German HVDC cable projects for energy transition

German HVDC cable projects: Prysmian at the core of the European energy transition


SuedLink, SuedOstLink and A-Nord are three state-of-the-art underground HVDC cable links running for hundreds of kilometers across Germany, linking the northern coasts where the wind power is captured by the offshore wind farms to the southern heartland where the clean electricity is needed by households and industry. Prysmian has been chosen by transmission system operators to design, manufacture, transport, store, install, commission, test and put into operation these high-tech cable systems in what is one of Europe’s largest energy infrastructure projects.

Prysmian is producing 525 kV HVDC underground cables which will have a transmission capacity of 2 gigawatts for the SuedLink, 4 gigawatts in total for the SuedOstLink and 1 GW for the A-Nord. The cables feature innovative insulation technologies such as XLPE (SuedLink) and P-Laser (SuedOstLink), which ensure maximum performance, low system losses and high recyclability. To coordinate this massive effort, Prysmian has opened new offices in Würzburg (SuedLink), Bayreuth (SuedOstLink) and Wuppertal (A-Nord) where the highly professional project teams are continuously working under high pressure to successfully implement the execution phase for all three cable systems by 2024.


For SuedLink, Prysmian is producing a total of 1,200 kilometres of cable for a 580-kilometre section of the cable route, and has already manufactured about 160 of these at its centre of excellence for the production of cables in Montereau, France. The hundreds of cable drums needed (each weighing up to 100 tons) are transported by sea and land to storage facilities where they await installation. The production schedule calls for a total of about 260 kilometres to be manufactured by the end of the year. In total, Prysmian will supply about 660 cable drums for the SuedLink – a masterpiece of logistics.

The scale of the SuedOstLink project is equally impressive. Prysmian will supply a total of 828 cable drums with an overall length of about 1,100 cable kilometres for a 280-kilometre section of the route. The cables are produced at Prysmian’s centre of excellence for the production of cables in Gron, France. To date, Prysmian has already delivered 335 cable kilometres on 209 cable drums and transported them by sea and land to the intermediate cable storage facilities in Regensburg and Kelheim.

For A-Nord, Prysmian will produce a 525 kV HVDC cable with a transmission capacity of 1 gigawatt also using P-Laser insulation technology. Gron is ramping up for production, and up to 30 cable drums will be delivered by the end of the year. A team is scouting and finalizing the locations of the intermediate cable storage facilities. In total, Prysmian will produce 960 kilometres of cable for the project.

"We owe our prominent position within the German Energy transition to the tireless efforts of our hardworking project teams, to which we are extremely grateful. Thank you all for your commitment and your contribution.”

Heiko Dirks

Continental Europe Regional Director for Projects BU at Prysmian Group

For three projects of this size, the complex logistical processes and needed to drive the projects forward must be coordinated like clockwork. This includes coordinating the detailed planning with the transmission system operators, defining the routing for the cable transports and managing all the subcontractors and service providers involved. The goal: preparing the cable installation, expected to start for all three projects in 2024.