Hiroaki Nakanishi, Chairman & CEO, Hitachi Ltd and (right) Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO, ABB.

ABB, a leader in power and automation technologies, and Hitachi, a global provider of best-in-class products and services, have announced an agreement to form a joint venture for high voltage direct current (HVDC) system solutions in Japan, a news release said. The new entity, to be based in Tokyo, will be responsible for the design, engineering, supply and after-sales services related to the DC system of HVDC projects bringing in ABB’s latest technologies to the Japanese market where Hitachi will be the prime contractor.

Hitachi and ABB will take equity interests of 51 per cent and 49 per cent, respectively. This is the first step of a strategic partnership between Hitachi and ABB to contribute to the evolution of Japan’s power network. Hitachi and ABB will explore further strengthening of the relationship and address opportunities to widen the scope for future collaboration.

The joint venture is expected to commence operations in the coming months, subject to the necessary approvals and statutory procedures.


HVDC“Since the first development in the 1970s, Hitachi has participated in every HVDC project in Japan and has continued to underpin the stabilisation of the electricity grid. I am confident that the establishment of a new company combining the strengths of Hitachi and ABB will provide a framework for the timely provision of the new technologies required by the Japanese HVDC market. By enhancing and expanding the HVDC business through its partnership with ABB, which has a strong performance record in the global market, Hitachi will continue to contribute to the stabilisation of Japan’s electric power grid,” said Hiroaki Nakanishi, Chairman & CEO, Hitachi, Ltd.

Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO, ABB, noted, “ABB pioneered HVDC 60 years ago and has continually pushed the boundaries of this technology. Our presence across half the world’s installed base and our capability to develop and manufacture all major components of the HVDC value chain inhouse have put us in a leading position in the industry. We are proud to enter into this partnership with Hitachi with a solid reputation and extensive 100-year long experience in the Japanese market. Together, we can build on our complimentary strengths to play our part in the evolution of Japan’s power infrastructure.”

HVDC is a technology used for transmitting electricity between two grid systems. The supply side power is converted from alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) before being transmitted, and it is then converted back to AC in the receiving side system for use. The system is ideal for long-distance transmission due to its ability to minimise electricity losses and to its lower space requirements and construction costs. It is also suited well for interconnections between two different frequencies.

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