American Superconductor & LS Cable of Korea Form Strategic Business Alliance

October 05, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

American Superconductor Corp. (AMSC) and LS Cable Ltd. recently formed a strategic alliance to advance commercial sales of superconductor cables. Under the alliance, LS Cable and AMSC will work collaboratively to deploy at least 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) of superconductor power cables in commercial power grids over the next five years.

LS Cable’s superconductor cable systems will utilize AMSC’s proprietary second generation (2G) high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire, branded as 344 superconductors. This strategic alliance ensures that LS Cable will have an ongoing supply of high-quality HTS wire from AMSC. Founded in 1962 and based in Anyang, South Korea, LS Cable is Korea’s largest power cable manufacturer with nearly 8,200 employees worldwide and annual sales in excess of US$6 Billion.

"LS Cable is committed to advancing the broad adoption of superconductor cable systems to address the power demands and grid reliability challenges faced by electric utilities today," said Joon Hyung Cho, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of LS Cable. "With several superconductor demonstrations already complete, Korea’s power grid is set to undergo continued upgrades in the years to come. We formed this strategic alliance with AMSC to advance the commercial production of superconductor cable systems to support Korea’s grid of the future. We are delighted to expand our relationship with AMSC and secure the best-in-class superconductor wire needed to manufacture our commercial superconductor cable systems."

AMSC states that power cables made with its HTS wire can conduct up to 10 times the amount of power of conventional cables, which are made with copper wire. They can be placed strategically in the power grid to draw flow from overtaxed conventional cables or overhead lines to mitigate grid congestion experienced in urban centers. They also automatically suppress dangerous power surges to create resilient, ’self-healing’ Smart Grids that can survive attacks and natural disasters, making them an ideal modernization tool for metropolitan power grids.

"LS Cable is widely recognized as one of the world’s most respected power cable manufacturers and innovators," said Dan McGahn, Senior Vice President and General Manager of AMSC Superconductors. "This strategic agreement sends a powerful message about LS Cable’s near-term plans for building the superconductor power cable market. LS Cable and AMSC both see tremendous opportunities inside and outside Korea for commercial deployments of transmission and distribution superconductor cable systems."

AMSC also announced recently that LS Cable is currently working with the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI) to develop a 100-meter, 154 kilovolt (kV) superconductor cable system that it plans to install in Gochang, South Korea’s power grid in 2011. The system will utilize approximately 13 kilometers (8 miles) of AMSC’s 344 superconductors. This will be Korea’s first superconductor power cable demonstration at transmission voltages (voltages greater than 69kV).

AMSC recently announced separately that it has formed "AMSC Korea" to locally serve the region’s rapidly developing renewable energy and power grid sectors as well as the company’s existing strategic relationships. The incorporated division will provide local sales and field service as well as applied engineering services for AMSC’s Korean customers, which include LS Cable, KEPCO, KERI, Doosan Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries.