Eurotunnel awarded GE Power’s Grid Solutions (NYSE: GE) a contract to supply a Static Synchronous Compensator (STATCOM), to improve the stabilization of the power supply on the catenary traction system of the France/UK Channel Tunnel. The new system will be stationed in Folkestone, Kent. Once complete, this project will be the world’s largest STATCOM application connected to a catenary traction system.
With more than 4.2 million vehicles and 20 million passengers crossing the Channel through the Tunnel each year, Eurotunnel is recognized as the world leading and busiest rolling motorway in the world with almost 400 trains per day. With traffic forecast to increase significantly in the next few years, Eurotunnel needs to increase the power and stability of the network to ensure a constant flow of traffic and in particular to intensify peak traffic, when 8 trains are running simultaneously in the Channel Tunnel.
Michel Boudoussier, Chief Corporate Officer at Getlink commented “Our choice to go with GE’s’ STATCOM puts Eurotunnel at the forefront of electric regulation technology for new generation trains (Velaro) as well as continuing to benefit from purchasing electricity where it is least expensive.”
GE Power’s Grid Solutions will custom design and supply the entire STATCOM system, which will provide Eurotunnel with reactive power compensation and improved range of operational voltage leading to a faster response time. Additionally, this technology has a smaller physical footprint than traditional SVC3 systems. STATCOM is a flexible solution which will help Eurotunnel navigate a highly dynamic grid and ensure optimal performance of their assets.
“Providing a stable and consistent flow of electricity to this tunnel is critical. We are excited to help upgrade the traction network for the UK/France Channel and enable millions of passengers to travel safely and efficiently from point A to point B,” said Rajendra Iyer, GE Power’s Grid Solutions FACTS & HVDC General Manager. “GE’s STATCOM technology is the prime solution to ensure power stability in the tunnel and help navigate the complex environment that our customers are facing today.”
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Getlink (Euronext Paris: GET and London Stock Exchange: GETS) manages the infrastructure of the Channel Tunnel and operates accompanied truck shuttle and passenger shuttle (car and coach) services between Folkestone, UK and Calais, France. Eurotunnel holds the concession until 2086 to operate the Channel Tunnel, the fastest, most reliable, easiest and most environmentally friendly way to cross the Channel. In 24 years, around 400 million people have used the Channel Tunnel. This unique land crossing has become a vital link between the continent and the United Kingdom. The Group also runs a rail freight business through its subsidiary Europorte, which offers a wide range of integrated rail freight services and an electrical interconnector through its subsidiary ElecLink.
GE Media Contact: Eurotunnel Media contacts:
Caroline Kozik Anne-Laure Desclèves: +33 1 40 98 04 64
+33 149 016 306 John Keefe: +33 3.21.00.44.91