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28 June, 2006 - 12:03 By Staff Reporter

Powering up the future for China

EDF Energy Networks in the East of England and engineering consultant PB Power have joined forces to examine power demands in China.

This partnership will see the companies combining their individual areas of expertise to report on how the rapidly expanding city of Nanjing can manage future growth in demand for electricity and also to provide enhanced training to Chinese engineers.

Both the training and the report will showcase best practice for planning and running power networks for densely-populated cities and will be shared with other cities and provinces across China.

The consortium was chosen over a number of rivals to provide consultancy services to the State Grid Corporation of China.

PB Power has many years of consultancy experience working with power distribution companies around the world whilst EDF Energy Networks has first-hand knowledge of running electricity networks for power-hungry cities such as London.

This, combined with EDF Energy Networks’ heritage of being part of EDF Group, a company responsible for operating the French power network (including the one in Paris) and with generation interests in China, helped the companies beat off stiff international competition to achieve the winning bid for the contract.

Despite having a wealth of engineering knowledge within China; the country’s State Grid Corporation chose to look internationally to see what could be learnt overseas in running power networks.

EDF Energy Networks and PB Power have spent time in China to review the current running arrangement of the power network in Nanjing and are working closely with the local power distributor, the Nanjing Power Supply Company.

As part of the contract, engineering experts from PB Power are currently providing lectures to Chinese engineers in Nanjing about western power networks. During the summer around 60 Chinese engineers will visit PB Power offices for further training and also visit key EDF Energy Networks’ sites in the East of England to gain first hand experience of how the company runs its networks.

Areas of combined interest will include:-

o Tunnelling projects – the difficulty of securing trench routes to install underground electricity cables in a congested environment led the companies to look at more ways of installing network. EDF Energy Networks has more than 20 years’ experience in installing tunnels, such as the £17million project underway to install a new cable tunnel in central London.

o Automation – the system to remotely detect faults on a network and route power via healthy zones was one of the first of its kind for both London and the UK

o Underground substations – with space being a premium in densely-populated cities such as London and Nanjing, underground substations provide a convenient way for installing essential electrical equipment required to distribute power.

Barry Hatton, EDF Energy Networks director of capital programme said: "Nanjing is currently experiencing an increase in demand for power of around 10 per cent year on year, which is phenomenal.

"With this level of demand, the State Grid Corporation has chosen to look at how other energy companies manage their networks – we are delighted to share our experiences."





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