APG Ortsdurchfahrt - Copyright Stabentheiner Michael
09-01-2020
Power for the metropolitan area Villach: new transformers for new substation have arrived

APG invests 7.2 million Euros into new transformers and thus into a secure electricity supply of the region and the province of Carinthia

Fürnitz / Villach, September 1, 2020: Currently Austrian Power Grid (APG) and Kärnten Netz GmbH (KNG) are building Carinthia’s third largest substation in Fürnitz near Villach. End of August the most important elements for the facility were delivered: two 220/110kV transformers which are to link APG’s 220kV grid with KNG’s 110kV grid and thus considerably increase the security of supply for the province of Carinthia, far beyond the metropolitan area of Villach. The very complex transport of the transformers required several means of transportation: ship, train and a special remote-controlled vehicle.

They weigh 230 tons each, are more than 10m long and can only be moved with a special heavy-load transporter: we are talking about two transformers which are necessary to connect the grids with different voltage levels – 220kV and 110kV – at the substation Villach and thus facilitate the transmission of electricity between the grids of APG and KNG. “This is the precondition which renders transmission of electricity from the nationwide APG grid to KPG‘s regional Carinthian transmission lines possible”, says Wolfgang Ranninger, APG’s on-site supervisor and coordinator of the construction works at the substation. APG invests 3.6 million Euros in each transformer, the overall costs for the new substation amount to 30 million Euros. Over the next ten years Austria’s TSO will invest 250 million Euros in grid expansion and modernization measures in Carinthia.

Long journey: 1,600 km from the Netherlands to Fürnitz in one month

The transformers have completed a long journey: first they travelled by ship via the waterways of the rivers Rhine, Main and Danube from their place of manufacture in the Netherlands to Linz. Then the colossuses continued their journey south separately, each on a special 64m-long railway carrier, across the Alps to Carinthia. The final five kilometers were a particular challenge: through the town of Fürnitz to the baseplates at the substation. “For the transport through the town and the narrow access road with a double bend, which the heavy-load vehicle had to pass, the 10m-long transformers were loaded at the train station onto a special remote-controlled vehicle, a so-called self-propelled modular transporter,” describes Ranninger the difficult passage. At a walking pace a technician of the shipping company navigated the surprisingly maneuverable 56-wheel vehicle safely to its final destination. Ranninger: “This last leg took 3 hours. During their 1-month journey the transformers covered a total distance of approximately 1,600 kilometers.”

On August 25 and September 1 respectively, the transformers were placed on their individual baseplates, which required 4 hours of precise maneuvering. “The state-of-the-art elements which have a full load voltage capacity of 300,000 kVA and could supply almost all of Carinthia with electricity will be brought on line at the beginning of next year,” explains Ranninger.

Substation Villach: secure electricity supply for the next decades

Currently two large 220/110 kV substations are operative in Carinthia as junction between the nationwide transmission grid of APG and KNG’s regional grid which transports the electricity directly to the households and enterprises in Carinthia: the APG substations Malta in the Möll valley and Obersielach near Völkermarkt. Ranninger: “With the substation in Fürnitz the central area of Carinthia will get a third grid junction. Currently the construction works are in their final phase, the launch of operation is scheduled for spring 2021. APG and KNG together are investing a total of 80 million Euros. The electricity supply of all customers in the metropolitan area of Villach will be ensured for the next decades and the region will be strengthened as center for commerce and industry.”

Key data

Transformers

  • Performance: 300 megavolt ampere per transformer
  • Dimensions: length=10m, width=3.2m, height=4.5m
  • Transport weight: 230 tons each
  • Overall weight after on-site completion: 350 tons each
    Costs: approx. 3.6 millions € per transformer
  • Origin: Netherlands
Transport itinerary
  • 400 km on the river Rhine
  • 390 km on the river Main
  • 170 km on the Main-Danube channel
  • 300 km on the river Danube
  • 325 km by railway
  • 5 km on the road

Press images - © Stabentheiner Michael