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Special cable-laying technology saves time and effort
With a technique that has never before been used in Berlin, a 110-kilovolt cable is being laid underground at the northeastern edge of the city. A cable plough from the Austrian company IFK will plough the ready-welded cable pipes into the ground to a depth of 2.30 m. At a later date, the 110 kV plastic cables can then be pulled through the pipes without any additional digging work. Stromnetz Berlin GmbH decided on the innovative ploughing technique, both to avoid a complicated procedure involving groundwater lowering, and interfering with the area, which is used for agriculture. Unlike the usual open deep digging technique, this cable-laying technology does not mix the layers of soil.
The ground along the line is merely "aired" slightly. With up to 200 tonnes of force, the cable plough then pulls the prepared empty pipes into the ground and then presses the ground back to its original position.
Across a total length of 1,750 metres, Stromnetz Berlin GmbH is laying the new high-voltage cable in the northernmost region of Pankow on the border with Brandenburg. The work is connected to the six-lane expansion of the A10 motorway, and the planned construction of the "Am Kappgraben" service area between the motorway junctions at Pankow and Barnim. For the expansion, parts of an existing 110 kV overhead powerline between the Malchow node and the Buch substation are to be replaced by the cable.
At an on-site press meeting, Thomas Schäfer, chairman of the board of Stromnetz Berlin, expressed how impressed he was with the technology. "The growing city of Berlin needs modern infrastructure. In order to achieve this, new and innovative methods must be used. I'm happy that we've managed to successfully use the technology to almost completely avoid interfering with the local agriculture, and also to shorten the building time of the project significantly."
The building works should be finished by the end of November and the new cable ready to use. After this, the overhead powerline and its pylons will be dismantled. This will take until mid April 2017.