EUROPE: Channel Tunnel concessionaire Eurotunnel has awarded GE Power’s Grid Solutions business a contract to supply a static synchronous compensator to improve the stabilisation of the traction power supply in the tunnel.

Announcing the contract on March 22, GE said this would be the world’s largest STATCOM application as part of a railway overhead electrification system.

Almost 400 trains per day pass through the tunnel, and with traffic forecast to increase significantly Eurotunnel wishes to increase the power and stability of its electrification network, in particular to meet peak demand when eight trains are running in the tunnel at the same time.

Michel Boudoussier, Chief Corporate Officer at Eurotunnel’s parent company Getlink, said the STATCOM would ‘put Eurotunnel at the forefront of electrical regulation technology’, support the operation of Siemens Velaro trainsets in the tunnel and enable it to continue to purchase electricity where it is least expensive.