility of all INEO installation staff allowed us to meet this challenge”, said Thierry Capelle, Nexans Overhead Lines business group Managing Director.

A 75 percent increase in power transmission capacity between Nigeria and Niger

Installing the AERO-Z® cable on the power link between Birnin-Kebbi in Nigeria and Niamey, the capital of Niger, has two important benefits. It will increase the power transmission capacity by at least 75 per cent - to 70 MW in the worst summertime conditions and up to 80 MW in winter, it will also reduce the need for costly local generation alternatives such as gas, diesel or kerosene powered generators. The new higher performance high voltage link, that significantly reduces energy losses, will enable NIGELEC to import more power from Nigeria, its main supplier, and thus benefit from a dramatic decrease in cogeneration costs.

The contract awarded by NIGELEC involved a total length of 820 km of AERO-Z® conductors. The Nexans Dour plant in Belgium manufactured most of the cable (740 km). The Nexans plants in Bourg-en-Bresse (France) and Mohammedia (Morocco) also each produced 40 km of cables. Nexans sales team in charge of Africa coordinated the whole project.

AeroZ in West Africa

Technical information:

Securing the power supply for Niger is essential to the country’s development
Thanks to an investment loan of 4 billion francs CFA (6 million euros), NIGELEC aims at better securing the power supply for Niger, especially in the Niger river area and the capital Niamey, which is essential to the country’s development as vital facilities such as water pumps, health centers and public lighting need to be continuously supplied with power.

In addition to savings generated by renovating the Birnin-Kebbi-Niamey line, installing Nexans’ AERO-Z® conductor also has a significant social and environmental impact because it reduces the use of fossil fuels in auxiliary generators and contributes to improve local development in Niger. Nexans AERO-Z®. is therefore contributing to the country’s sustainable development.

AERO-Z®: a reference for overhead power lines
Nexans is increasingly involved in producing high-end overhead conductors for infrastructure, such as AERO-Z®. AERO-Z® is one of the world’s most advanced conductors for high-voltage overhead lines. AERO-Z® conductors are fully locked, integrating one or more concentric layers of profiled wires in the form of a “Z”. The “Z” profile wires making up the outer belt fit firmly into each other, forming a hermetic casing, preventing internal corrosion. Moreover, dust and dirt are more easily eliminated, reducing line losses. This makes AERO-Z® of particular interest to all power producers and utilities planning to install lines in areas subject to extreme weather conditions.

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About Nexans

With energy as the basis of its development, Nexans, the worldwide leader in the cable industry, offers an extensive range of cables and cabling systems. The Group is a global player in the infrastructure, industry, building and Local Area Network markets. Nexans addresses a series of market segments from energy, transport and telecom networks to shipbuilding, oil and gas, nuclear power, automotive, electronics, aeronautics, handling and automation. With an industrial presence in 39 countries and commercial activities worldwide, Nexans employs 22,800 people and had sales in 2007 of 7.4 billion euros. Nexans is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris, compartment A. More information on


INEO (13,900 people – 1.971 billion euros sales in 2007) is a French leader in electric installations, communication and information systems, and related services. With over 300 points of presence, INEO provides its customers with proximity solutions and services in the Energy, Manufacturing, Services, Telecommunications, Transportation, Defense and Security industries. As part of the France Installations & Services Associés business unit, INEO is a subsidiary of SUEZ Energie Services (66,000 people – 11.3 billion euros sales), one of SUEZ Group’s four business units.


NIGELEC (Société Nigérienne d’Electricité) is a semi-public utility company founded in 1968 to produce, transmit and distribute power throughout Niger (1 267 000 km²). NIGELEC is headed by Mr. FOUKORI Ibrahim, as Operating Director and member of the Board of Directors. In 2006, NIGELEC served 178,964 subscribers through 300 electrified centers.