July 23, 2015,11:00 +0900(JST) My Business Trip to Europe
From July 5 to 8, I went to Europe on business. During that period, a heat wave struck all of Europe, with temperatures reportedly exceeding 40℃ in some regions. In fact, it was awfully hot on the day of my arrival. When I stepped out from the comfortably air-conditioned aircraft into such hot air, I felt my head was spinning.
The purpose of this trip was to express my appreciation to everyone concerned with our group company J-Power Systems Corporation (JPS) having won a contract with Nemo Link Limited (Nemo) for a DC 400 kV. XLPE subsea cable system.
In this project, the cable system consists of a 130-km subsea cable route and an 11.5-km land cable route, connecting the UK and Belgium. Since Nemo, the main body involved in the project, is the joint venture by Belgian ELIA and UK. National Grid, I met the management of the former company in Brussels and that of the latter in London.
▲ In front of the office of National Grid, London
For Sumitomo Electric, winning this project contract is significant for two reasons. First, we have won a contract for a cable system of the 400 kV class, which is the highest level in the world as a commercial operation voltage for a DC transmission XLPE cable system. The other reason is that we have become the first Asian cable manufacturer to win a contract for a long-distance power transmission line connecting countries in EU. At the meetings, the management of the companies held out their hands, saying "We're counting on you," and I firmly shook hands with them, saying "Leave it to us."
To travel from Brussels to London, I took Eurostar, a high-speed train that Europe boasts of to the world. Even Eurostar takes more than 20 minutes to go through the Eurotunnel (approx. 50 km long) under the Dover Strait. Considering that the cable that JPS is expected to deliver will be nearly three times that distance, I could not stop trembling with excitement.
▲ My first ride on the Eurostar