The Austrian newspaper NÖN featured NBG last Friday, sharing a few of our exciting developments in fiber optic technology. Highlighted in this article is a recent project in which our armored cable, as part of an OPGW, will protect the power lines for the EVN project between Gmünd and Groß Gerungs.
The cable is just one example from our FIMT (Fiber in Metal Tube) portfolio, and it now becomes part of the more comprehensive EVN project. EVN, a local energy supplier, is building a new 110 kV high-voltage line between the substations in Gmünd and Groß Gerungs, and the project is set to be completed by Autumn. The plan will increase the security of the power supply for everyone in the region. In total, the project will cost 16 million Euros; 83 power poles will be erected over a length of 23.3 km, which will be equipped with approximately 140 km of conductor cables.
NÖN detailed our involvement in the project, highlighting our impressive production of 88 km of FIMT for Lumpi Berndorf, who will implement it into their cable. Our robust tubes protect the optical fiber from environmental influences such as lightning, guaranteeing high performance and reliability for the entire area. EVN spokesman, Stefan Zach, commented that the cables would be primarily used for internal communication in the power grid to control the power and monitor any changes remotely. Additionally, the cables could also be used by third parties such as telecom providers.
In the 90s, only four fibers could be installed in one cable. The FIMT we produced for the EVN project includes 144 fibers: 48 fibers are placed in one metal tube, and 3 of these tubes are stranded together. As a result, every household in the catchment area along the route will enjoy a new era of faster data transmission through fiber optics.
We produce the highest quality optical fiber in Europe at our state-of-the-art facilities. Jochen Danninger, a member of the State Economic Council, recently praised our company premises, “It’s wonderful that you’re doing this in Lower Austria.” Danninger and his guests were particularly impressed about our latest project, a modern glass fiber preform production with an investment sum of over 50 million Euros.
NBG Tube operations manager Anton Grünstäudl said that the EVN project is one that “our grandchildren will still benefit from.” Although his 28-year career includes various exciting projects and achievements, including a few hundred kilometers of underwater cable in the Nile Delta, the regional EVN project is perhaps the most important to him because his direct family will benefit from it for generations.
Orders are coming in regularly and fast at our factory. KommR Karl Bauer, founder and owner of NBG, said, “So far, we have only had one single Covid case. For NBG, however, the virus brought an extreme upswing.” This upswing is primarily due to Austria having a lot of catching up to do in broadband infrastructure.
The fiber alone only accounts for just one percent of the installation costs, but it acts as a nerve center once in place. “For example, we use the glass fiber to check structures such as towers, tunnels, and bridges for their health, but we can also make large areas sensitive for border controls,” KommR Karl Bauer added, referring to our ability to protect critical infrastructures or borders by sensing vibrations on a fence or directly in the ground. Once the network is in place, it can then be deployed for various functions, helping to create a smart city.
We’re currently working on a pilot project for Vienna to make parking areas sensitive. The optical fiber will read and relay information to share the nearest available parking space. So the stressful search for a free parking spot will be over as soon as our fiber optic sensing system is implemented.
We thank NÖN once again for covering our recent developments and sharing the exciting happenings in fiber optics with a broader audience.