ABB has secured a $54-million order for an underground and underwater power link that will connect Denmark's existing grids for the first time and help stabilize power supplies.

ABB will supply the cable for the high-voltage direct current (HVDC) link that is scheduled for completion in 2010, creating the country's first nationwide electricity network. The contract was awarded by Energinet.dk, the state-owned operator of the Danish gas and electricity transmission networks.

"HVDC technology is an environmentally friendly way to bring stability to the grid," said Peter Leupp, head of ABB's Power Systems division. "The numerous HVDC links in Northern Europe – many of them built by ABB – helped protect the region from last year's major blackout in Europe."

The 58-km power link with a capacity of 600 MW will run underwater for 32 km and underground for the rest of the stretch. It will stabilize power supplies on both sides of the strait that divides the two halves of the grid.

The cable will connect Denmark's western grid, which is already linked to the German network, to the country's eastern grid, which has an electricity partnership with Sweden. This will create a national electricity network for the first time in Danish history.

ABB pioneered HVDC technology in the 1950s and its projects include the world's longest land cable, the 180-km Murraylink in Australia, and the world's longest underwater high-voltage cable that is currently under construction to link Norway and the Netherlands.