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Large power supply project for new railway put into operation | Updated: 2024-06-14 16:23
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An elevated view of the 220 kV power supply project for the Shizuishan South Traction Substation of the Baotou-Yinchuan High-speed Railway. [Photo provided to]

The 220-kilovolt external power supply project of the Ningxia Shizuishan South Traction Substation of the Baotou-Yinchuan High-speed Railway was put into operation on Friday, marking the official operation of the first traction substation in the high-speed railway's Ningxia section. This provides a reliable power supply for the opening of the high-speed railway.

The Baotou-Yinchuan High-speed Railway has a total length of 518 kilometers and is a key part of the "eight vertical and eight horizontal" high-speed railway network planned by the national medium- and long-term railway network. It is also a major project in China's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and a significant transportation infrastructure project under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. It is also the first high-speed railway line in China that connects two autonomous regions of ethnic minorities.

Since the high-speed railway itself does not have its own power source, the power for its operation and control systems comes from the traction substations. Therefore, providing stable power to the traction substations is crucial to ensuring the safe, reliable and stable operation of the railways. The Ningxia section of the Baotou-Yinchuan High-speed Railway is equipped with two traction substations — Shizuishan South and Yinchuan's Luhua village. The Shizuishan South Traction Substation located in Huiqu district of Shizuishan city is the first high-speed railway traction substation in the area.

To ensure the power supply of the Shizuishan South, State Grid Shizuishan Power Supply Company invested 66.33 million yuan ($9.14 million) in the construction of its 220-kV external power supply project, which involves a total line length of 27.5 kilometers and 75 newly built towers.

Marketing service personnel from State Grid Shizuishan Power Supply Company inspect electrical equipment in the Shizuishan South Traction Substation. [Photo provided to]

The project mainly includes one main supply line and one backup supply line to provide a double guarantee. One of the power sources comes from the 220-kV Chengguan Substation. After building a new line of 18 km using 1×JL3/G1A-240/30 Aluminium conductor steel reinforced conductors and 48 single-loop and double-loop towers, the power became available. The other power source comes from the 220-kV Lanshan Substation, with a new line of 9.5 km using 1×JL3/G1A-240/30 ACSR conductors. The project involves the construction of 27 single-loop angle bar trays.

The Lanshan section of the Baotou-Yinchuan High-speed Railway was completed at the end of April 2023. The Chengguan section started construction in December 2023. The route of this section is complex as it passes through many administrative areas such as Pingluo county, Dawukou district and Huinong district. It also passes through some ecologically sensitive areas such as water source protection zones, wetland protection areas and farmland, involving the drilling of more than 20 10-kV and above power lines. Additionally, it will cross over the Baotou-Lanzhou Railway, Baotou-Yinchuan High-speed Railway, Wuhai-Maqin Expressway and 302 provincial road, presenting significant challenges to the construction of the project.

State Grid Shizuishan Power Supply Company made forward-looking plans and meticulous arrangements to tackle the issues. It learned about customers' electricity demands. The company considered the key investment plans of both government and industrial parks. They actively communicated with Baotou-Yinchuan High-speed Railway's client, understood their requirement and initiated early-stage work on complementary power grid projects. Additionally, they established internal coordination mechanisms utilizing a dual-manager service mechanism involving close work between customer managers and project managers. The staff members also coordinated various departments to speed up surveying, review, acceptance and power-on processes to ensure a prompt electricity supply to users. Moreover, they aimed to reduce users' costs by assisting in the construction of traction substation, identifying and rectifying key issues, and laying a solid foundation for project delivery. In accordance with local business environment policies, they worked for the greater accessibility and affordability of the clients.

During the construction process, State Grid Shizuishan Power Supply Company took various measures to reasonably arrange key tasks; coordinate key elements such as project safety, quality, and progress; and assigned dedicated personnel for on-site guidance. They also collected information on project's energy planning and production scheduling, strengthened coordination with enterprises in key stages such as project construction, testing and debugging. Utilizing mechanisms such as special meetings for key projects and tracking supervision, the company ensured the timely completion of key processes and tasks, laying a solid foundation for the successful operation of the project.

Furthermore, to reduce construction and operational risks, the project construction adopted a fully mechanized construction method throughout the process. At the line crossing sites, a digital three-dimensional design was used to make detailed modeling, so as to achieve precise tower positioning, smarter distancing of towers and three-dimensional visualization. Those tools enhanced accuracy and design efficiency, with a risk reduction rate of 80 percent. Additionally, the entire project construction utilized new materials such as energy-saving conductors, high-strength steel towers and energy-saving fittings to support the green and low-carbon development.

The 220-kV power supply project for the Shizuishan South Traction Substation of the Baotou-Yinchuan High-speed Railway is a key project for the operation of the high-speed railway. Once completed, it will provide stable and reliable power for the operation of the railway. This project plays an important role in better leveraging the BRI for the development of the West China, strengthening economic ties between Ningxia and North China, and supporting the construction of pilot projects and the high-quality development of Ningxia Hui autonomous region.

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