Transporting steel transmission towers that stand 204 meters tall and weigh 1,680 tons each is one of the many challenges for heavy-lift contractors working to expand China’s ultra-high voltage power line network.
The UHV expansion effort, now in its eighth year, is designed to better connect China’s eastern cities with power plants in distant western and northern regions, thus reducing the need for polluting coal-fired power plants in the east.
UHV is considered an efficient means of transmitting power over long distances. But building China’s transmission system – which includes huge towers, transformers and other equipment – has been a formidable task.
Last year, according to a report in the Da Zhong Daily newspaper, Shandong province led the nation in UHV construction projects. Officials at State Grid, one of China’s two, state-run transmission companies, said eight projects were underway last year, bringing total UHV investment in Shandong to 42 billion yuan.
Eventually, the report said, about one-third of Shandong’s electricity is expected to be imported from other parts of the country via UHV lines. The imported power is expected to cut the province’s power-providing coal demand by 75 million tons a year.
Photo: Workers installing a UHV transmission line