1975 Large-scale Construction Project outside Japan
After the first oil crisis, many countries, including Japan, faced an economic downturn. Meanwhile, many large projects were undertaken in the Middle East. Sumitomo Electric made efforts to enter the Middle East market. In 1975, it received an order for a TS-19 project (construction of a large transmission line) for the first time from Iran Power Generation and Transmission Company. In 1977, it also received an order for a TS-28 project. During the same period, Sumitomo Electric received orders for large construction projects in other countries. The transmission line construction group was integrated with the underground line construction group to launch the Power Cable Construction Div. and strengthen the business organization.
The TS-19 project, for which Sumitomo Electric received an order for the first time in Iran, aimed to supply electricity from the Persian Gulf in the south to the Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex in the central part of the country. While most of the southern part is desert, the central part is highland of over 3,000 m above sea level. Such extreme conditions made this project difficult. Meanwhile, the TS-28 project aimed to connect the Neka Power Plant on the coast of the Caspian Sea in the north with Tehran, the capital of Iran, which suffered from an electricity shortage, by a transmission line of about 300 km to supply electricity. Construction in the low and soft ground area on the coast of the Caspian Sea (spanning about 40 km) and the steep area from less than 100 m above sea level to 2,600 m above sea level (spanning about 30 km) was extremely tough because these areas were constantly moist.
These projects required construction work under severe conditions. In the desert area in the southern part of the country, the temperature exceeded 122°F (50°C) under the blazing sun in midsummer. In the central part, the temperature dropped to nearly −22°F (−30°C) in winter. There were various unexpected situations, but the know-how derived from the experience was highly useful in subsequent construction projects undertaken by Sumitomo Electric. The TS-19 project was completed in March 1978. The TS-28 project was delayed due partly to the Iranian Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War and was completed in February 1982.