Nexans to supply Australia’s largest wind farm

The Group will supply with flexible low voltage cables for the Suzlon Energy Turbines

Suzlon windmilsParis, February 15, 2007 – Nexans, the worldwide leader in the cable industry, has been awarded, via Olex *, an order from Suzlon Energy Australia for an amount of approximately 2 million euros to supply approximately 135km of Low Voltage (LV) flexible rubber cables for the Hallett Wind Farm in South Australia. The key feature of the cables in this application is their proven flexibility to accommodate the yawing movement of the turbine as they adjust to suit changing wind directions.

Australia’s largest wind farm

The Hallett wind farm, 200km north of Adelaide, South Australia is being constructed on behalf of AGL (Australian Gas Light Company), one of Australia’s largest electricity retailers, and will consist of 45 turbines with a total capacity of 94.5MW. Once completed, it will become Australia’s largest wind farm, with the capacity to supply “green” electricity for around 54,000 households.

Suzlon Energy Australia was awarded the total turnkey contract for the manufacture, engineering, procurement and construction of the turbines for the wind farm including the civil, electrical and mechanical services. In turn, Olex Australia was awarded the contract for the total supply of the low and medium voltage cables. Nexans will supply the LV flexible rubber cables.

“After the recent announcement of the Olex acquisition by Nexans, this contract perfectly illustrates the kind of commercial synergies expected between the two companies. This collaboration is all the more interesting in that it concerns the expanding and promising Australian wind farm market for which Nexans already provides a complete range of cables for OEMs and infrastructures, onshore and offshore” underlines Michel Lemaire, Executive Vice President Asia-Pacific area for Nexans.

A paramount demand for flexibility

The project’s first cabling section consists of various flexible H07BN4-F and H07RN-F multi or single core cables from 2.5 mm2 up to 240 mm2, which will be installed in the 80m high towers, to transfer power between the turbine generators and the underground collector system.

For this project, cable flexibility is paramount because the turbine atop each tower is set up to yaw (rotate in the vertical axis), by as much as 3 times one way and 3 times the other way, to align the rotor to the wind’s direction. As a consequence, it requires a specific testing program.

The cables will be manufactured in Nexans’ Bohain factory in northern France. The project utilises the plant’s test facility to demonstrate the flexibility and reliability of the LV cabling solution under simulated wind turbine conditions. The rigorous tests confirm the cables’ ability to withstand the 20-25 year life-cycle of the turbines.

A promising market
Renewable energy through wind farms in Australia has a promising future as many state governments are beginning to legislate alternative renewable energy sources be developed for future energy demand. Actually, the government in South Australia, which has 51% of the nation’s wind power, has recently announced that 20% of electricity will come from renewables by 2014. This new decision goes further than the initial target set down in South Australia’s Strategic Plan, which was originally a voluntary target of 15%. The state would require a total of approximately 1,200 giant wind turbines to meet the renewable energy targets. The targets are estimated to cost the state a maximum of AU$ 2bn (around 1.2 billion euros).

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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 and building markets. Nexans addresses a series of market segments from energy, transport and telecom networks to shipbuilding, oil and gas, nuclear, automotive, electronics, aeronautics, handling and automation. With an industrial presence in more than 30 countries and commercial activities worldwide, Nexans employs 21,000 people and had sales in 2006 of 7.5 billion euros. Nexans is listed on the Paris stock exchange, compartment A of the Eurolist of Euronext. More information on