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VLUU L200  / Samsung L200
Customer Success Story

Inga Kolwezi

A 1,700 km power transmission link that transmits power from Inga Falls on the Congo River to the copper mining district of Katanga in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Inga-Kolwezi link (formerly the Inga-Shaba link) was initially a ± 500 kV, 560 MW HVDC power transmission system. This HVDC transmission line continues to deliver power despite instability in central Africa. The line's extreme length and difficult logistics resulted in a decision to build two monopolar lines with four switching stations. Converter stations were built so the two converter poles can be operated in parallel with ground return, in case of a monopolar line outage. 

Hitachi Energy signed a contract for the converter stations in 1973, but due to civil unrest in the country (formerly called Zaire), the transmission line was not put into service until 1982. The Inga-Kolwezi link is owned by DRC's national electricity utility, Société nationale d'électricité (SNEL). Each valve hall is equipped with six air-cooled double valves, which at the time featured the highest valve voltage rating in the world. Every single valve has 258 series-connected thyristors.

History of Extensions, Upgrades, and Retrofits

The agreement continues the close collaboration between SNEL and Hitachi Energy over the past 40 years to ensure the link operates at maximum availability and reliability over its long operating life. Hitachi Energy supplied the two converter stations at either end of the link in 1982 and subsequently upgraded them and doubled transmission capacity.

As part of the agreement, Hitachi Energy will assess the precise service needs of the converter stations and develop a preventive maintenance program and supervise its implementation over the next five years. The agreement includes training, knowledge sharing and expertise enhancement of SNEL service personnel.

Main data
Commissioning year: 2017 (upgrade to 1,000 MW)
2009 (upgrade)
Configuration: Bipole
Power transmitted: 1,000 MW (upgrade in 2017)
560 MW
Direct voltage: ±500 kV
Application: Connecting Remote Generation
Connecting Remote Loads
Interconnecting Grids
Extensions, Upgrades, and Retrofits