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    Poland’s first underground cable-laying machine to accelerate PGE’s investments

    The PGE Group is carrying out a strategic programme for Poland’s power sector, the cabling of medium-voltage (MV) networks. By 2026, PGE will increase the share of underground cable lines in its area of operation to min. 30 per cent. In order to do that, the PGE Group has acquired the first underground power cable laying machine of this type in Poland.

    “For the past four years, we in the PGE Group have been pursuing a strategic programme to cable the medium-voltage grid. We plan to exceed 30 per cent of underground networks by 2026. This means that within three years we will cable over 9,000 km of networks in our distribution area while dismantling over 7,000 km of existing overhead lines. For the purposes of the programme, we purchased the first specialised, state-of-the-art machine in Poland, which is capable of laying up to 5 km of cable line per day. This allows us to significantly speed up the implementation of the investment. The lower cost than the traditional method of cable laying is also a tangible benefit,”

    Wojciech Dąbrowski, President of the Management Board of PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna

    Thanks to the use of a modern cable laying machine, not only will the time of investment implementation be shortened, but also the interference with the environment will be reduced due to the method of laying cables underground without the need to create trenches.

    The cabling of medium-voltage networks is one of the most important tasks for the PGE Group. Within the area of operations of PGE Dystrybucja, the total length of power lines exceeds 380,000 km, of which 115,000 km are MV lines. The company uses them to supply energy to over 5.5 million customers in eastern and central Poland. PGE Dystrybucja has already nearly 26,000 km of cabled medium-voltage lines in its territory, which accounts for nearly 22.5 per cent of the company’s MV lines. The conversion of the overhead grid into an underground one will eliminate the need to carry out cyclical maintenance operations related to the operation of the overhead network, such as cutting branches and trees within the lines. The ongoing Cable Programme will increase the reliability and dependability of the network, thereby ensuring the continuity of electricity supply to consumers, regardless of weather conditions.

    “The realisation of such an ambitious task is possible thanks to the company’s continuous development. Our largest investments are related to increasing energy security for consumers. This is why the modernisation and development of the medium-voltage electricity network have been planned in such detail. The underground lines, compared to overhead lines, are resistant to damage from the weather. It is violent gales, heavy snowfall or torrential rain that are sometimes the most frequent cause of mass failure. By placing cable lines underground, the risk of unplanned disconnections is significantly reduced,”

    Jarosław Kwasek, President of the Management Board, PGE Dystrybucja

    Investments in medium-voltage grid cabling are supported by funds from a new share issue carried out by PGE in 2022 worth PLN 3.2 billion. Half of the funds were earmarked for investments in a network infrastructure related to the energy transition.

    For the cable laying of MV lines, PGE Dystrybucja purchased specialised machinery using the trenchless ploughing cable laying system. The set-up consists of two vehicles. The laying unit has a plough blade that allows infinite adjustment of the depth of cable laying and a ‘floating fin’ function, which allows flexible adaptation to any curvature and unevenness of the terrain. The extraction vehicle anchors to the ground with a stabilising plate and pulls the plough with a constant force of up to 180 tonnes through any terrain or water laying a cable run. Cable laying is carried out from drums mounted on the structure of the laying machine and cable trailer.

    The only such modern underground cable-laying machine in Poland!
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