TenneT awards mega contract for high-voltage AC cables in the Netherlands and Germany to eight partners

/INS. System operator TenneT has signed a multi-year contract (Corporate Framework Agreement) with eight contract partners following a tendering procedure. These parties will supply and install the cables for the 110, 150, 220 and 380 kV onshore high-voltage AC connections in Germany and the Netherlands on behalf of TenneT in the coming years.

Availability of materials and resources

This so-called Corporate Framework Agreement ensures the availability of materials and resources to realise the planned high-voltage projects on time. In the coming years, we will construct some 900 km of high-voltage in Germany and TenneT will realise some 4,000 km of high-voltage in the Netherlands. The total estimated contract value of this extensive award is €1.5 billion, of which one half is designated to investments in Germany and the other half to the Netherlands. 

Sjouke Bootsma, Director Supply Chain management at TenneT is delighted with the outcome of the tender: 'We need reliable, proactive and innovative partners with high quality and safety standards. We are really looking forward to working closely with the partners in the coming years.'

Speed and simplification of projects

The transition from fossil to renewable energy demands a lot from the power grid. Households are switching to heat pumps, roofs are full of solar panels, wind farms provide sustainably generated energy, and businesses and industry want to switch to electricity en masse. In order to meet this demand, TenneT has to substantially expand the high-voltage grid. This not only requires a lot of specialised work, such as engineering work, it also demands speed and simplification in the execution of projects.

Partnership - fast deliveries

By building a long-term relationship with eight contract partners, TenneT expects to invest in smart ways of working and fast deliveries together with the parties. Especially in times of scarcity and capacity shortages, working together is crucial. Within the Framework Agreements, suppliers know what their portfolio will look like in the coming years. With that knowledge, market parties can stock up on standard materials. And although we have no obligation to purchase, this way we make it easier and more efficient for the projects. Selected projects can then have their cables delivered on demand which, compared to the current way of working, is a time saving of just under six months. Due to the larger scope within German projects and projects outside the standard cable system, we work with mini-competitions. Therefore a standardized way of project-specific tendering incl. templates is implemented. This also results in substantial time savings of around three months on average.

Technical developments

TenneT realises that expanding the electricity grid involves a lot of work. That is one of the reasons for working intensively with these specialised companies. By focusing on long-term partnerships that create a stable collaboration, parties can focus more on innovation and adjust the production process and machinery. Specifically, we will see this reflected in improved materials and design optimisation in the coming years. And, more importantly, we see more and more opportunities to develop longer cables in one piece (depending on the voltage level) up to 5,000 metres.

Where we currently still work with cables of around 1,500 metres, within two years we will already be laying cables with a length of 3 to 3.5 kilometres. Lengths that can soon also be realised with drilling. And that really is a step forward in terms of burdening the environment during construction, but also in terms of failures, speed and so on.

In the coming years, the following companies will supply the cables for TenneT's projects:

  • Brugg Kabel GmbH (Germany/Switzerland)
  • LS Cable & System Ltd. (South Korea)
  • NKT GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)
  • Prysmian Netherlands B.V. (The Netherlands)
  • Südkabel GmbH (Germany)
  • Taihan Netherlands B.V. (The Netherlands/South Korea)
  • TBEA Shandong Luneng Taishan Cable Co., Ltd. (China)
  • TKF BV Twentsche Kabelfabriek (The Netherlands)



Eefje van Gorp


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TenneT Holding B.V. and TenneT TSO B.V.

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