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CESI acquired KEMA and the world leadership for electricity testing

October 17, 2019

Abstract : The laboratory, based in Milan and controlled by Terna and Enel, makes a qualitative leap in its activities for the electricity sector – in which it is already a leader in the design of high and very high voltage connections – acquiring a Dutch laboratory with 2,000 technicians.

MILAN, Oct. 11 (Class Editori) – DNV GL, the largest company of independent energy and renewable energy experts in the world, and CESI, an Italian world leader in testing, inspection and technical consultancy services for the electricity sector, agreed to transfer ownership of the Dutch company Kema Laboratories to CESI.

CESI, which is controlled by Terna and Enel, made a qualitative leap that has earned it the world leadership in independent testing of electromechanical components for the electricity sector. That is a changing sector for what concerns intercontinental connections and the energy transition toward clean and renewable energy sources.

The acquisition includes all the high voltage testing, inspection and certification activities carried out at the laboratories owned by Kema in Arnhem (The Netherlands), Prague (Czech Republic) and Chalfont (USA) and the personnel. The transaction will be completed by the end of 2019 and will be subject to the ordinary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Kema's testing and inspection laboratories include the largest high-voltage laboratory in the world, with short-circuit power up to 10,000 MVA and the first laboratory in the world capable of testing ultra-high-voltage components for supergrids, as well as the Flex Power Grid Laboratory, for advanced testing of smart grid components.

"CESI will own the most cutting-edge testing laboratories in the world, located in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic and the United States," explained Matteo Codazzi, CEO of CESI, "we are creating the independent world leader in testing and inspections for the energy industry. Together, CESI and KEMA are uniquely positioned in the sector to offer customers from all over the world the best services to meet the challenges posed by the energy transition".

All KEMA energy consultants will continue to work for DNV GL, which will also maintain all the consultancy services implemented so far, together with testing and verification services for power outages, battery tests and tests on transformer oil samples and smart grid tests.

DNV GL, founded in 2013 from the merger between the Norwegian DNV and the Dutch company GL, which currently has 12,500 employees operating in over 100 countries, is a global player in consulting, testing and certification in the maritime, oil & gas and gas sectors. energy, as well as in food and healthcare. 

Found back in 1956 in Milan, CESI, the Italian experimental electrotechnical center, has become a reference point both in the field of testing and certification of electromechanical components and in the analysis and studies for the design and operation of infrastructure systems. It currently operates in more than 40 countries around the world, with a network of almost a thousand professionals.

Along the new Silk Roads - from China to Central Asia, from Africa to the Middle East and Europe – CESI is perhaps the most committed Italian company to the experimentation of new technologies and the building of the electricity infrastructures that will bring energy from the most developed economies to the developing ones. The order obtained in Germany had a exemplary role to test the safety and reliability of the cables that will form the three German HDVC corridors that will allow the transfer of wind power collected from the North Sea and the Baltic Sea areas and destined to large cities and industrial complexes located in the Ruhr area and in southern Germany. The three corridors will be the longest electric backbones in the world: 2,000 kilometers, capable of bringing electricity to more than 4.5 million people in Germany by 2030.

One of the last order assigned to CESI by the State Grid Corporation of China (Sgcc) concerns the Northwest 750kV Power Transmission Extension project. CESI will analyse the transformers production process and inspect routine and type tests. For Shanghai Sieyuan High Voltage Switchgear, CESI carried out all the necessary tests in Milan laboratories to obtain a certification compliant to IEC standards, which guarantees that electrical equipment can be safely installed in networks around the world.

However, it is thanks to the Casa-1000 Project that the Belt & Road Initiative is actually taking shape. The company was in fact hired by the utility companies of Tajikistan, Bark-i-Tojik, Afghanistan (Breshna Sherkat) and the Pakistani National Transmission & Dispatch Company. "The project involves the construction of the largest power interconnection line in Asia, which will link the central and southern parts of the continent, bringing the energy produced by the hydroelectric plants in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to Pakistan, passing through Afghanistan," explained Codazzi.

Moreover, EuroAfrica Interconnector Limited involved the Milan laboratory to carry out the analysis, both from a socio-economic point of view and in terms of integration of renewable sources and the adequacy of the electrical systems of the countries involved, in one of the most impressive projects. It consists of the energy connection between Europe and the Mashreq countries (Egypt, Jordan and Syria), made possible by a cable of 1,707 km, a world record for interconnection, laid at sea at 3 thousand meters depth. The infrastructure will connect Attica, in mainland Greece, to Egypt, via Crete and Cyprus. "Its realization opens up the possibility of integrating the European electricity market with the one of the Gulf countries, which have long been pushing in this direction," highlighted Codazzi. It is precisely in the Gulf countries that CESI has become one of the leading renewable energy consultants in Bahrain, the UAE and above all in Saudi Arabia, where it is implementing a top quality testing laboratory with Saudi Electricity company, which will manage the laboratory for the next 30 years.

In Africa, CESI was also chosen as technical consultant by the West Africa Power Pool (Wapp), a project funded by the World Bank to improve and promote the exchange of electricity between about twenty countries, including Morocco, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal. The Opérateur du Système Electrique utility company in Algeria is jointly working with CESI on the development of renewable energies. CESI is also working with another utility company in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Electric Power, which is a consultant for the realization of the Ethiopia-Sudan Eep Setco interconnection (Extra High Voltage Power System). Another CESI area of activity is structural engineering. The experience achieved in this field has been successfully applied to the decommissioning of nuclear power plants. The flagship of the company is the work carried out in the construction of the first Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant sarcophagus.

(Source:Class Editori)

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