German transmission system operator (TSO) Amprion has offered Italian cable manufacturer Prysmian preferred bidder status for supplying cables for the BalWin1 and BalWin2 projects and underground cable project DC34 in Germany.

The aggregate value of the contracts is €4.5bn ($4.8bn). A preferred bidder agreement puts an obligation on the parties to negotiate the outstanding items of the projects.

The targeted date to execute the final contracts is 15 January 2024.

Prysmian has committed to reserving production and installation capacity until that date.

The three projects are part of Germany’s plan to install 70GW of offshore wind projects by 2045. They will help to transmit the energy generated in the North Sea to the western and southern regions of the country.

Prysmian Group projects business unit executive vice-president Hakan Ozmen stated: “Prysmian is highly committed to the development of greener and smarter power grids, supporting Amprion as one of our key customers in its important energy transition targets.”

BalWin1 and BalWin2 are two high voltage direct current (HVDC) grid stations each, with 2GW of HVDC offshore and onshore substations. BalWin1 will come online in December 2029, and BalWin2 in December 2030.

They will transmit electricity generated from future offshore wind farms in the German North Sea BalWin Cluster to onshore grid connection points in Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia.

The cable systems to be used will include two single-core ±525 kV HVDC copper cables with XLPE insulation for the submarine sections and P-Laser insulation for the land underground sections along with a dedicated metallic return cable and a fibre optic cable.

BalWin1 will use 1,070km of cables along a 358km route. BalWin2 will use 1,100km of cables over 376km.

Amprion selected Dragados Offshore and Siemens Energy to develop, build and deliver both the BalWin grid stations.

The two stations will supply enough electricity for four million people.

DC34 is part of the Rhein-Main-Link, which will connect the substation in Lower Saxony to a second substation in Hesse to transmit 2GW of energy from offshore wind farms.

The 2,100km cable system for the project will include two single-core ±525 kV HVDC copper cables with P-Laser insulation and a dedicated metallic return cable.

Amprion chief technical officer Hendrik Neumann stated: “This agreement is a huge step towards realising these three important projects in time. Thus, the major components for our offshore projects are secured until 2030.”