Siemens Energy (www.siemens.com) has received an order from Wellington-based Transpower New Zealand Ltd., the national grid operator, to modernize and increase the capacity of the existing high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) link between the country's North and South Island.

For the “Inter Island Connector Pole 3” HVDC project Siemens will supply two 700-MW turnkey converter stations and replace the aging converters with advanced light-triggered thyristor valves. The overall project investment is 327 million euros. Siemens' share accounts for approximately half.

The aim is to raise the capacity of the existing HVDC system in increments over the next few years from 700 MW to 1400 MW. This is intended to ensure reliable power supply with minimal losses and to further stabilize New Zealand's grid. Siemens will complete modernization and expansion of the system by late 2013.