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Installing ground wires – with the power still on

Installing ground wires – with the power still on

Installing ground wires – with the power still on

SAG Elektrovod was commissioned to dismantle a 20-kilometer ground wire of a 400 kV line and replace it with a new combined fiber-optic cable with 24 fiber bundles.


SAG Elektrovod has successfully completed a project that proved very challenging from an occupational safety perspective. The team was commissioned by Slovakian grid operator SEPS a.s. (Slovenska elektrizacna prenosova sustava) to dismantle the 20-kilometer ground wire of a 400 kV line and replace it with a new combined fiber-optic cable with 24 fiber bundles. In the Križovany – Bohunice power plant (EBO) section, the route connects and enables rapid communication between several transformer stations.

“After that, we connected the new ground wire with the optical route EBO – Bošáca,” explains project manager Tibor Kovalík. “We also added an optical conductor storage unit to the existing conduit in Križovany.”

Strict occupational safety

“We dismantled the ground wire and installed the new cable without having to switch off the existing V044 high-voltage current,” adds site manager Dr. Peter Pavlik.“ That meant the work had to be carried out under very strict occupational safety regulations and with incredible precision.” As it was essential that any work close to the currentcarrying cables was done very carefully, only experienced fitters were used in this project.

“Everyone in the team had to be extremely disciplined. Even the smallest error could have had devastating effects on the health and lives of our employees.” Site foremen Ján Friščák and Jozef Dorko took it in turns to be on site, so there was always someone present to ensure the work was carried out safely.

The work was completed three days before the agreed deadline. “Our client made a point of thanking us for that,” emphasizes Tibor Kovalik. “That gratitude must be shared with everyone who was part of the successful implementation of this project.”

Pictures: SAG