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Atel Transmission Ltd. to replace the highest mountain-top mast

Atel Transmission Ltd. is replacing the highest-altitude mast on the 380 kV power line between Lavorgo and Mettlen at the end of August. The reason: problems in winter with a snow cornice that tended to grow dangerously close to the conductor cables. The new mast will be 16.3 metres taller than its predecessor, with the cost of replacement running to around 1 million Swiss francs.

New pylon at 2,490 metres

The highest mast in the entire Atel Transmission Ltd. electricity grid is stationed 2,490 metres above sea level in the Mittelplatten area, which lies between the Etzlital (Silenen, canton of Uri) and Val Milà (Tujetsch, canton of Graubünden). The mast is part of the key 380 kV power line over the Lukmanier pass. In winter, a large snow cornice regularly develops here which could reach up to the conductor cables. To prevent that from happening, it was necessary to blast the cornice and shovel the snow away several times each winter. Atel Transmission Ltd. decided to replace the Mittelplatten mast with another one at the same site, but 16.3 metres taller. This measure will expand the minimum clearance between the cables and the snow to at least 9.2 metres, even if the cornice grows exceptionally large.

The new steel lattice mast will be 43.5 metres tall. The Lukmanier line will be out of service during three weeks of dismantling and assembly, from 21 August to 10 September 2006. The replacement operation will cost around 1 million Swiss francs.

The masts carrying the 380 kV Lavorgo-Mettlen line between Amsteg and Disentis were erected in 1949. In parallel with the mast replacement operation at Mittelplatten, Atel Transmission Ltd. is carrying out a summer replacement of 17 support masts between Sisikon and Ingenbohl overlooking Lake Lucerne (see Atel media release of 10/5/2006).

Aare-Tessin Ltd. for Electricity Corporate Communications

Aare-Tessin Ltd. for Electricity (Atel)
Aare-Tessin Ltd. for Electricity (Atel) is the leading production-based energy service provider in Switzerland and operates at a pan-European level. Founded in 1894, Atel focuses on the two core businesses of production-based Energy Trading and Energy Services. The group of companies, domiciled in Olten, employs a staff of around 8400 and generated a turnover of CHF 8.6 billion in 2005. Its main markets in the energy sector are Switzerland, Italy, Germany and the Central and Eastern European countries. Its goods and services range from portfolio management and group energy supplies, to energy derivatives and option contracts, to establishing distribution concepts involving other partners. Trading and sales are supported by a number of proprietary hydraulic and thermal power stations plus a broadly ramified transmission grid. With its Energy Services Division, Atel provides all technical services pertaining to energy (electricity, gas, oil and biomass) and its uses as power, lighting, cooling and heating, communication and security. Atel is among the leading providers of Energy Services in both Switzerland and Germany.