Eltel tests new method to install electricity cables in Finland

Eltel tests new installation method of medium voltage (MV) electricity cables along roads with Elenia Networks (former Vattenfall Networks) in Finland. A totally new level of efficiency has been achieved by using a special trenching machine provided by the French company Marais.

To improve the security of electricity supply during and after extreme weather conditions has urged power utilities to speed up their investments in MV underground cabling. Part of the discussion has been permission to make underground installation along the roads, which has not been possible before in Finland. The local authorities play an important role how the pilot installation will be continued.

Another aspect is the efficiency of installation. Laying cables underground is typically considerably more expensive than building overhead lines. Finding new methods to do it is important to justify the investments and also minimize the price impact of better availability of electricity. Eltel together with Elenia Networks and a local teleoperator have established a pilot project also prepared in close collaboration with the local transportation administration.

“This works”, says the Construction and Procurement Manager Jarkko Kohtala of Elenia Networks. “The work is performed faster, costs are lower and the cables are safe under the ground at times of storms. The equation is simple and we expect this to become more commonplace.” Elenia Networks has built both the new and refurbished medium voltage networks underground since 2009 and doubled its the share of total cabling.

The novelty with the new method is that besides opening trenches the machine lays the cable and covers it with sand. The implementation time is less than half of the traditional method.

For more information:
Juha Luusua, President, Eltel Power Distribution
Tel. +358 40 311 3005, juha.luusua@eltelnetworks.com

Photo and video: Juhani Eskelinen.